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I wasn’t expecting to love this book, but I did! It is a sweet coming of age story about forgiveness. I loved watching these characters make mistakes and learn from them.
The fact that all of the characters were flawed made this story feel real and true, like it could be happening somewhere in the world. It has a mixture of drama and comicality, which made this a fast paced and easy to read story, even if it dealt with some difficult issues like domestic violence, teen pregnancy, adoption and loss.
It did seem like too much drama for one lifetime, and maybe some of the subplots or main events weren’t necessary, the story had enough material as it was. That definitely is my biggest complaint with this book. It also confused me a bit that the time frames were changing all the time. Like from one chapter to the other several months would’ve passed, but sometimes three or more chapters would take place within the course of days. Finally, I felt that David’s reactions to one particular event, which I cannot comment about without spoilers, were weird. If that happened to me I would’ve been way angrier or frustrated, confused even. Not so happy or willing. I did feel that as time passed he sort of felt the consequences of that decision, like it hit him later, which made up for his hastiness a bit.
Other than that I felt this story was simply beautiful. I tend to avoid Christian fiction at all costs because, even if I’m a Christian myself, I found them to be, more often than not, too preachy and the characters just don’t appeal to me. They are weird. Like being a religious person means you don’t get to be normal. Thankfully this book was an exception, which is one of the main reasons I loved it. The Christian kids were very real and normal, and the book wasn’t preachy at all. It portrayed God as a loving father who accepts us no matter what.
Lucy was very religious but so real. She did normal stuff, felt jealousy and envy at times, made horrible mistakes! Cared about important and silly stuff, like a Normal teenager! I actually felt very close to her, because I used to be just like her! And worried about the same stuff.
But what I loved the most was the message about forgiveness. It is portrayed just as it is: a hard decision we have to make over and over again, but in the end will help lift a huge weight off our shoulders. I also loved that they featured it as the most important Christian value.
I loved David’s journey because we could see him change, but also understood the moments that triggered those changes or growth. It was very organic and progressive.
The narration was good. I enjoyed David Dietz narration a bit more than I did in Halfskin. He wasn’t too loud this time, and I thought I would have trouble hearing the same voice for a different character but I didn’t. I liked how he did David and Grandma, and he had great pacing for his narration. I did feel though, that the female voices were too similar to each other.
Overall, it was a great read, with powerful messages and good narration; and even if it was charged with heavy stuff, it was still a light read. It has great character development and it is impossible not to care for this adorable gang, and David’s grandma. What a women she was.