The Yada Yada Prayer Group by Neta Jackson

Title:  The Yada Yada Prayer Group
Author:  Neta Jackson
Release date:  September 1, 2003
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
Pages:  400
Genre:  Christian fiction
Source:  Personal copy

When Jodi Baxter agrees to attend the Chicago Women’s Conference with her acquaintance, Avis Johnson, she doesn’t know what to expect.  What she finds is a group of women, of different nationalities and experiences and backgrounds, who are to form a prayer group during the conference.  And after the weekend is over, these twelve women realize they have more in common than meets the eye and they agree to continue their prayer group through email and monthly meetings at one another’s homes.  Jodi went to the conference thinking she’d have a full weekend experiencing Christ, and once the Yada Yada Prayer Group was born, she suddenly had eleven new sisters in Christ to call her friends.

I purchased this novel at a library book sale about a year ago when I was trying to find Christian fiction books that I’d enjoy (still trying, btw, if you have any recommendations).  I finally got the chance to pick it up, and I’m happy that I did.

What I most enjoyed about Yada Yada is the portrayal of Christian women that the book offers.  So often in real life, I find Christians to be judgmental, hypocritical, and even discriminatory.  Many of my friends and acquaintances are not this way, but as a Christian I have personally encountered it time and time again so I can understand why non-Christians are turned off by the religion.  But the women in Yada Yada are honest people with real flaws but they love God with all their heart and they do their best to live as Christ lived.  And what is so delightful about the novel is that none of these women do this perfectly – in fact, they all slip up in one way or another.  But the effort is there, the love is there, and the way these ladies are with each other and with the world is how I would like to be too (and sometimes I am… but only sometimes).

I also loved that the book is set in Chicago.  Go Chi-town!

Having said all that, I did not love the novel.  I think because there were so many characters, I found it hard to connect with any of them.  And I never emotionally connected with the story, even when I knew I should have, when things got pretty heavy toward the end.  I definitely liked it, and I’m glad I read it, but I just can’t see myself reading six more books exactly like this one (it is a series of seven books, I believe).

So, in conclusion:  great message, okay book.

For those of you familiar with this series – does it get better?  Should I read the second book or just give it a pass?

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19 thoughts on “The Yada Yada Prayer Group by Neta Jackson

  1. Heather, I’ve read all the Yada Yada books. Should you continue? I’m hesitant to say. I really liked them all, but there are a lot of characters. That part doesn’t change. As you read the series, you get to know them better and so they stand out more clearly.

  2. Hi Heather! Neta Jackson here (author of the Yada Yada novels). Thanks for your honest comments! It’s totally up to you if you do or don’t read more in the series, but just to let you know, each book highlights a theme (for example, Book 2 “Gets Down” is about “forgiveness,” Book 3 “Gets Real” is about “redemption,” Book 4 “Gets Tough” is about “spiritual warfare” (including racism), etc. If any of your blog followers want to know more about the books, they can go to our web site (www.daveneta.com) to read a short summary of each novel.

    BUT I’d like to tell you about a new series I’m doing called “The House of Hope.” It’s also a Chicago story, but involves a homeless shelter. All the titles come from a gospel song by Dottie Rambo (“I Go to the Rock”) and are:
    Bk 1–“Where Do I Go?”–available now
    Bk 2–“Who Do I Talk To?”–available now
    Bk 3–“Who Do I Lean On?”–available in June 2010
    Bk 4–“Who Is My Shelter?”–available ??? (still being written!)

    Anyway, thanks for giving the Yada Yada sisters a chance!–Neta

    1. Hi there! Thanks so much for dropping by to say hello! With such a sweet and personalized comment, I’m not sure I can pass on at least trying the second Yada Yada book. 🙂 And I’ll definitely keep my eye out for your other series, it sounds quite interesting. Thanks so much for letting me know about those books.

    2. I have loved your entire series, Yada,Yada Prayer Group as well as the House of Hope Series and I have read your husbands books on Harry Bentley. Just finished the Bk 4. What is next, I can’t wait, I don’t want these stories to end. They have been such an inspiration and encouragement. I belong to a small prayer group and we have truly enjoyed your series. Don’t stop. What is next??

  3. I really loved this series when I read it, but of course it’s been awhile. I did and do appreciate the diversity and I remember learning new ideas through them. But I know feelings about them are pretty split. 🙂

  4. I really enjoyed all the books in the Yada Yada series, but I don’t see much of a change as the book progresses in terms of the number of characters, and a couple more actually are added if I remember correctly. But as the series moves forward, it’s easier to keep track of them all. And I kept reading because I felt that the characters were real, and I identified a lot with Jodi. Sometimes the events that occurred to bring the women together seemed a little dramatic and over-the-top (like what can go wrong, will go wrong) but they were realistic overall and there was a great message behind it all.

  5. I started reading the Yada Yada books a couple of months ago on a whim, I picked one up at a second hand book store because the cover was cute and I was in a hurry…I’m addicted! I’m getting ready to read book 6 and I get so involved in the books that I can’t wait to read them! They get better and better with each book! I definitely suggest reading on!

  6. I started reading the Yada Yada series soon after it came out– which means I had to wait to read the next one like some people wait for a new TV season to start each fall/spring!

    The House of Hope series, and the parallel novels tend to arrive at our house and get read in about 48 hours (all housework stops dead in it’s tracks!) I’d suggest reading on; the more you invest in the characters, the more you will enjoy them– and miss them when Neta moves onto writing the second series! 😉

  7. I LOVED the Yada Yada series. I read all 7 from the library but plan to buy the “Party editions”. Actually I found this website as I am looking for a site to purchase the series. I have read all the “House of Hope” series that are out, and can hardly wait until next March for the next one. I am also going to purchase the ones written by Neta and her husband (they go along with the Yada Yada series but are about the men). This is how much I loved the series. I fell in love with all the characters and like most of you, I relate to Jodi. Happy reading.

  8. WOW What a series of books I have started the House of Hope ones now.Have read # one I had never heard of you and I was looking at my local library and they did not have what I wanted,there on a table was book one Yada Yada Prayer group with the feet with the different socks. I said WoW that looks like our Lady’s group from church. we started about three years ago waring the holiday socks for all the different holidays place our feet in a circle and takeing a picture. well your book I am sure was placed there by God or an Angel I feel like I am part of the group and others in our church lady’s group are reading or have read them. Praise God wonderful books.

  9. Is there book 7 in the Yada Yada series? If so, the name?

    i LOVE the books as does my daughter and my 87 yr. old Mom.

  10. Read them!!! I am on book three and feel like i really know these woman in the books! They are amazing books and i haven’t read anything this fast since the twilight series!

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