|"Just Like Ice Cream by Lissa Halls Johnson tells the story of sixteen-year-old Julie Marshall who learns a very important lesson the hard way. Julie, a typical American teenager, is enjoying her summer vacation, when she meets Kyle Browning, who will change her life.
The book opens with Julie meeting Kyle in the park one day. They tease each other and not even discovering each other's names, agree to meet two days later. Their relationship grows swiftly and before long, Julie finds herself giving into Kyle's pressures for intimacy together. Promising her that it is just like ice cream, her favorite food, Kyle introduces her to his “ice cream” – sex. Although Julie isn't entirely comfortable with it, she continues to give in, because she does not want to lose Kyle. With the pressure Kyle puts on her, she ignores her family, her best friend Stephanie, and another good friend, Jan, a youth pastor's wife, who Julie baby-sits for.
All too soon, the summer ends, and Kyle must return to his home in San Francisco, several hours away. Julie returns to school, and normal, or so she thought. For some reason, Julie is tired all the time, tuna and math make her sick, and she is always in the bathroom. Blaming it on her period, which is yet to show up, she finds herself complaining to Jan about her problems. When Jan suggests that it sounds like Julie is pregnant, Julie shoots the suggestion down. However, Julie's curiosity is peaked, and she soon finds herself taking a test at a pregnancy center. When the results come in, she cries!
The next seven months are a torturous period in Julie's life. She tries an abortion, but realizes she cannot go through with it. Her family draws away. Her relationship with Stephanie changes. She discovers Kyle never truly cared about her. Jan seems to be the only one who cares, but Julie ignores her. She also has the hard decision to make about whether to give the baby up for adoption or not. "
Rachel Wielinga, Resident Scholar