The Lion Cubs by Chrissy M. Dennis ~Book Review

***UPDATE*** When I initially wrote this review I was really hard on the author.  I’m a mom and this story was not my cup of tea or in my writing style. However, I should have given more grace. As it turns out, my 17 year old son who never reads a book is reading this one. And enjoying it thoroughly.  He had to read a book by a Canadian author for school so I gave it to him and wouldn’t you know…he’s hooked! So, mothers, fear not; there is hope for our reader-less children.   And the fact that he’s enjoying it  means it’s written in a style and with content relevant to his life and in a way that he relates to. This is very good. So , thank you Chrissy for that!


Original post: This is a hard review to write.  This book is not easy to read.  When I started it, I was somewhat disappointed with the writing style and stopped part way through the first chapter.  I realized it is written for young adults and therefore I had to rearrange my mindset to accept the style and content.

Synopsis: (as per the Publisher’s website) :

15-year-old loner, Lexi Vogan, has had enough: four foster families in two years is enough to make anybody run away! Alone in the world, she flees to Jacksonville where a group of runaway teens live in abandoned tunnels hidden below the city. It seems like the perfect place for a forgotten face.

Liz Swavier, 36, became a widow two years ago when her husband succumbed to cancer, but she’s doing okay, at least that’s what she tells herself. Working long hours as a doctor in the ER department, Liz’s friends and family grow concerned that she’s hurled herself into work to numb her grief.

Then, on a typical Friday afternoon, an appointment with Divine intervention causes these two very different lives to collide beginning a journey towards restoration that only an all-knowing, loving God could weave together.

Chrissy Dennis, the author, herself very young, has a long ways to go in the writing department.  Her intentions are admirable and I can feel her heart for troubled youth.  But her content and style are lacking.  The constant conversational style of writing coupled with way too many descriptive passages make you lose interest as a reader. I  found some chapters to be unnecessary and the overall book is too long.

I would also caution parents on content.  This is not a book you want your innocent, sheltered young teen girls reading unless you have had a prior discussion with them on a LOT of social issues. There are very descriptive passages on assaults, drug and alcohol abuse, teen runaways and cutting.

Parents need to be cautious about giving troubled teens fuel for their internal fires.  While there are some redeeming passages and an ultimate goal to lead young people to Christ, this book falls way short on that.  The ending is rushed and lacks the spiritual depth that I would expect from an evangelistic tool such as this. Perhaps the author didn’t intend for it to be evangelistic but from the cover synopsis you would get that impression.

I would give this book 2 out of 5 stars.   If a young person reading it gave their review it might be a bit higher at 3/5 but the writing is just too wordy and cliché  to give it more than that.

Book has been provided courtesy of Word Alive Press and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available now from your favourite bookseller.   

7 thoughts on “The Lion Cubs by Chrissy M. Dennis ~Book Review

  1. Hi Juanita; about a year and a half ago, I told you that I would send you and your son a free copy of my new book “Safe on Solid Ground” when it comes out. My release date is not yet determined, but it supposed to be sometime within the next couple of months. I would still love to send you a copy. Please send me a copy of your mailing address to my email ( and I will send that off when it comes out 🙂

    • Chrissy, thanks for replying. I’m sorry I didn’t give you a glowing review. I really am. I think I’m just used to a different type of novel and a different type of book all together. However, my 17 year old son…who NEVER reads(I can’t even pay him to read a book) had to do an essay on a Canadian novel. He was stumped. So I gave him your book. He called asking for help with the themes and because he is a slow reader he was having trouble finishing his assignment. So I told him how to skim a book and get through it to complete the task. And then he said, “but, here’s the problem…I’m actually really getting into this book and I WANT to read it all!” WHAT?? I couldn’t believe my ears. So…there you go. Target audience success! My son is reading a book after 8 years of not reading…and it’s YOUR book!! Thank you for that.

      • Hi Juanita. I just came across your post today and was blown away. I literally had tears in my eyes as I read about your son. That made my day and my year. Reading is such a beautiful thing to me and to hear that my novel had a part in getting a teen excited about reading is something I cannot even put into words. That is above and beyond anything I could have ever dreamed for this book, so thank you so much for sharing that. I am currently writing my next novel and I’m hoping for it to be published sometime next year. Because of your honesty and kind words, I would like to send you and your son a free copy of the new book “Safe on Solid Ground” when it comes out. If you can email me your mailing address (at or post on my facebook page (, I will be sure to send that along whenever it gets published.
        Thank you again 🙂
        Chrissy M. Dennis

  2. My friend from Caronport is here visiting this weekend and just recommended this book for me to read! I said, that sounds pretty familiar! She enjoyed it so it will be interesting to see what i think when I get my hands on a copy. Unfortunately the Sask Library system doesn’t have it in their system yet!

    • You might enjoy it. All the other reviews I’ve read have been great. I think maybe because I have teen daughters and I know how they think and write….it just came across as more juvenile than I would have liked. But considering it is written for young adults it’s probably right up their alley!

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