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Saving Maddie

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  299 ratings  ·  52 reviews
Joshua Wynn is a preacher’s son and a “good boy” who always does the right thing. Until Maddie comes back to town. Maddie is the daughter of the former associate pastor of Joshua’s church, and his childhood crush. Now Maddie is all grown up, gorgeous—and troubled. She wears provocative clothes to church, cusses, drinks, and fools around with older men. Joshua’s ears burn j ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published March 9th 2010 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

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Favorite, Funniest Lines:

"You look like a chipmunk," she said has she took the bottle from me. "You're supposed to drink it, not store it for the winter."


Saving Maddie was an interesting, well-written, and unique story full of religion, finding your true self, and romance between two "preacher kids." The story was very different than most young adult novels and had many entertaining characters. Since I'm not very religious, I was a little hesitant to read a book with religion about a pre
This book felt so shallow - the religion, the characters, the setting.

Also, when I asked for this book at ALA (it was on display), the girl was like "well, if you want, but I have to warn you, it deals with religion." Um, okay. Thanks for WARNING me.
25. Saving Maddie by Varian Johnson
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 231
Acquired: April 2011
Book of Your Shelf? No
Why I have it: Book Battle
Series: No

Maddie and Joshua were best friends. They understood each other, they were both PK - Preacher's Kids. But then one day Maddie's family moves and they grow apart. Five years later she returns, but she is not the same person. Maddie, now Madeline, has left the church and has quite a reputation as a bad girl. Joshua is determined to bring her back into the chu
Page (One Book At A Time)
I have a feeling people may shy away from this book just because of the religious aspect. Which is really unfortunate because I thought it was really awesome! Yes it has a lot of religion in it, but I think it is so much more than that.

I think my biggest surprise (which I should have realized from the description) is that it's told from Josh's point of view. It so rare that the guy in the story is the "good" character. And Josh is way more than good, for a teen he's dang near saintly. Josh's is
“I probably should have been thinking about what I was going to say to Madeline- how I was going to lead her back to the path of righteous- but all I could do was think of her lips. Their color. Their ..taste.

I had no doubt that Madeline Smith needed saving. I just wasn’t quite sure if I was interested in being her savior.”- page 25

How far would you go to save someone? And at what point are you in danger of losing yourself in the process? On the surface, Saving Maddie appears to be a black and
What is Saving Maddie?

It's a book about faith. About finding your own faith. About the reasons why make our choices. About forgiveness and trying to look beyond others choice's into who they really are.

Joshua knows who he is. He's the preachers son. He's the leader of his church youth group. He's proud that he doesn't drink and not ashamed to be a virgin. Not really.

But when Maddie, his best friend from childhood moves back, it's clear that she's no longer the preacher's daughter that he knew. T
It was extremely easy to identify with Joshua, a trait that most teen books seem to be missing these days. The author really draws you into Joshua's world, showing that it isn't that hard to be the "good kid", but when the "good kid" finally snaps, it means that something really is wrong.

I loved reading about the friendship coming back together, and the ways that Joshua was able to connect with his best friend again. The parents drove me a little nuts, because the author allowed you to like them
Sep 22, 2011 Lynn added it
One of the things that I enjoy about reading is getting into the mind and experience of someone else that I might never experience otherwise. The story follows Joshua, a preacher's kid and all around good guy, who tries really hard to not let anyone down and live up to the expectations other's place on him. The only problem is that he doesn't really know who he is down deep or what he truly wants. In his quest to be a good kid he displaces himself nearly completely.

Then enters Maddie, an old fr
Joshua & Maddie are not star-crossed lovers. Rather, these two are the best & truest of friends. They share a different kind of love that goes beyond what anyone thinks about them. As children they spent all their time together in and out of church while their fathers were the ministers preaching the gospel. But when Maddie's father is transferred to another parish, Maddie & Joshua vow to write each other every day to keep in touch. For a while that works until Maddie stops writing b ...more
Saving Maddie by Varian Johnson
Delacourte Press, 2010
231 pages
YA; Contemporary
4/5 stars

Source: Library

Read for YA Overlooked Book Battle.

I remember seeing this book last year and being interested that the character had a cross on her neck; I really enjoy reading about modern struggles with the Christian faith, which is largely what this book about.

Maddie is a character who has been largely written off as irredeemable; by her father, by her congregation, by almost everyone except for her aunt and
K. Bird
Joshua is the son of a Preacher, and when he was a child, his best friend Maddie was also the daughter of a Preacher.

Now Maddie's back in town and a "fallen woman" but Joshua is still the strait-laced, virginal, head-of-the-youth group Preacher's son.

Problem is, he wants to care for Maddie and it keeps getting him in trouble. His parents want him back on the straight and narrow path to righteousness, but Joshua's going to have to figure out what true caring means.

Joshua and Maddie are great cha
Katrina Burchett
Joshua Wynn - son of Reverend Isaiah P. Wynn and First Lady Lily Wynn of Mount Calvary church - is a seventeen year old Christian who lets his light shine. He's president of the church youth group and a member of the choir. He visits senior citizens at the Faith Nursing Home regularly, he can quote scripture as well as any adult Christian and he believes in abstaining from sex until marriage. This young man has a heart for God and he cares about doing the right thing. He also cares about Madelin ...more
Seventeen year-old Joshua Wynn is the preacher’s son. He does everything he’s told to and thinks he should do like visiting the nursing home, leading the youth group, and abstaining from sex before marriage. But then his best friend from 5 years ago comes back to town and changes how he views things.

Once Madeline is back, Joshua starts to think about why he has faith in the sermons his father preaches every Sunday and if he believes in them just because being the preacher’s son makes him a role
Maddie's story just about broke my heart.

The two preacher's kids, Joshua and Maddie (now going by Madeleine), have long been defined by outside expectations. Joshua is "the good kid" - expected to be an upstanding member of the church community, forgoing academic extracurriculars in favor of church-sponsored activities like volunteering and youth basketball leagues. Joshua is indelibly marked as the good guy, and no matter how much he wants to, no one will see him as anything but. Madeleine, on
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jaglvr for

Maddie and Joshua are best friends. Both kids of preachers, they have a lot in common. But then, one day Maddie and her family move away. The two vow to keep in touch, but as the years go by....the letters and communication stop.

Now, it's five years later and Joshua is the perfect son. He does everything expected of him. He's involved in all the right activities. He's gone so far as to give up basketball because it doesn't fit in with all his church obligat
Heather Anastasiu
As with other well-written religious kids coming-of-age stories, this book had me at page 1. I wasn’t quite a Preacher’s Kid, but as a teenager I was as close as you could voluntarily get to being one—but at the same time, it puts you in that awkward label land—the Good Kid. The One Who Doesn’t Get In Trouble. The one all the other kids get quiet around, even though you know they were having a loud, raucous (and probably raunchy) conversation right before you joined the group.

Saving Maddie is as
Joshua Wynn has grown up being an example for other kids: The Wynn Boy. He doesn't seem to mind too much, except that he had to give up on his school's basketball team to lead the youth group and that everyone his age thinks he's some kind of prude. But even these things don't dampen his spirits, and he works very hard to keep his reputation. He has to; he's "Joshua Wynn, the preacher's son. ... a shining example of what [is:] good and righteous and wholesome in the world" (28). More like some k ...more
I loved the honesty of the voice of Joshua as he grappled with friendship and religion. Joshua's childhood friend, Madeline, returns to his community, confronting him with issues of morality, religion, church and personal beliefs. She challenges him to think for himself and I enjoyed reading the story from Joshua's point of view.

Given the length of the book, Varian Johnson did a good job in bringing the characters and their struggles to life. This is also why anyone looking for a happy ending sh
Apr 03, 2010 Megan rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: high schoolers
Recommended to Megan by: won in a giveaway contest
Saving Maddie focuses on two "preacher's kids": Josh, the upstanding, good example, youth group leader, and Maddie, the rebellious, good-girl-gone-bad. Josh and Maddie had been best friends as children until Maddie moved away. When Maddie returns, Josh struggles with wanting to be more than friends with her, even though his parents have forbidden it and he knows it would be a bad example for the pastor's son to be associated with Maddie. Josh is torn through most of the book. He has desires for ...more
In clear, understated prose, Johnson writes a love story about a "good" boy in love with the "bad" girl. He is unflinching and direct, dramatic but never melodramatic, and the reader is pulled along without feeling manipulated to a partially-open ending that leaves room for thought yet still satisfies.

Johnson's voice (as well as his emotional honesty and directness) is a real draw. Johnson's ability to write simply and not fear using a word twice in the same sentence reminds me of Hemingway or
Varian Johnson has a knack for creating complex characters who aren't afraid to ask difficult questions, and who end up in tough situations that challenge their deepest beliefs. This one's got a pretty fascinating premise--a kid who's a preacher's son, whom everyone expects to be a perfect model citizen, learns that right and wrong can be somewhat complicated outside of the idealism of religious belief. A "bad girl" isn't just a bad girl. Challenging your own beliefs can be educational and help ...more
This book was quite the page turner, it was amazingly written and had me really thinking!
Oh my gosh, I could NOT put this book down, and when I got to the end, which was so ragged and sad and yet full of hope, I felt exhausted, having carried the weight of the problems of the main characters for what felt like so long. (What a horrible sentence. English major? Yeah, right.)

Anyway, I very much enjoyed this book. And it didn't even do that thing that bothers me so much - paints christians/catholics as black-and-white type evil characters with no good in them, or makes them this awful
Nov 12, 2010 Tbooker is currently reading it
I think this is a very good book.So far this book is a book that grabs my attention because very few books do that .I am eager to keep reading this book because the book always leaves me in suspense . While reading this book when our class reading time is up i want to keep reading . I like this book so much , because i like the words they use to make what they say way more exiting then it really is . Its like me saying i want to go shopping , they would say i really really want to go shopping so ...more
I didn't like it at first, or any of the characters, but it's hard not to appreciate something so well-written. I love the clear romance that doesn't go over-the-top, and I was glad to see that Madeleine was portrayed as someone with an actual personality and someone who freaks out over books and such instead of being a mindless slut. I did find it hard to believe that a teenage boy will defend the Bible and the wrongness of premarital sex with such zeal, but it did help the story move along.
 Imani ♥ ☮
This was a really good book. The only reason this book only got 4 stars is because towards the end of the book I was getting annoyed. The reason being, I was kind of getting annoying with the whole "celibate" act that authors do, and the characters come close to "doing it" anyway. Not to sound nasty or anything but I felt like screaming "just do it already!" xD. Pardon me! But anyway, besides that, good book.
Maddie was a great character, I loved how she made Joshua reconsider what he was taught to think as a religious person and he then learned to think for himself, not just blindly following what his Pastor/ father preaches. Maddie was not past redemption, but Joshua didn't realize not only was he saving her, he was saving himself too. 4 stars, it was a very truthful and deep read.
This is a beautiful story. I love it :) it's so amazing and romantic and faces the issue of becoming a christian at a teenager: where you're surrounded by sins. Madeline was a good example by a girl who had gotten taken over by sin and Joshua was a good example of someone who couldn't figure out if he should listen to the church or hisself. A good read :)
Michelle. D.
The book overall was okay I guess. It kind of went no where in the end but it was a good time waster. The characters were okay. They weren't bad or anything but they weren't horrible.
All the back stories from the past were cute and Madeline's home life was interesting...
But anyway, three stars.
It was more like a 3.5 ... Goodreads should seriously have half stars as an option. Anyway. It was kind of depressing and had some really heavy issues like sexual abuse, but overall I really loved the friendship between Maddie and Joshua. I might have teared up a bit at the end.
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“Just because he doesn't want to hear it doesn't mean you shouldn't say it.” 3 likes
“Madeline, I know we can be a little conservative-'

'Conservative? How about down right mean?' She pointed at me, hard and angry. 'You people are quick to ask forgiveness, but won't think twice about condemning others for the same mistakes.' She shook her head. 'If I was God, I'd be pretty damn ashamed of how fucked up church has gotten.”
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