It’s Not About Me by Michelle Sutton

Today, I’m posting my book review on the YA novel, “It’s NOT About ME,” by Michelle Sutton.  This book was released by Sheaf House and it’s sequel, “It’s NOT About HIM,” will be released in September 2009.

Since I first heard of Michelle Sutton, I’ve consistently heard her writing described as “edgy.”  I had never heard that term used before, but I know that edgy makes one think of walking a fine line.  So, I read “It’s NOT About ME” with a bit of concern that it might be teetering on the brink of gratuitous.  But what I found was not that, at all!

In “It’s NOT About ME,” Sutton introduces us to Annie, Tony, and Dan.  Annie has just graduated high school and is somewhat nervously looking forward to the future.  She has grown up in church with parents that have sheltered her and protected her from much of the danger and ugliness of the world.  Currently, her biggest problem is how to deal with the sudden pressure for intimacy from her boyfriend, Tony, who is also the pastor’s younger son. 

Tony is a little late to pick her up on the night when she meets evil and tragedy face-to-face.  Hurt, devastated, alone, and confused, Annie turns to Tony for comfort only to find that he isn’t there to give her any.  While Tony turns to alcohol to cope with his guilt, his brother, Dan steps in to give Annie the friendship and care that she desperately needs.  As her friendship with Dan brings her closer to God, it threatens to destroy the relationship that she’s tried so hard to build with Tony.

What I really appreciated about this book was that the characters were people that I could identify with.  They seemed incredibly real to me.  Annie—the sheltered girl, looking terrified into the future and wanting a man to protect her as she walks into the unknown.  Tony and Dan—the pastor’s sons, living life under a microscope—trying to figure out who they really are while simultaneously trying to please their parents and the rest of the world.  I can understand these characters and identify with them.  I found myself cheering for them, scolding them, and sympathizing with them as I read. 

Michelle Sutton has given us an edgy book here, but not gratuitous.  It’s both realistic and hopeful.  While it shows us some of the real pain and ugliness that today’s teenagers are facing, it also leads us to the remedy to that pain and ugliness—God.  Overall, this is a skillful, gripping, and entertaining book.  I am looking forward to the sequel and to whatever else Michelle has to share with us in the future.

About Sarah Salter


  1. Wow! Sounds like a book I could have used when I graduated. I, too, expected a man to ‘rescue’ me. It’s great that you write for young adults, giving them guidelines to follow in their lives, relying on God. Three cheers for you!

  2. Eliza Garrison says:

    “Surprise”! I, too, can identify with, ‘it’s not about me by michelle sutton”, but in a different way. I was the one who was the protector, and when it came time to be dethroned and let God be God the person didn’t want to release me. It wasn’t easy. Looking forward to the rest of the story.


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