Last week I stole as many moments as I could entranced in this book’s tale. Those who know me would know I don’t often do that unless the book has got me hooked in a very big way and I eagerly want to know how the story ends.
You know they say “you could be whoever you want to be or go wherever you want to go, through the pages of a book.” That’s why my heart desires to be a writer, a perfect occupation for a big dreamer such as myself. However sometimes those words don’t always ring true for me, sometimes a book is just a book and fiction is just that, fiction.
Not this time, this time it felt real. I identified with what each character was feeling and experiencing. I felt a part of the journey, like this story was playing out in front my face. Just like the boy Bastian Bux from “The NeverEnding Story” following the boy warrior Atreyu’s expedition through Fantasia to find a cure for the childlike Empress’s illness. I love when a book comes alive like that for me. It is completely satisfying.
I think the imagery of emotions and situations these characters experienced are so clearly defined that they just burst with passion. I felt their heart beat, their anger, confusion, curiosity, disappointment, joy, worry, desires, hope, hopelessness and more. I wanted to scream when they screamed; I wanted to hug them when they felt sad, confused and alone; I wanted to wipe the tears off their face; eat lunch with them; be their friend; help them find their answers; walk with them the way God walks with us; and in some ways I feel as though I did do these things.
This book carries a really powerful message about how a little love and compassion goes a long way. At what point did human beings become so self-involved that we make others feel so invisible and unworthy of our love and kindness. We teach our children to be this way, to only concern ourselves with the bubble we live in and our own circle of family and friends, that money, power and popularity are the most important things, but God did not create us to live this way.
This book asks the age-old question “what do I want my life to be about?” I have been asking myself that for years. This story is captivating and impactful without being preachy. It captures the true essence of today’s American youth; and the hardship and pressure young people experience, especially when trying to defy the “norm.” Trying to find themselves, sometimes even going against what their parent’s desire for their lives and doing what feels right in their in heart.
Initially my hope was to see the movie first with my youth group, and then we would follow up with the 7 week youth curriculum, however, the nearest theater screening to us was about 30 miles away. So the youth leader and I decided to wait until it comes out on DVD, however, we had already order the curriculum, which included the novel in the package.
At first, I was a little disappointed we didn’t get to see the movie upon its release, but now I am so glad that I got to read the book first and I won’t get to see the movie too soon in the future. This book was an incredible journey for me, a journey I know the movie could not measure up to and the fact that I have to wait a while to see it on DVD means the book won’t be completely fresh in my mind, so I’ll still get to enjoy the movie in a whole new light. I am looking forward to seeing this film when the time comes.
So if you have a teen at home who may be experiencing spiritual warfare this book would be like a cuddly teddy bear comforting and safe. There is a lot of characters to relate to in this book, they’ll realize they are not as alien as they thought they were, feeling what they are feeling, they will feel the warmth of God’s love embracing them as they journey through these pages. There is just one requirement to whoever reads this book; open your heart, let the words flow through, warming you, calming you, inspiring you to love yourself for who you are, to pursue God and love others as God loves all HIS children.
I give this book an A+. Especially for teen and young adult readers.