Sunday, December 22, 2013

Jeri Smith-Ready's "This Side of Salvation" + R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion"

When I heard that this book was going to exist, I felt this burning desire to read it that I can't altogether explain. Maybe it was the cover - I'm such a sucker for a good cover - and this one has a cloudy sky, and I am definitely a sucker for a good cloud picture.

From Goodreads:

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...

I guess for this book I'll state a quick summary of my belief in a higher power. I believe there might be something, but I'm not sure who or what it is. I also believe that extremism never goes anywhere good. There's actually a bit on the discussion of creationists and evolution and it's actually exactly how I feel -

I don't understand why creationists are so offended by evolution. Why can't they just tell themselves God wrote all the laws of science, including evolution, or say that evolution is part of the divine plan?

This book is written the first person POV from David's perspective, with chapters alternating between the past and the present. Like many YA books, this book touches on the fact that sometimes, teens lose their way. But wait, maybe I'm wrong - maybe when you're a teen, you don't really lose your way. Maybe as a teenager you're always just trying to find your way for the first time. Who you are, where your life should go, who you should be. But as you find out in this book, sometimes even grown-ups can lose their way, and need to find a new way. Also, there's even a kitten named after Tod, the grim reaper from Rachel Vincent's "Soul Screamers" series.

I was worried that I might not enjoy this book because of how religion focused it is, but it was original and well written, so it didn't bother me at all. 

But even the sweetest faith can taste sour when it's used as poison.

The hope in his eyes is cautious. He's afraid to believe.

I have a tomorrow, I remind myself. One that's fresh and blank, like a shaken Etch a Sketch.

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