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Love Will Keep Us Together: A Miracle Girls Novel    by Anne Dayton & May Venderbilt order for
Love Will Keep Us Together
by Anne Dayton
Order:  USA  Can
Faithwords, 2010 (2010)
* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Ever since I realized that authors Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt were going to give each Miracle Girl her own book, I have been anticipating Riley McGee's story. While she is not my favorite of the four girls, she is definitely the most exciting. I do not know what I was expecting, but Love Will Keep Us Together was much different than whatever I thought it would be.

At first glance, Riley McGee is that girl you love to hate: she is good looking, popular, dating a college guy, on the varsity cheerleading squad, and top of her class - the type who seems to have everything going for her. However, Riley has more problems than even her best friends, Ana, Zoe, and Christine, realize. Senior year should be a blast, but instead Riley is spending her time worrying about her future and fitting into everyone's idea of what she should be. She frets about this so much, that she ends up not applying to any colleges. However, her family is too busy dealing with Michael, her younger brother who has been diagnosed with Aspergers, to notice Riley's struggles until it is too late. Riley has always been there for her friends, but now it is her turn to ask for their help.

All of the Miracle Girls novels are so true to what it is like to be an ordinary teenager, and this is what makes them such wonderful works. Also, while the stories all have religious undertones, Dayton and Vanderbilt never preach, and even show that it is okay to question your beliefs. Love Will Keep Us Together is no exception. Riley is always portrayed as more rebellious than her friends. Yet, despite her popularity, she is just like the rest of them and we come to learn that in this final book of the series. In fact, Riley's problems are even bigger than those her friends face, because her main challenge in life lies within herself, not those around her. Riley states that Zoe is the one who has grown and changed the most among them, but the reader gets to see that it is really Riley who has overcome the most.

For an uplifting and reaffirming read, nothing can beat a Miracle Girls novel. Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt are true geniuses when it comes to capturing teenage life, and Love Will Keep Us Together is a fitting end to a wonderful series.

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