Monday, January 16, 2012

Book Review: "Love Finds You in Sunset Beach, Hawaii" by Robin Jones Gunn

Love Finds You in Sunset Beach, Hawaii

Sierra Jensen is in sore need of a vacation, and she's the last one to realize it. So when she is let go from her job in Brazil, her friend, Mariana, encourages her to take a vacation with her to Hawaii. Sierra hasn't been back to the States in four years, and her sister and brother-in-law are going to be in Hawaii attending a wedding, so she reluctantly agrees to go, thinking maybe she can figure out where her life is going next.

Jordan Bryce knows exactly where his life is going. He and his best friend, Derek, have been following their dream for years: Derek, making it big in the pro-surfing circuit, and Jordan, becoming a famous photographer for surfing magazines. An assignment in Hawaii to photograph the pro-surfers at Sunset Beach seems like the perfect step in the right direction for Jordan's career. A couple of chance (or maybe divine?) encounters with a young woman with long, curly hair like a mermaid and Derek's change of heart about his own surfing dream, causes Jordan to wonder what he really wants his future to look like.

I have been a fan of Robin Jones Gunn's books for years, her Sierra Jensen series being one of my favorites. You can read a little of what happens to to Sierra during her freshman year of college in Gunn's Christy and Todd: The College Years, but I always felt like Sierra's story was always a bit unresolved. So when Love Finds You in Sunset Beach, Hawaii was announced, I was ecstatic that I would get to read more about spunky, independent Sierra.

I definitely wasn't disappointed with this story, though I was a bit surprised at how mellow Sierra seemed compared to her younger, fiery self. However, I also kind of liked the change, which showed how much Sierra had matured. She also undergoes a certain amount of growth in Sunset Beach that merged the seasoned young woman with her old spark. Also, it took me a little while to get used to the switching point of views between Sierra and Jordan, because I was used to Gunn's usual approach of sticking with one character point of view. However, I quickly got used to that change as well and ended up enjoying it, for I got to see their circumstances and relationship from two different perspectives.

Joining Sierra on her vacation to Hawaii was like visiting with an old friend. Gunn's books are always like that: filled with warmth, fun, and God-Lovers who grow in their relationships with God and others in very organic and relateable ways. Love Finds You in Sunset Beach, Hawaii is a story that can stand on it's own without having read previous books, though the past stories enhance the present one. It's a story of dreams ending, dreams changing, and dreams growing, and the change in seasons for two characters who I would become friends with any day.

Genre: Christian Fiction/Romance
Ages: 13 and up
Pages: 309
Publication Date: 2011


  1. Beautiful review and I echo so many of your thoughts. I haven't actually read very many of the Sierra books, but I liked this one. I wish the ending had been a bit more definitive, but I'm told that is Gunn's style, so I'll just have to get the next book of hers to see what happens to Sierra and Jordan. :)

  2. Thank you! :) I would have liked the ending to be more definitive as well, but like you said, I think it's Gunn's style. I think she always leaves endings a little bit open in case there's another book to continue the story. I guess I don't mind if that means there's always another book! ;-)

  3. I love the book series also. It is one of my favorites, but I always thought Sierra and Paul would date. oh well. Jordan is better.

    1. Me too! Robin is one of my favorite authors in the way she can completely change the reader's expectations, yet we still end up loving what happens. I loved Paul, but now I also love Jordan. :-)

  4. Hi! I know I should probably read the book, but could someone tell me - what exactly happened between Sierra and Paul? I was rooting for them for sooo long, and this seems almost like a heartbreak!

  5. Hi, Anna! Yes, you should definitely read the book! It's lovely. To be honest, I was a bit concerned about how Robin would handle Sierra and Paul's relationship (I always related to both of them in distinctly personal ways), but in my opinion, she handled them in a healthy, realistic way. By the end of the book, I was very satisfied with who she ended up with, though again, that's my personal preference. ;)