The Love Killer
A book review for parents
This contemporary Christian book in the "The Powerlink Chronicles" by Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler is published by Word Publishing Group, Thomas Nelson Publishers.
The Love Killer is written for kids ages 15 and up. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.
This novel contains a plot about the lives of teens at Eisenhower High School, a subplot about demons trying to persuade teens to stop praying and a commentary on teen issues from the authors. In the main plot, Brad meets Krystal, a young woman with a worldly past who is now a Christian and part of a strong youth group called the Liberation Commandos. Brad and Krystal have feelings for each other and Brad tries to convince Krystal that safe sex is good if two people are in love. She challenges Brad to a debate on condoms. Her youth group helps her prepare for the debate. Meanwhile Krystal's seemingly perfect sister, Kathy, breaks her engagement and overdoses on drugs when unable to cope with her out-of-wedlock pregnancy. Brad discovers he's HIV positive. He hears the message of salvation and considers becoming a Christian.
The Liberation Commandos is a Christian group that plans events when they share the Gospel message. Throughout, the group gathers to pray and remains serious about their commitment to God. The youth pastor presents clear messages about topics of sex and love. Co-author Josh McDowell uses Scripture and offers commentary that expands on the youth pastor's talks.
Krystal is not living at home and does not view her parents as having authority over her. She left home when her father's drug habit made it difficult for her to stay away from drugs. She moved in with a friend and her friend's mom. During middle school years, Krystal had rebelled against her parents' curfews and demands that she not date. She tried to honor her mother and visited her when she knew her dad was away. Krystal respects her youth group leaders and her teacher Mr. Detweiler. The youth director uses Scripture to share wisdom as he counsels the teens. Mr. Detweiler remains neutral and gives advice on how to conduct a debate.
Other Belief Systems
Brad uses humanistic arguments to explain that sex is OK for consenting couples and that people can choose to change partners as they make new choices about whom to love.
In the past, Krystal ran away from home to be with her boyfriend Jimmy. She eventually returned home but continued to have sex with other boys and sold drugs that she stole from her father. Jimmy later died of AIDS, while Krystal tested negative for HIV. Once Krystal became a Christian, she changed her life, chose to be sexually pure and stopped dealing drugs. Krystal meets Brad, and they discuss their physical desires. And after Krystal's sister, Kathy, overdoses on pills, Kathy reveals that she is pregnant in spite of using protection. The debate over condoms includes statistics and facts about sexually transmitted infections, AIDS, pregnancies and condom failure rates. Brad argues that mature teens should be free to engage in sex, and that since some teens are already choosing to be sexually active, they should use what protection is available.
If your children have read this book or someone has read it to them, consider these discussion topics:
- In reading about Krystal's sexual attraction to Brad and their kisses, how do you think emotions can overtake reason when you are physically intimate?
- What does the Bible say about purity in Psalm 119:9 and 1 Timothy 4:12?
- How can you stay pure?
- How can Proverbs 4:23-27 serve as a guide to staying pure?
- How important is it to have Christian friends?
- Do you have a friend or someone you can talk to?
- What are some of the reasons presented in the book about how sex will not fill your need for love?
- Talk about the unconditional love God offers. Demons are shown to put evil thoughts into people's minds that are disguised as half-truths.
Have you wrestled with half-truths or other deceptive thoughts?
- Krystal never shared her faith with Kathy.
Who are the people in your family with whom you have never shared your faith?
- Do they need to hear your testimony?
Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. A book's inclusion does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.