“There are times when He Himself allows terrible sufferings, and then again there are times when He does not let me suffer and removes everything that might afflict my soul. These are His ways, unfathomable and incomprehensible to us. It is for us to submit ourselves completely to His holy will. There are mysteries that the human mind will never fathom here on earth; eternity will reveal them. (1656)” – Saint Faustina
Review and Contents
Three cheers for Leslea Wahl! Her young adult stories for the Catholic audience are fun, adventurous, and pure entertainment so I was so happy when she asked me to review her third book. Where You Lead is probably my favorite of her novels so far.
The story begins with Eve having visions of a boy named Nick. She can clearly see his face and she sees that they are friends, but she has never met this boy before. She realizes that her visions are more than a dream and she begins to pray asking God what it could all mean. Slowly God’s plan begins to unfold for her and her family moves across the country to Washington DC.
At her first meeting with Nick, Eve comes across a little…over the top. Not everyone has clear messages from God like Eve has. But Nick quickly sees the heart of Eve and, being a devout Catholic himself, begins to listen to the dreams she’s had since they seem so real.
The two teens go on an adventure through Washington DC in search of a missing treasure. The treasure must be found quickly in order to prevent a major security issue that Nick’s father has been working on. Through the steps of finding the treasure, which is slightly reminiscent of National Treasure because of it’s historical/landmark aspects, Nick and Eve fall in love.
Eventually the two are able to crack the puzzle and find the long lost treasure. More importantly though, they learn to listen to God through the story, they learn to trust each other, and they help others through the process. These teens use good Christian values to help them succeed and by doing so are able to help neighbors, friends, and even a daughter of a foreign ambassador.
As with all of Wahl’s novels, the mystery is entertaining and faith is prevalent. The teens are great examples of what moral and truthful teens look like and that’s so rare in today’s young adult literature. I absolutely recommend this book for Catholic YA readers as it’s a fun read and I think most teens would love it. I’m so grateful there are writers out there writing wholesome literature for the modern Catholic YA audience.
(There are some discussion questions in the back of the novel which may be good for reflection and/or book club discussion.)
- It’s important to listen to God. Do you have a hard time hearing Him? How can you cut distraction in your life to possibly hear more clearly?
- How does Eve evangelize to her neighbor? In what ways can you spread God’s love to others?
- Why is it important to have friends and/or date people who have a strong faith like you do? How can it bring you closer to God?
- How does reading books written by Catholic authors make a difference in your reading life?
General Teaching Resources
- How does setting play an important role in the story? How might the story be different if it happened in a different part of the country? You can use lesson plans from EReading Worksheets to help you explore setting further.
- Write your own short story mystery. Include some Catholic aspects. Use the advice from the article ‘7 Tips on Writing Great Mystery and Suspense Novels’ from Writer’s Digest.
- Write a character analysis of either Eve or Nick. Use this Character Sketch worksheet to help.
- Read the article ‘Newman and the Importance of Catholic Literature’ from The Catholic Thing.
- Choose a saint who was a writer to learn about. Use this list to help you.
- Eve befriends her elderly neighbor who has become jaded with the church. Read this article from the Lifeteen Blog about how we can evangelize better as Catholics.
- Read our interview with author, Leslea Wahl.
- Read one of Leslea Wahl’s other books. (Affiliate links listed at the bottom of the page.)
- Find a way to promote YA Catholic literature by donating some books to your library!
- Learn more about Catholic fiction through this video: