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Sunday, March 23, 2014

25) This Side of Salvation by Jeri Smith-Ready

The Blurb :

Everyone mourns differently. When his older brother was killed, David got angry. As in, fist-meets-someone-else’s-face furious. But his parents? They got religious. David’s still figuring out his relationship with a higher power, but there’s one thing he does know for sure: The closer he gets to new-girl Bailey, the better, brighter, happier, more he feels.

Then his parents start cutting all their worldly ties in to prepare for the Rush, the divine moment when the faithful will be whisked off to Heaven…and they want David to do the same. David’s torn. There’s a big difference between living in the moment and giving up his best friend, varsity baseball, and Bailey—especially Bailey—in hope of salvation.

But when he comes home late from prom, and late for the Rush, to find that his parents have vanished, David is in more trouble than he ever could have imagined...

My Thoughts :

I have had This Side of Salvation on my reading pile for a while.  Despite getting an early copy I wanted to leave it till the release date was getting closer because it isn't nice on you guys if I post a review about it months in advance.  With the book coming out in the next couple of weeks I decided to start on it, thinking it would take me a few days but in reality it only took me one day to read this extraordinary story.

First let me start by saying I love this author.  I have read all of her books and enjoyed them immensely so I was sure that this book would be no different.  However there was a huge difference.   This is paranormal or fantasy.  This is a Young Adult story about dealing with loss, grief and how religion can be twisted to suit any means.  The story was also about the general woes, fears and joys of being a teenager.

There was a lot to like about this book and the way it was written was one of the things that struck me.  The story told from a male perspective which is interesting coming from a female author.  It would have been much easier to tell the story through Mara's eyes but instead it is the brother David that gets to hold the reins.  The now and then style chapters make the story even more interesting.  Finding out snippets of information that lead up to the now and how they have an effect on everything was so compelling that I found it hard to put the book down.

David was a lovely character to get to know and his problems with his parents, sisters, friends and general life was sometimes hard to read and understand but eye-opening and inspiring.  The romance that blossoms between him and Bailey makes for wonderful reading and evoked memories of my own experiences.  The story all in all was original and different and hard to explain.  This is one you have to read to believe.

This may not, in my opinion, be the best book that this author has written but it is still an amazing piece of work that many will enjoy.  It makes you think, it lets you stand back and see something from a new perspective and it also questions lots of aspects of life, love and religion that you may not of thought of before.  Well worth checking out and maybe one for that young reader in your life.

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