Sunday, June 29, 2014

Spiritual Misfit

Spiritual Misfit: A Memoir of Uneasy FaithSpiritual Misfit: A Memoir of Uneasy Faith by Michelle DeRusha
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was thoroughly written. If you don't have the patience for laborious, detailed back stories, this probably isn't the book for you. The wordage, the stories told, the humor of the book make this a generalized Christian book for women. Not to say that means it's bad, just not male friendly. After struggling through the first 100 pages (which probably could have been condensed to 20 pages), I really enjoyed the journey the author took to find her belief in God. Her struggles through every day things - rude people at the grocery store or picture perfect playground moms - are things that we have all felt. Where do these things fit into God's plan for us? How does He use these things to mold us into Christians? The answers aren't in this book. This is the answer DeRusha provides, an answer that is probably a proclamation of every Doubting Thomas.

"I've come to realize the opposite should be true: I should not have it all figured out. And if I think I do, I should take that as a red flag because it probably means I have crafted a God of my own design, a God whom I can control. Living the questions and relinquishing control is so much more challenging than fashioning a God who is entirely fathomable and comprehensible. But living the questions is also more real - a truer, more honest approach to discovering and nurturing a relationship with God." (page 216)

Summary: I decided to admit once and for all that I didn’t know what I was doing, what I thought, what I believed, even sometimes if I truly believed. I would tell the truth: I wasn’t like them; I didn’t fit in. I wasn’t a proper Christian. I didn’t have it all together like they did. Why not, I figured? What in the world did I have to lose?

After twenty years of unbelief, estranged from her childhood faith and ultimately from God, Michelle DeRusha unexpectedly found herself wrestling hard with questions of spirituality— and deeply frustrated by the lack of clear answers.

Until she realized that the questions themselves paved a way for faith.

“Declaring my unbelief,” writes DeRusha, “was the first step; declaring my unbelief allowed me to begin to seek authentically.”

Spiritual Misfit chronicles one woman’s journey toward an understanding that belief and doubt can coexist. This poignant and startlingly candid memoir reveals how being honest about our questions, our fears, and our discomfort with black-and-white definitions of faith can move us toward an authentic and a deepening relationship with God.

Recommended Reading:
Girl at the End of the World by Elizabeth Esther
How Jesus Became God by Bart D. Ehrman
The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
Why Science Does Not Disprove God by Amir Aczel
Why Does the World Exist by Jim Holt

Monday, June 2, 2014

Poison Princess

Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles, #1)Poison Princess by Kresley Cole
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I snuck this one in. I read it in less than 24 hours - which hasn't happened in awhile. It is so easy to fall into a Kresley Cole book. If you haven't checked her out yet, DO.IT.NOW.

I had no clue where this book was going, what was going on, and I loved every second of it. The main character was vain and immature (she's barely 16 and believable!), but yet had values that I often find missing in YA novels. Yeah, there's bad language, sex, and drinking in the story, but completely believable.

The hero is moody, and silent, passionate, and... dang... I wish he wasn't 18! Or, you know, fictional.

The second book in the series is out, but I'm stalling on reading it. I'm still enjoying the trip the first book put me on. A big emotional, brainy read-trip. Loved it!

Summary: Sixteen-year-old Evangeline "Evie" Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future—and they're still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux.

With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can't totally depend on Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him?

As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of twenty-two teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it's not always clear who is on which side.

Recommended Reading:
Transforming Pandora by Carolyn Mathews
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies
Death and the Girl Next Door by Darynder Jones