by Alana Terry
After receiving a disturbing call from someone far too young to carry a child in the first place, Kennedy can no longer blindly hide behind the pro-life platitudes she grew up believing. She resolves to locate the unknown girl but winds up entrenched in a mystery that grows more convoluted as it unfolds.
Soon, Kennedy finds herself a pawn in a deadly game of intrigue, at the mercy of those who consider a few innocent lives a small ransom to pay in exchange for personal and political victory.
Alana Terry has won awards from Women of Faith, the Book Club Network, Grace Awards, Readers' Favorite, and more. Unplanned was a finalist in the Deep River Books writing contest.
I really enjoyed this book. It's a gripping story, quite fast paced in places. Fans of the author's international suspense novels (Beloved Daughter, Slave Again, and Torn Asunder) will enjoy getting to know Kennedy Stern, a minor character only referred to briefly elsewhere in the series. But this book is a whole separate story, so it's not necessary to have read the others in order to understand and enjoy this one.
Unlike Alana Terry's other books, Unplanned takes place entirely in the United States, instead of North Korea and China. It starts readers off in the frazzled schedule of a new college student trying to juggle classes, church, friendships, and ministry activities, along with adjusting to life in a country she hasn't lived in since she was little. Then the ministry she reluctantly volunteered for opens a door to a huge problem that eats into even more of her time, and before she knows it, things spiral out of control. Danger to herself and others plunges Kennedy into a crisis of faith as she struggles desperately to save three lives, including her own, and to get to the bottom of a mystery that may involve a prominent politician.
If you enjoy mystery and suspense, read Unplanned! It's an exciting story that deals well with a controversial subject. The author doesn't shy away from tricky issues, like where God is when things go wrong and prayers seem to go unanswered. (She certainly doesn't give pat answers to them, either.) Not to give any spoilers, but this is not a story where all the problems are nicely taken care of by the end, everything is wrapped up, and everybody can go back to happy little lives. Nothing that deals with issues this real and serious can end that neatly. But the ending is as satisfying as it could realistically get, and there are just enough unanswered questions to let us know the author is planning a sequel. And I can't wait to read it!