Off the Itinerary: 3: Ablaze

Julie-Allyson Ieron, author/Bible teacher/worship minister



Off the Itinerary: 3: Ablaze


M. Liz Boyle


Independently published


February 25, 2021



This is the third in a trilogy. See my previous review for comments on books 1 and 2: Avalanche and Chased.


We all have at least one person who tries the last nerve of our patience. In this third book of the Off the Itinerary series, teenage narrator Marlee encounters Shelby, a fellow-teen who places herself at odds with a self-conscious Marlee from their initial encounter. Marlee has been hired to lead a wilderness adventure outing under the supervision of Ranger Rose. Guess who gets assigned to Marlee’s small group? Let’s just say the relationship deteriorates quickly.

For her part, Marlee fumbles through this first foray into leadership, with all the self-doubts that go with youth and responsibility. When Marlee’s GORP (containing peanuts) causes a severe allergic reaction in fellow-hiker Anne, Shelby saves the day. Then she seizes the opportunity to make Marlee feel worse.

Add to Marlee’s really bad day misunderstandings with two of her closest friends (including her maybe-boyfriend Marshall), and she’s primed for failure. Until her skill is forced to override her fears as raging wildfire separates her group from the rest of the team. Marlee’s survival training kicks in, and in a heart-pounding scene, she leads her charges (including Shelby) authoritatively along a most illogical path, as they seek refuge from the advancing flames.

I enjoyed encountering Marlee, her sisters, and the Miles boys again. The author found another thrilling adventure for them to populate. Again, adults (particularly parents) play a minor role in the adventure, which is my ongoing concern. Otherwise, I’m glad I got to see this series through. I hope I meet these characters somewhere once again.


Rating (1 to 5):


Suggested Audience:

Teens and tweens with parental discussion

Christian Impact:

Coming of age and expressing mercy and grace to those who are difficult in relationships.

Ablaze (Off the Itinerary Book 3)

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