Caught in the Crossfire

Caught in the Crossfire

by Juliann Rich


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Two boys at Bible camp; one forbidden love.

That is the dilemma sixteen-year-old Jonathan Cooper faces when he goes away to Spirit Lake Bible Camp, an oasis for teen believers situated along Minnesota’s rugged north shore. He is expecting a summer of mosquito bites, bonfires with S’mores, and photography classes with Simon, his favorite counselor, who always helps Jonathan see his life in perfect focus.

What he isn’t expecting is Ian McGuire, a new camper who openly argues against phrases like pray the gay away. Ian is certain of many things, including what could happen between them if only Jonathan could surrender to his feelings. Jonathan, however, tosses in a storm of indecision between his belief in God and his inability to stay away from Ian. When a real storm hits and Ian is lost in it, Jonathan is forced to make a public decision that changes his life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781626390706
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Publication date: 06/17/2014
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

Born and raised in Minnesota, Juliann Rich spent her childhood dividing her time between the library across the street and the candy store two doors away. At least one was good for her!

Juliann continued her pursuit of the story throughout high school and in college where she graduated with a degree in English writing. She furthered her education at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, Mn. Caught in the Crossfire is Juliann’s debut novel.

Juliann is a PFLAG Mom who can be found walking Pride parades with her son. She is also the daughter of evangelical Christian parents. As such, Juliann has been caught in the crossfire of the most heated topic to challenge our society and our churches today. She is committed to writing stories that shed light on the conflicts that arise when sexual orientation, spirituality, family dynamics, and peer relationships collide.

Juliann lives in Minnesota with her husband and two quirky dachshunds. When she is not writing, she enjoys hiking through a forest or canoeing the many lakes in the Minnesota River Valley.

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Caught in the Crossfire 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Kristen_Noel More than 1 year ago
  I have so much love for this book. As someone who went through the same confusion at a young age of being attracted to the same sex, I definitely identified with it. The emotions portrayed in Caught in the Crossfire are so real. I felt so much empathy for Jonathan. He was excellently written by Juliann Rich.    This is a book that should be read by teens facing their sexuality and those around them who love them. I found it to be an honest portrayal that I wish I would have had whenever I was that age in the same predicament. If you're a fan of One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva or David Levithan, you'll find a new favorite book with Caught in the Crossfire. **I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review with no compensation.
BooksDirect More than 1 year ago
Jonathan Cooper is attending Bible Camp at Spirit Lake for his eighth summer. Jake Miller, the bane of his existence, is also there, but so is a new camper, Ian McGuire. And Ian is gay. A devout Christian, Jonathan is struggling with his own sexuality. He has difficulty reconciling his feelings with what he's been taught to believe as a Christian. He prays to God that these feelings will go away, but he has an undeniable attraction to Ian. As Jonathan and Ian grow closer, tensions escalate. Who will be caught in the crossfire? This book is extremely well-written and well-edited, with some lovely lines. The story was a bit too contrived for my liking, however I think it will resonate with its target audience. There is a good balance between exploring the feelings and opinions of Jonathan, his peers, his counselors, and parental figures. This book will be helpful for young people who find themselves in a similar situation to Jonathan. You can also visit the author's website for some valuable GLBTQ resources. I received this book in return for an honest review.
Jesilea More than 1 year ago
It’s hard to think of a more awkward setting for a gay love story, but I love it! The pray-the-gay-away people completely creep me out. I can’t imagine being a young man, just figuring out who he is, and be subjected to these people. That said, a huge positive about this book is the author didn’t vilify religion or God. She offered a very balanced view, giving different interpretations of biblical arguments for and against homosexuality. Jonathan is able to find a way to be comfortable with himself inside his faith. That’s a difficult and powerful thing.  The relationship between Jonathan and Ian was a little fast, but very typical of teenagers. It wasn’t “insta-love” at least. There was also good, realistic chemistry between them. Being the only two gay boys in the camp, you might think they gravitated to each other out of convenience, but I never got that feeling here. My only problem with the book is there were a few times I wanted to smack Jonathan upside the head for the way he treated Ian. I get it that he was conflicted and scared, but he should have talked to Ian about it rather than pushing him away. Though this too is probably typical of a teenage boy. I also didn’t really buy the characters of Dawn and Simon. They almost seemed too understanding and perfect.  Overall, I give CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE... Plot - 4 bookmarks Character Development - 4 bookmarks Love Story - 5 bookmarks (I like how it ended. Not a HEA or HFN, but realistic.) Handling of Sensitive Subjects - 5 bookmarks!  Dream Cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) - Dylan O’Brien (Jonathan), A younger Prince Harry - my go-to for HAWT redheads (Ian), Peter Dinkledge (Simon), Alexander Ludwig (Jake), Jeanette McCurdy (Bethany)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
donniedarkogirl More than 1 year ago
Caught in the Crossfire delivered for me everything I was hoping for after reading the synopsis. The characters were richly developed, the situations were realistic, and the story was a page turner. I appreciated the insight into Jonathan's struggle between his faith in God and his attraction to the same gender - I can't imagine how difficult that must be when your faith speaks against the very things you're feeling.  I felt Jonathan's awkwardness and confusion as clearly as though I myself were feeling that way, but I also felt his strength, too. I yearned for him to accept the way he was feeling but also knew it wasn't going to be easy for him. There was guilt and fear of what others would say and how they would treat him if they knew his true feelings.  While Ian was very cocky and not terribly likable (for me) in the beginning, it was like he was in the right place at the right time to unknowingly kick start Jonathan's journey to accepting who he truly is. Ian wasn't afraid to speak up for what he felt was right, and I could soon see underneath his arrogance. I don't think there could have been a better guy for Jonathan to have been attracted to, especially the more I got to know him.  The diversity of the characters was refreshing and welcome - Jonathan's favorite counselor, Simon, is in a wheelchair while his friend, Dawn, is Native American. Both characters are fully fleshed out with their own personality and characteristics. I rarely encounter Native American characters in books, especially in the young adult genre, so I was ecstatic to see at least one tribe represented.  For any teens coming out or even if they aren't even close to coming out yet, I'd highly recommend they read Caught in the Crossfire because I think it would help them see they can find a way to reconcile their faith and their feelings. I also think it would help them not feel so alone. This is a book I want my own kids to read one day so if one day they come out or have a friend who comes out, they might not feel so alone. It's important to me that they know love is beautiful and is about so much more than your gender. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 
WonderWmn More than 1 year ago
Our world is changing before our eyes.  For the older generations, they've seen so many changes it would boggle the mind.  Growing up, they've seen racial segregation come to a halt, interracial couples no longer needing to hide their love for one another, interracial marriage, homosexuals being able to walk down the street together and now same-sex marriage.  No, not everyone is accepting of everything I just listed, but basic civil right freedoms being given to all is a step in the right direction to bring the prejudices to a halt.  Knowledge will make you free, change will make you free, ignoring what's before your eyes will only bring you and others pain.  This is a story about a boy who realizes he's not like the other boys but because of people's prejudices, feels the pain of being different. I was a little stuck in the rating of this book.  On one side, it's a great read for the YA audience, an outlet of information for those who are reading to either understand their or others sexual orientation.  Acceptance starts with awareness, and awareness starts with knowledge.  Ignorance is not bliss.  Now, on the other hand, the basic premise of this story has been played out many times over in one way or another.  Christian boy ashamed of feeling what he feels, but starts to accept it when he meets someone like himself.  A first love sparked in bible camp, which is forbidden and ridiculed by the close minded christian campers and counselors.  A fallout and a realization. The author created all the characters in this book perfectly.  I could see each one as I read through the book.  I could feel their emotions coursing through them and I could sense the way their brains were churning.  I wanted to hug Jonathan and reassure him, yell at Ian to be more understanding, punch Jake where it counts for being such an ignorant jerk, shake reality into Paul and thank Simon for being the rock that Jonathan needed so much.  A group of people, with all their individual thoughts, brought together in a way that will be a turning point for most of them.  There is a line in this book that hits the thought of homosexuality right on the head, "Weren't gay guys just about casual relationships that were based on sex?"  This right here is why same sex couples get the heat that they do, clueless people not realizing that a man can have a loving relationship with another man, same with women.  Homosexuality is not about sex, it's about loving someone like yourself.  I look forward to the day when there are no 'terms' for people based on who they want a relationship with or not. Yes, there is a heavy Christian aspect to this book, but the message that is given in the long run, as one character stated, Hate is Hate. Loving someone of the same sex doesn't change you, you are the same person you were all along, you just aren't hiding yourself away anymore, you actually are better than what you were because you are accepting you for you.  People talk about the Bible and all it says about homosexuality, but in this story you learn so much more of the Bible.  You learn about some of the goofy things in it that have been pushed to the side over the years because it is just a bit outlandish.   The writing is good, terms are contemporary, situations are realistic.  Any person who is open to this genre will come out knowing more than they did going into it.  I would like to know how Jonathan's relationship with his parents were after camp was over with.  I have a feeling that his parents came around and embraced their son and accepted him for who he is, at least I hope that's what happened.  Okay, I have decided on my rating.  Before starting my review, I was sure this was a 3 star, but after writing this and thinking about the story even more, it is a solid 4 star book.