This Side of Salvation {Book Review}


Published: April 1, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Author: Jeri Smith-Ready
Pages: 384
Genres: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary

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 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… – Summary from Goodreads

This was my first Jeri Smith-Ready novel and it will not be my last. This Side of Salvation was an honest look at one family who is preparing for the Rapture. The parents believe what this prophet, Sophia, is telling them. David {our main character} doesn’t believe the Rapture/Rush is coming on a certain date but is willing to sacrifice for his family and plays along. Mara {the older sister} doesn’t believe the Rapture/Rush is coming and doesn’t play along. I’d go into it more but the summary pretty much takes care of what’s up.

I loved this book. I’ll be honest and say that I was nervous of how Christianity would be portrayed. I’m a Christian and feel that sometimes we are misunderstood but this book nailed it for me personally. For example, David’s best friend is gay, his girl friend is an evolutionist and while some of his friends believe in God, others don’t. And you know what? Not one time did Jeri Smith-Ready question anyone’s beliefs or ways. No one shamed David for living a Christian life. No one shunned his best friend for coming out of the closet. No one told Bailey she was wrong. Sure there was a mini-debate in regards to creation vs evolution but it was intelligent and civil. Smith-Ready showed what it’s like to love each other and accept each other for who we are and what we believe. It was so refreshing. The only time David had to defend himself was when he gives everything up for The Rush during his playacting for his family.

Anyway, I recommend this book to anyone who wants a funny read, likeable characters, honesty and a fun little twist in the end. Do it!

Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and The Book Depository.


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