Avra's God

Avra's God

by Ann Lee Miller

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Avra's God by Ann Lee Miller

In the tradition of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, four friends navigate college and the drama churned up by their Florida beach band to cement friendship and more.
Avra wants love, but drummer Cisco--self-medicating from his parents' divorce with sex and intoxicants--is a poor choice. Cisco hungers for fresh-baked cookies and the scent of family he finds at Avra's.
Kallie shares her classically trained voice only with lead vocalist Jesse and fights to keep her heart safe. Jesse feeds on fame and hides more than insecurity beneath his guitar.
The friends surf ego, betrayal, and ambition and head for wipeout. But somehow, when they're not looking, Avra's God changes them all.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940015791297
Publisher: Ann Lee Miller
Publication date: 11/28/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 399 KB

About the Author

Ann Lee Miller earned a BA in creative writing from Ashland (OH) University and writes full-time in Phoenix, but left her heart in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, where she grew up. She loves speaking to young adults and guest lectures on writing at several Arizona colleges. When she isn’t writing or muddling through some crisis—real or imagined—you’ll find her hiking in the Superstition Mountains with her husband or meddling in her kids’ lives.

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Avra's God 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a rollercoaster of emotion! Reading this "New Adult" book reminds me of one of those e-cards that I think is hilarious and oh-so-true: "I'm 30 but I still fell like I'm 20... until I hang out with 20 year olds... then I'm like, nope never mind, I'm 30." The author skillfully portrayed all the drama, emotion, indecision, change, and maturing that happens during the college years. The characters are vibrant- I felt like I really got to know each of them- their strengths, hopes, vulnerabilities, and fears. The story is told from four perspectives- the two girls, and the two guys who break their hearts. I appreciated having the insights into what the guys were thinking, although that didn't prevent me from still having a hard time understanding the male psyche. (Maybe it's because I grew up with all sisters). I kept thinking, if they would only just sit down and talk about what they are really feeling! But that's not usually reality- and the conflicts these young adults struggled with and the way they handled them sure felt real. The spiritual journey and growth of each character also felt realistic- it was a progression towards connecting with God, learning how to be comforted and guided by him, seeking forgiveness and the grace to forgive. (a copy of the book was provided by the author for unbiased review)
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Katelyn Hensel for Readers' Favorite Avra's God is the first book in the New Smyrna Beach series by Ann Lee Miller. Revolving around the lives of a handful of college students, this book explores the complexities of love and family, of school and one's future, all while maintaining the complex web of religion, life, and romantic entanglements! The characters are real and palpable, with honest emotions and tough issues that they've got to work through in order to make the best of their lives and grow up, and grow stronger in their faith: both in God and each other.  I think I liked Avra and Cisco's romance and subsequent entanglements the best of all in this book. Avra had some quirks and seemed to have a good head on her shoulders, although that sometimes slipped when it came to Cisco and if he liked her or not! Cisco had a lot of issues and baggage following him around. It was sweet to see the way that he related to Avra's family and her brothers in particular. Kallie was another interesting character, and although her struggles weren't something I was familiar with, I really enjoyed her growth as a character.  I liked that Avra's God was able to showcase a sweet, realistic, and still romantic romance without any vulgarity or crudeness. This was a fun story about self-exploration, romance, love, and growing up. I hope the rest of the books in the New Smyrna Beach series live up to number one, but I trust that Ann Lee Miller has it well in hand!
AE2 More than 1 year ago
*I was offered a free copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.* Even though she's a junior in college, Avra has never had a boyfriend, so when handsome, popular Cisco is interested in her--and even embraces her Christian faith--Avra is happier than she has ever been. However, although Cisco has good intentions, he is frustrated by the need for purity in their relationship and misses the sex life he had before Avra. Meanwhile, Avra's new friend Kallie is struggling with her father's abandonment and with the attraction she feels for Jesse, Cisco's best friend. Jesse writes songs that allow Kallie a glimpse of his soul, but he doesn't seem willing to give Kallie everything she needs, even though they connected from the first time they met. While Kallie is looking for God to help her, Jesse is hoping He'll stay out of his life. Avra is certain that God has the answers to all of their struggles--but will they let Him provide them? This is the first New Adult romance I've read--and I love the fact that it's a Christian story so that there aren't any sex scenes. I think Avra, Cisco, Kallie, and Jesse are all likeable characters and the reasons for their behavior are believable. However, they aren't quite as fully developed as I personally like--but that's likely due to the fact that the book is divided up into all 4 of their perspectives, thus limiting the amount of "page time" each character gets. Going along with that, I didn't always like the pacing of the book; we'd go from one character's point of view to the next very quickly, which didn't allow time to delve into some of the issues as much as I would have liked. For instance, there's a paragraph where Jesse is surrounded by girls, making Kallie jealous after she blew him off when he tried to kiss her (which we see from his perspective); immediately after that paragraph, he's giving her a CD with a song he wrote for her (which we see from her perspective). So, he's trying to fix things, but we don't see his thoughts at all beyond trying to make her jealous--and then he's suddenly trying to be nice and fix stuff. That makes things just seem a little abrupt and made the mood swings a little dizzying and the pacing was somewhat off in places. Additionally, the fact that Cisco kisses two girls, Jesse kisses three (and is kissed by a fourth), and Kallie dates someone besides Jesse in the middle of all of this, means there's a lot going on in this book, and the pacing isn't always the smoothest. There were times when the writing irritated me a little; it just seemed overwritten (for example, "her thick, dark hair arcing behind her to brush the bare skin between her jeans and her blouse"--seems like an overly complicated phrase). Overall, though, I liked the book and read it in one day because I wanted to see what was going to happen. I liked seeing the developing faith in and relationships with God as well as the romance.
cclblue More than 1 year ago
I am always looking for clean reads. Many of the books I read are not overtly Christian though. This one is and I really enjoyed it. The character's drew me in. They faced real problems faced my young adults today. They had to learn to trust each other and more importantly to trust their God. While they had been let down by the world, they had to each learn to rely on God and develop a personal relationship with him. It took one of them to plant the seed in the hearts of the others. They each overcame hurt and learned to love and forgive others. The problems they faced were very real. Their friendships were a strength to them. I loved how these characters related to each other and how they each found God.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book read as though I were watching a movie. Her scenes were real and I could imagine myself there in the small beach town. I'm not a beach person, but I could feel the air and taste the salt. The characters were constant and yet there were surprises. The college age relationships were real. I'd recommend this to my university student daughter.
InsatiablyReading More than 1 year ago
I want every teen & 20-something I know to read this book. Miller wrote their story. And my story. And your story. Her characters are us--our loves, our wounds, our temptations, our strengths, our weaknesses, our hopes, our fears, our struggle against God, and/or our struggle to live for Him. The book description is simplistic--giving the basic story line--but this book has far more depth. I'm in my 40s and reading this gave perspective to my memories, brought healing, and opened my eyes to lingering issues. I have to go now because I need to read everything else Ann Lee Miller wrote. She has a rare gift with words, but the beauty and insight in Avra's God goes far beyond that. Do yourself a favor and read it--and then give a copy to the young adults in your life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So many things to love about “Avra’s God.”  Such finely drawn, relatable characters. Avra and Cisco are beautifully real – with insecurities and hopes, humor and heartbreak.  By the third chapter, I was half in love with Cisco myself – such a charmer!  Kallie and Jesse, the secondary characters, were also intriguing (although I kind of wanted to shake each of them at one point or another!) and fun to read. Together and individually, the two couples work through issues of temptation and heartbreak, forgiveness and grace. It was amazing to watch these four kids become adults. The setting of New Smyrna Beach, Florida, is like another major character in the book. Miller uses such strong imagery, I felt like I was there – I could hear the surf, feel the sand beneath my feet. I enjoyed that so much. The pace is super quick, making the pages fly by. And yet, the issues the characters deal with are deep, real issues – grace and forgiveness, faith, the struggle to discover and remain faithful to God’s plan in the face of fear and overwhelming temptation. The kind of things that keep you thinking about the characters long after you put the book down.  This book has it all – characters you can fall in love with, humor, lighthearted banter, deep questions and the deep comfort that comes from living by faith. Kind of like life, actually. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
Avra's God was my first read by author Ann Lee Miller! Her ability to bring the characters to life, with all of their strengths, flaws and insecurities exposed while keeping the story going shows her true gift as an author! Four college age students face life head on, but only Avra's faith in God kept her on HER correct path, no matter how hard it was. She is smitten over Cisco, the proverbial bad boy who is lost in his own personal torments. Meanwhile their friends, Jesse and Kallie dance around their feelings, hiding behind the barriers they have built. Can they all find happiness while living as they feel God wants them to? Avra's feelings for Cisco almost made her fall away from her beliefs because Cisco doesn't believe in God. Her strength and convictions for one so young under the pressures of today proved how strong she was and makes her an ideal role model for girls, in particular. Cisco is bitter with the life his family has led since his father left them. He longs for the structure and support of a family like Avra's. To him, she is a lifeline to grab onto, but, he struggles to follow the path she has, after all, its easier to just give in to temptation and live in the moment. On his path to self-destruction, he tends to give in too easily. Jessie is a disillusioned son of a strict minister and is rebelling against the roll he is expected to play in life. He cares for Kallie, even looks for ways to be near her, but knows he isn't ready to commit to an exclusive relationship with her when he can't even find himself. Kallie, thanks to her father's rejection, is insecure and although she wants Jesse with all of her heart, what she wants is total control, that way, she can't be 'left behind' again. She has hardened her heart against his attempts to tell her how he feels through his songs. All four of these characters are facing real life challenges, some know where God fits in and use that strength in their day to day lives, even when they might falter. This is a beautifully colored story, well-written and a wonderful read! Ann Miller has blended faith and contemporary issues well!
helenwakefield More than 1 year ago
Avra's God is Ann Lee Miller's third book release and if you've read her first two books, you'll enjoy the glimpses of some of the characters from them. Avra's is a story that many women - young and old - can relate to. Falling for that bad boy, and wrestling between what you know is right and the runaway emotions that you feel. By clinging to her trust in God, Avra's faith impacts her friends and sets up a catalyst for change and healing. Cisco, Kallie and Jesse have a boat load of issues between them. They all have a varying knowledge and experience of God, and each must come to Him in their own way. Most readers would find they identify with one or more of the character's issues. I'm a big fan of Ann's novels. Somehow she completely understands the lives and minds of early twenty-somethings and brings them to life with such clarity. My skin was crawling with some of the things her male characters said - it was so accurate and typical of boys in that age group, I was instantly transported back to a similar period in my life. This is such an exciting age group to read about, and Ann captures the emotions and drama so well that it's easy to completely lose yourself in the story. The characters' journey towards God is natural, touching and refreshing. In terms of degree of "edginess", Avra's God sits between the sweetness of Kicking Eternity and the drama of The Art of My Life. If you haven't read Ann's books before, I'd recommend starting here - or Kicking Eternity. Another great book by Ann :)
anastasia_gkaitatzi More than 1 year ago
Avra’s God. As in a well-written and thought-provoking (in a good way) book by Ann Miller. The book tells the story of two boys, Cisco and Jesse, and two girls, Avra and Kallie. The girls are completely different from each other but they still end up being best friends. There's Avra who is kind, generous and religious and then there's Kallie who is out-going and never has really thought of turning to God in order to get some answers as far as her life is concerned. And there are also the guys. Cisco and Jesse have been friends for a long time. So starting a boy band seemed like a pretty good idea. And it turned out to be a great one. Neither of them thought that they could find true love and be with the one they want. But when Cisco notices Avra, he can picture their future together. But Avra isn't like the other girls he used in order to get through his parents’ divorce. He has feelings for her and she seems to return them but she wants to move slowly, thing that Cisco isn't comfortable with but he accepts it. But when Avra can't take the pressure anymore, she says goodbye to Cisco even though it breaks her heart and Cisco returns to his on and off girlfriend. He thinks he can forget about her but when he realizes that he can't live without her, he will do everything he can to apologize to Avra. Jesse and Kallie’s case is simpler. They meet, fall in love but never admit it to each other. And that's where their story begins. Jesse needs help with his voice and songs, so he asks from Kallie to help him become a better artist. But what starts as innocent meetings turns out to be a love story that gets cut by Kallie because she knows that she can't be with someone like Jesse. At first, he thinks that's for the best but can you lie to your own heart? So, he tries to win her. He writes songs and performs them just for her but making her his isn't as easy as it seems.. All in all, Avra’s God is worth reading. The characters are realistic and full of emotions just like us. God is mentioned a lot of times throughout the story because that's where the characters turn to when they are looking for answers, the plot is dramatic and the end…let's just say that it's a good one.
SLN1 More than 1 year ago
A fantastic book! Avra's God was a fun read that I thought really captured the heart of people searching for thier paths in life. Ann Lee Miller writes characters that are realistic and that deal with real issues. I love the way she depicts their individual journeys to finding hope.
sewcynthia More than 1 year ago
 This is my favorite Ann Lee Miller book so far. I was drawn into the character's lives right from the start. Even though I knew, from previous books, what happens with some of the characters, I had a hard time putting the book down because I wanted to see how it ends. This is a story of finding yourself and sticking to your convictions even when it's most difficult.
GingerS219 More than 1 year ago
I've reviewed all of Ann's books and each one amazes me. She isn't afraid to tackle tough subjects, and she does it with such grace. Avra's God is about one college girl living her life for Jesus with an unashamed devotion to His will for her life. It is about the change ONE person can make in those around them if they live a life choosing to please the ONE who gave life. Her friends make some unfortunate choices, but she remains steadfast despite her own self-doubt. I highly recommend you read Avra's God. It would be a wonderful gift for a college student near you who is struggling with peer pressure or making their way in the world. Warning: There are a few curse words (less than five) in this book. While I don't care for their use in Christian fiction, it was easy enough to skip over them and continue with the story. ***I received this book free for the purpose of review.***
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Avra's God is another wonderful novel by Ann Lee Miller. Her stories are heart warming to read. She takes a stand on Christianity. Her main characters are endearing and pull you into the story. This novel is about 4 young college students who are also in a band. The setting is a Florida beach. Follow Avra who had a great upbringing and is a believer in God as she meets Cisco a heart throb who is a non-believer. Cisco longs for the close family life Avra has and even though he is a typical bad boy he tries to respect Avra. Both are ruled by their beliefs. Jesse is a preacher's son trying to run from God and is searching for happiness. Jesse is drawn to Kallie but she had built a wall around her heart because of early rejection from her father when her parents split. See how these situations lead you on an emotional roller coaster. I recommend this book to all ages.
Anne_M_Baxter More than 1 year ago
Ann Lee Miller has an amazing talent for putting words together to keep a person on the edge of their seats and holding their breath, and Avra's God is no exception. She can put you right into the scenes and characters without any trouble at all. Avra is a college student with two rowdy younger brothers. She also has a crush on this dreamy guy, Cisco. She has always felt a little gawky--tall and athletic, but definitely non-gorgeous. That's why she's amazed when Cisco flirts with her and practically invites himself to her house for home-baked cookies. Cisco recognizes that Avra is one high-class young woman, not his typical easy conquests. He treats her with respect. For eight months, and then he wants more than either of them are comfortable with. Abstinence wears thin, and he goes off the edge with another girl. How can Avra forgive that, let alone ever trust him again? And then there's Kallie, whose father deserted her and her little sister Aly a few years before, leaving her mother for a younger woman. How can she trust her heart to Jesse, a young man who thrives on the adulation of a fan club of teen girls who swoon over his music?
Jutzie More than 1 year ago
Avra’s God by Ann Lee Miller New Smyrna Beach Series Book 3 Jesse Koomer was raised in the church, literally since his dad is a minister. Jesse is running from God these days though. Enjoying playing in a band and having all the girls around him. And yet he seems to be missing happiness. Kallie Logan is so afraid of rejection that she don’t give life a chance to hurt her. Not like her dad did when he left their family. She has to guard her heart from Jesse because she is an all or nothing kind of girl and he’s definitely not ready for that. Avra Martin knows she shouldn’t be dating a non-believer but when the best looking guy around asks her out, how can she say no? She finds out that God’s rules are there for a reason, to protect us. Cisco Carter has been leaving a trail of self-destruction behind him ever since his dad left them. When he meets Avra it’s like a breath of fresh air. He loves her life. Her brothers and parents and homemade chocolate chip cookies. But he isn’t so keen on her morals after months of dating. Can he ever leave his old life behind? Welcome back to New Smyrna Beach once again. This book takes the reader back in time, before Kicking Eternity (book 1) and The Art of My Life (book 2). Once again Ann writes a story that will pull the reader in and take them for an emotional ride. Her stories don’t pretty up life but instead paint a story that has truth in it. Life is hard. Even though some of the characters are Christians they still struggle with life’s temptations….just like in everyday life. All three of these books are worth the time to read. **Mild sensual situations
itsJUSTme-wendy More than 1 year ago
By now I know I am always going to enjoy a story from Ann. She is really establishing herself as an author. I thought this book was pretty good. Although I didn't quite like it as much as the other two. I can see where some people might actually like it better. I think it does have more teen appeal. So it would be better as a YA novel, where as the other two I thought were more for adults or college students. This story was all about dating, choosing the right guy, making good choices, being faithful (to each other, to God and to your personal choices). This story was a little hard for me to get into to at first and I was a little confused at times, but as the story went on it did get much better! And the ending was actually very good. The character development was very good as it always is in Ann's books. I just did not really like the male characters, Cisco and Jesse. I liked Avra and Kallie, but thought they could choose better men! Towards the end I did get to like Jesse but never really did warm up to Cisco. But that is what character development is all about - some characters you like and some you do not! If I liked all the characters all the time then I would think something was wrong, they are not all suppose to be likable. And it wasn't my decision who she should date, it was Avra's! LOL "Who'd a thunk it?" Ha! I love that this line is in the book! I say that all the time! When I read that I just laughed and thought - wow, someone else says that besides me. "Are you going to ask me out again?" "Do you want me to?" She stared at the clouds, unseeing. She didn't hear his breathing. "Not yet." Cisco let his breath out. "So I should ask in five minutes? Half an hour? Next week? Next month? If it's anything less than not in this lifetime, I'm in. I'm not going anywhere. I'm patient. Now," - my favorite lines in the book. "I got God. I didn't show up at your church for half the summer just to get my cheeks pinched by old ladies." - heehee THE ALL-IN-ALL - All in all this is a good teen read. It is pretty clean, but realistic. There is talk of sex (but nothing graphic) there is no swearing, and the female characters make good choices and have good values and stick to their decisions, but it does show how they are tempted. I think this book has good morals for a teen without being preachy and boring and too "goody-goody".