I listened to this book on audio and it was intense!
The book is divided into two parts. One part is set in the 1960’s and the second part is set in the late 1990’s. The book is about a young girl who goes missing in the cold countryside of Scardale in England and the investigation afterwards. The second part of the book is set 30 years later and is about a journalist trying to write a book of what all transpired there. I had no idea what was going on until the very end and I loved every minute of it!
The book is a crime novel and does explain several heinous crimes that exposes the darkness and how evil man can be, but thankfully where it could have been more explicit, it left to the imagination. It still got a bit uncomfortable to read at times. My mind aches to know that these kinds of crimes happen all the time, and now even more with the internet.
As a Christian, I understand that these kinds of books are not for all of us, but this is our world and it is broken. People are depraved and need the saving grace of God. When we opened our home to foster care and then later adoption, my biological children were exposed to this darkness. They now knew things that they would not have known had we not fostered. “Where is their mom and dad?” my 8 year old asked, and the truth shocked her. Never could she have imagined a mom neglecting her children, or a dad in prison because of drugs. Not all parents are nurturing, not all sex is good, not all people are nice. It is not right and we know that, and we will do all we can and fight to be the light in the world until He comes, or we go home. These kinds of books unfold the dark world we live in and helps us safely see the consequences of sin. They bring me to pray, to be observant, to be aware and to be thankful.
I would only allow my adult children to read this book due to the sexual crimes explained in the book and some language.
I recommend this book to anyone who likes dark crime novels and mysteries. You can buy the book here.
I recently found out that there is a TV series based on the book, and I think I may watch it soon. You can watch it with an ACORN TV subscription here.
I gave this book 5 stars out of 5 on my Goodreads.
This is the second biography that I have read that was written by Eric Metaxas. The first one being on Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Reading about the life of William Wilberforce has changed me. There is no way it couldn’t. What this man did with the time God gave him on this earth is just short of miraculous. His convictions changed a whole culture and catapulted British society into an age of providing human dignity for the poor, the less fortunate and of course, the slave. There were so many involved in his life-long campaign to end slavery and I hope I get the opportunity to read up on all of them.
Mr. Metaxas has a beautiful way of revealing the intangible life of Wilberforce but at the same time bringing him down to a level where I can almost touch him. It is an encouraging book of a man who just lived out his faith. Like the biography of Hannah More, these Believers just experienced their faith. They were not side liners or bench warmers, they truly believed what God’s Word says and did it. I couldn’t help but think of my life and what exactly am I experiencing in my faith. What kind of Christianity am I living out?
Wilberforce had long walks with God and brought along his Bible to read. He went against British society and regarded all men to be image bearers and worthy of dignity. He went against the mold and fought against animal cruelty. He thought all children – including poor ones – should be educated and taught to read, write and math. He believed that Christianity was not just nominal, but a way of life that transformed character and changed desires. He spoke up for the weak, the oppressed, the voiceless and the destitute. What a man! In his life time he was part of abolishing the slave trade, enacting laws against animal cruelty, and bringing about the emancipation of the slaves. He also endeavored to encourage Christians to act out their faith and brought about reform in this area. He gave a wealth to different charities and ministries. And as his life came close to an end, he only regretted not being able to do more!
I highly recommend this book to all Believers. It is my hope that it encourages you to live your life fully for our Lord. To be anxious for nothing and love those God has placed in your life. To fear nothing, and fight the good fight that is so many times against our selves. To live on purpose and with focus on the Kingdom and His people. I believe I spend too much time scrolling on my phone when there is really so much to do. May God grant me the ability to be aware that my time here is but a vapor, and that I may be His vessel to be used as He wishes!
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher is a book about a teenager who commits suicide. Her name is Hannah. Before her death, she makes these tapes outing all those whom she blames for causing her to commit suicide. She mails out the tapes to the first person she blames and kills herself soon afterwards by taking pills. The story is told between Hannah and Clay – one of the persons on the tapes.
I truly wanted this book to help me delve into the minds of teens. I have 3 teenagers myself and was hoping for some insight. The whole time I was reading this I was thinking that Hannah was everything I hope my daughters never become. She is shallow, a bully, and a hypocrite. And in the end, I saw her death more as a tantrum than a virtuous cause. The summation of all the reasons she gave to justify her suicide didn’t add up for me.
Reason 1: Hannah and Clay place the blame on a rational counselor. All the adults in Hannah’s life were in the backdrop and those that were actually good to her, she deems as unimportant. If she would have focused on building those relationships instead of seeing just how awful the other ones are, this would be a different story.
Reason 2: Hannah acts as if all her problems started with her first kiss. Hannah, you had problems before that, we all do.
Reason 3: Hannah has low self-esteem when she knows she’s pretty! UGH! False low self-esteem is so unbecoming of a young lady. You know those girls who put selfies up and then bait people by saying something like: “I know no thinks I’m pretty but that’s okay”.
Reason 4: Hannah goes SEVERAL TIMES to sleazy parties where people are getting drunk, high and having teen sex AND she expects to be treated like a lady by horny teenage boys. Her contempt is laughable.
Reason 5: She knows the guy could be bad news, but hopes for the best. Her judgement is lacking, and that’s fine an all, but goodness me blame yourself a little for being such an idiot!
Reason 6: The virtue signaling is strong with this one!
Reason 7: Hannah makes fun of people’s looks and judges their outer appearance throughout the whole book. I honestly don’t mind it except for the fact that one of the flipping reasons she kills herself is because people make fun of her!
Reason 8: You throw fits when someone doesn’t notice your haircut or when you are not complimented. Did I tell you she’s shallow?
Reason 9: She constantly places herself in situations where there is so much potential for emotional pain. True other people can be stupid, but you can’t totally blame others when you participate in the stupidity itself! For example, for Valentine’s day a survey is done for a potential Valentine. It’s a fundraiser. The survey then matches you to other people. It’s like a dating game. You get 5 names and their phone numbers. In my mind I was hoping she wouldn’t participate because Hannah is so sensitive, but of course she does and ends up being stood up by her date. He later shows up though an inflicts more emotional pain to her. Again, you know it’s stupid. And boys are stupid! And you’re stupid.
Reason 10: Teenage dating is so annoying. This is why I forbid my children to date in high school. I rather have me be the reason why they are pissed and crying, than have it be a teenaged idiot! They’re going to end up pissed and crying anyways, might as well be me. I come with a lot less baggage.
Reason 11: She hates those who didn’t protect her from the advances of others. I get that, but she herself failed to protect a girl that was getting raped! Can you be anymore of a hypocrite Hannah! A guy tries to kiss you and you feel trapped. He doesn’t get to kiss you because you push him off and he leaves angry. Another guy who saw this happen doesn’t come to your aid. And you add BOTH these boys to your list. BUT THEN, a girl is left on a bed drunk asleep at one of those sleazy parties you like going to, and as you hide in the closet and see her get raped, YOU DO NOTHING. There was no potential danger to you at all. And I would understand if you were too scared to stop it. But my understanding goes out the window when you blame others for being too scared to have stopped what happens to you.
Reason 12: You actually had a nice guy and nice friends. You say this towards the end of the book. Why didn’t you hang out with them more. Why didn’t you build on those relationships. Instead you knowingly cultivate relationships with toxic people, hoping for the best. Don’t blame others for your decisions. You actively sought out the scum of that school, and now are upset because you feel dirty.
Reason 13: You passive-aggresively tell the drunk-passed-out girl she was raped! Not in person, not the day after! But on the tapes when you are dead! This girl didnt know what had happened to her because of her state of mind, so you decide to tell her this way, and for others to know about it! What a jerk! Now she has no way of preserving any physical evidence of what happened to her!
There were so many more reasons, but I chose to do 13 for poetic effect.
I hope my daughters never act like Hannah, and if they do, I hope they are woman enough to face the consequences of their decisions. Hannah played the victim in her life and blamed others for how she felt. This book is awful and it saddens me that there are so many teens reading this mess. There is a NETFLIX series based on this book and I am afraid of watching it because if it is anything like this book, these girls we love are doomed. From what I hear these kids are eating this stuff up like candy!
There were several instances where Hannah could have corrected what was done to her, but she chose not to. She was sanctimoniously so brave on those tapes though! But when actual wrongs were done to her, no one owned up the consequences because she refused to do anything about it. And I get confrontation is difficult, but people – especially teenagers – cannot read your mind. And blaming them posthumously is not fair at all.
I can’t help but wonder if this is what post-feminism has cultivated into our girls. You can act and be however you want, and in the end, its everyone else’s fault how they treat you. May it not be so for the young women God has placed in my life. Our actions and desires have consequences. We must renew our mind and remember that our worth does not come from what the world says about us or what we say about ourselves, but what God says about us. That we are NOTHING if we don’t have Him. How’s that for self-esteem? That is what I teach my girls. So when Satan tempts them to despair about their looks, or their intelligence or their worth. So when Satan manipulates their minds. So when their negative feelings are so strong that they become real to them. THEY DO NOT LOOK TO THEMSELVES, but to CHRIST who has made them worthy, not because of what they do or think, but because of what He did for them.
I know that suicide in young people is a real thing. Most people who do commit suicide though have struggled with mental disorders for years. Others have faced such trauma that they see no other way out of their pain. This is why Hannah’s 13 reasons seem just so shallow to me. Hannah was not healthy or a typical teenager if these are the reasons she killed herself. And that’s my fear when these kids read this mess. Not one time was there a hint of a mental disorder she was battling, and that’s the danger of this false narrative. Hannah was not normal. She was not typical and I fear a lot of girls will identify some of themselves in her or make her out to be some heroine. If Hannah did not have a mental disorder, she is NOT a heroine or a champion for the oppressed. If she did, the author should have inserted a snippet of that part of her life, but I think the author intentionally made Hannah to be a normal kid. What an awful thing to do Mr. Asher since over 90% of people who do kill themselves have been diagnosed with a mental disorder and the others were due to major emotional trauma – like a sudden death in the family, an exposed dark secret or financial ruin.
I do not recommend this book unless you want to use it for kindling.
After the disappointment that was The Boy, it was nice to read this detective/thriller novel.
Nine Elms is a book about the disgraced Kate Marshall. As a young police officer, Kate has the drive and ambition to climb the professional ladder at her workplace, but soon that changes after a life altering affair. Now, 15 years later, she must face the demons of her past again.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The first couple of chapters gripped me and then never let go. The characters are very well developed. The story is a bit dark and gritty, but if you are a fan of Karin Slaughter, you will love this book. The book does have cuss words and gory scenes. The villains in the book are sick and depraved and Mr. Bryndza does a superb job in capturing their twisted nature. The book’s darkness also encompasses sex and this adds another layer of just how degenerate the villains are. There is also cannibalism involved. Did I mention the book is dark?
As a Christian, I am not oblivious to the depravity of the human heart and mind. Verse after verse speaks about how quickly and naturally we resort to evil behavior. Without God, there is no hope for us. This is what I get from reading books like this. It provides a window into the world that, if I am not careful, can become invisible in my sweet little Christian life. I was depraved, but God saved me. I heard the call and I became a child of God. There is no hope besides Him. The world, in all its darkness, needs the light. I appreciate authors that lead us into these black hearts and minds. It gives Christians more to be Christians with. Here is a great article that makes the case for the need for Christians to read works of fiction.
I am looking forward to the second book featuring Kate Marshall in “Shadow Sands.” This book is set to hit shelves in the U.S. in November.
I remember her name vaguely. She was somebody important during the time when William Wilberforce was fighting for the abolition of the slave trade. That is all I knew of her and I wanted to know more. I help manage a crisis pregnancy clinic, and it is my belief that abortion doctors and clinics are our modern day slaver traders. The people affected by slavery were voiceless, abused, powerless and mistreated. They were seen as less than human and their dignity was not a God-given right, but one exploited by shameless people. The life of a slave was based on the convenience it brought, never on their potential or individuality. They were just hunks of flesh to be used at the pleasure of others and it was wrong. It was Christian abolitionist who lead the charge for the slaves’ freedom and their persistence and passion is admirable. I know that the more I read on these abolitionists, the more I can learn about leading a cause now to end the murder of those who are also voiceless, powerless and mistreated. I too want to be an abolitionist.
Goodreads recommended this book to me. Oh, I love Goodreads, and if you don’t have it and are an avid reader, get it. The book I read is called Fierce Convictions and it is written by Karen Swallow Prior.
Christianity in England during the 1700’s was a lot like it is now is the United States, it was nominal. Everyone was a Christian, and so was Hannah. It wasn’t until later in her life that she realized she had to experience her Christianity, in other words, she had to live out her faith, and when she decided to just do that, her actions and obedienced changed the world. Hannah More is known for not only being a slave abolitionist. She was also a writer and poet and she, along with her sisters helped cultivate a society that saw the importance in educating all children regardless of social status. Schools were not free then, and she helped champion the cause to teach all children mathematics, geography, reading and writing. Many of her contemporaries looked down on this because they saw no use in educating the poor. I was delightfully surprised also that she was so progressive that she even advocated against animal cruelty. She, along with William Wilberforce, help set up laws that made it against the law to abuse animals. She makes a great point on treating all life with dignity, including animals, the poor and slaves. These social stands were extremely liberal at the time. She made it clear in the tracts she distributed to be “religiously and politically conservative, but socially liberal.” Besides all these extraordinary causes for her time, she also believed that women should not focus so much on dainty hobbies that were done just to pass the time, but actual rigorous learning! This is what Prior wrote: More argued for a rigorous education for women. One that would illicit truth, foster precision in thinking and cultivate an exact mind. Female education should bring the imagination under dominion and lead women to think, to compare, to combine, to methodize. It should confer such a power of discrimination that the student shall learn to reject what was dazzling if it be not solid, and to prefer not what is striking or bright or new, but what is just.
More also saw the importance of mixing social inequalities with politics. Her and William Wilberforce – a member of parliament – became very close friends. Wilberforce treated her as an equal and many times they spent hours conversing about political and social matters. Wilberforce wrote to her saying: “That in parlimentary measures of importance more is to be done out of the house than in it. In other words, changing the minds of parliament would require changing the mind of the nation.” What true words!
More used her writing and social skills to help others see the sheer inhumanity of the slave trade. Wilberforce used his eloquence in speaking to help his peers to see and then vote his way. Both forces, united, as one is what changed their country for the better.
I read about these two pillars of our faith and tried to learn from them. They were extraordinary Christians that changed their world through media (newspapers, books, tracts, pamphlets, drawings) and politics (voting, town hall meetings, friends in parliament, law making). A lot of times, I want to move away from politics. I want to just live my little Christian life and leave to Ceasar what is his. But like 1700’s Britain had some atrocious laws, so does the present United States. And unlike Hannah, I can vote for these changes, not just speak about them. I want to type out a testimony of a witness that was taken to a slaver traders post. This testimony was given in parliament in 1790 for the abolition of the slave trade. Here it is:
“The witness was taken to a small gathering of slave traders about to put an infant to death. I asked him why they were murdering it, and they answered ‘Because it was of no value.’ I told them, ‘if that’s the case, I hope they made me a present of it.’ They answered that if I had any use for the child then it was worth money. I first offered them some knives, but that would not do. They however sold the child to me for a mug of brandy. It proved to be that of a woman whom the captain of our ship had purchased that very morning. We carried it on board and judged of the mother’s joy when she saw her own child put on board the same ship – her child, whom she concluded was murdered. She fell on her knees and kissed my feet.”
The words “because it was of no value” rung in my head. I stopped what I was doing and just repeated those words in my mind. What is the value of a “useless” infant? Unfortunately, in our society, the answer is relative if the baby happens to be in utero. Foster kids, orphans, babies born alive after a botched abortion, poor kids, don’t we all put a value on them. Some maybe worth more than others? Put action to your passion, don’t just let it fester and dissipate.
I admire Hannah More, she never stopped using her God-given talents to bring about justice and kindness to those who bore God’s image. She says this: “It is part of Christianity to convert every natural talent to a religious use.” This is so true. What are your talents, and are you using those talents to glorify your Savior by beings His hands and feet here on earth? Read Matthew 25.
Hannah More died an old lady with hands upraised to her Lord. She wrote 11 books after the age of 60 and three weeks before her death, the slave trade was abolished! There is much for us to do in our world and it is time that we move from the sidelines and experience our Christianity.
I recommend Fierce Convictions to all Christians, especially women. Stop reading those darn Amish romances and get into these kinds of books. You can buy the book here. I listened to this book on audible, and you can get that here.
I had heard a little of Jan Hus and much less of Ulrich Swingli and I needed to fix this in my life. This book was less than $3 on audible and I wish I would have spent more money on a better book. The book was okay, but was a bit dry.
I was surprised to read about just how secular they both were. It’s funny how in my mind these men were always holy and didn’t struggle with the sins of “normal” men and women. Zwingli struggled with sexual temptations and had a mistress for a while and Hus wrestled with vanity and materialism. Both these men relied on the grace of God and both these men paid the ultimate price for their convictions. Hus paved the way with his burned flesh for voices like Luther, Knox and Calvin who came a century and a half later and Zwingli is considered the 3rd most important influencer of the Reformation.
It is important for us Believers to read about men like Hus and Zwingli. It helps us revere and appreciate the Bibles we have in our home. It helps us put into perspective the flightiness of my convictions. What am I willing to die for? What is so important to me that it changes the way I live? These books make us reflect on these serious questions.
I often wonder what would I do in the face of martyrdom. Would I stir or negotiate? Would I be betray my conscience and my God? I do not know. These men had their faults, just as I do. These men struggled and wrestled with their faith. Just as I do. But they finished strong, in the faith and trail blazed a path for all of us to comfortably walk in sound doctrine. They are an inspiration, and it is my hope that you read more of these men who changed the world.
Last night I finished “The Toll” by Neal Shusterman – the third and last book in the Arc of the Scythe series.
I first started this series when Goodreads recommended Scythe back in the beginning of this year. Little did I know how fun and thought-provoking this series would be. The first book (Scythe) was incredible, the second book (Thunderhead) superseded the first one by miles, but unfortunately, the third book (The Toll) fell short for me. I don’t want to spoil any of the books, but the social justice warrior was strong in the third one and there were several times that this agenda was so forced down my gullet that I wanted to throw up. I get that not everyone is going to share my point of view on things, but Shusterman’s obvious bias against Christians, gender and weapons was evident ad nauseum. It wasn’t even subtle.
This doesn’t take away from the story line. It was good, the ending was well done. What happened to the villain was satisfyingly different. The main characters Rowan and Citra were deep and well thought out. Citra, did get on my nerves a little towards the end though.
My teenage son loves this series and is still finishing up the third book. I really want to hear his take on it.
If you love dystopians, this is a very rewarding book series. There is so much in it that makes you think about absolutes, about Deity and about what the purpose of life really is. The books are delightfully provocative, but the last one really made up your mind for you. Don’t mind-screw me, and I felt that is what The Toll tried to do.
If you are interested in this series, you can buy it here. This last book was 627 pages long.
I read another self help book – so help me! That is 2 for this year! I will not read another again! Most likely. This one is by Jordan Peterson. Like all self-help books, it has a lot of really good ideas and I will share with you some of the ones I can remember from the top of my head in just a moment. But first I want to say that all of these kinds of books are just things these authors have unintentionally and sometimes intentionally borrowed from Scripture. And that which isn’t borrowed from Scripture is self-exalting and places a huge burden on your own volition and will instead of drawing strength from an outside, eternal, non-crazy source, like GOD!
In regards to the book, Jordan Peterson does do a good job in pointing out obvious things adults should be doing. Like cleaning after themselves, taking their pills, owning their mistakes. He also has a good section on handling suffering and anxiety, Although, Mr. Peterson does make a good case for believing in God or acting as if there is a god to those who don’t believe, he is not a good theologian. He draws upon the words of Scripture as one would draw from Aesop’s moral stories. He quotes many good practices from many religions and makes a case for getting our morality from a “higher” source. This is what most frustrated me from the book. Why is a Buddhist or a Muslim moral or even an atheist? It is because there is a benefit to that morality – less pain, better spiritual standing with your deity, better quality of life, etc. So when he includes Christianity as a good thing because of the benefits or less consequences or more peace etc, he destroys the Gospel and the true meaning of being a Christian. Yes, we strive for obedience, but not because it is beneficial (although, we will take those crumbs!) but because we have Him already! We have assurance and a hope that transcends this life, so we live like it! Its an overflow of our reality, not a behavioral checklist to get something or win approval.
These are somethings I remember from this book:
1. If you are going to be anxious (i.e. sin), set an allotted time to be anxious and to worry. Yes, you wont gain anything, but make a list during that time of what you can do. Worry for that allotted time and then stop worrying. This prevents you from worrying at night before going to bed and losing sleep because you have already worried during the day. (I’m not a big worrier, but this sounded reasonable)
2. Take your darn pills. Although, he uses the other word, I really liked this. I struggle taking my medicine. For no reason. I just don’t take them. I forget and doing that can cause havoc in my body. In his book, he just plainly states to take them. Americans are the worst in taking their medicine and there is absolutely no reason not to. So whenever I get the thought that I will just take my medicine later, I can hear Mr. Peterson’s words clear, “just take your da*n pills!”. So I do. Simple right?
3. Before you try and clean up the mess of others, clean your own room! In all senses! A good quote, very Biblical.
4. Men and women are different. Women love strong men and men like pretty women. In other words, men should not be afraid to toughen up, to explore and stop whining. And women, should not be afraid to be homemakers, take care of themselves and be sweet.
5. Have one foot in “order” and another in “chaos”. Do not be a complete organizational dictator and also leave room for spontaneity and adventure. The balance of these two is what makes life fun.
6. If you don’t like your children sometimes, others don’t either. Guide your kids to be likeable, it is not fair to them to allow them to act like monsters. Other people will hate them because of their behavior and it is your fault for letting them get away with it. Not acting like a monster will help them make friends and will win praise from adults. This will make them feel awesome about themselves
There were other things in there that were good, but these are just what I could remember at this moment. I think I am going to not recommend this book though because it is just another self-help book and as Christians, there are so many other sources to help in our walk.
If you are needing help in any area of your life, I do want to recommend Rick Thomas’ website. He has a limitless collection of great articles to help you in any area in your life. All of which are Christ-centered and Gospel-soaked!
In my reading challenge, it was suggested to read a book targeted towards the opposite gender. I looked on line and googled “top ten books for men” and conquering the world, excelling in the work place, and how to be a great leader and have people adore me wasn’t at all interesting to me, so I decided to broaden my search. Towards the end of some other google searches I did see Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”. I also noticed that it is a rather short book and this sealed the deal for me. I read it in about an hour and I did find it a bit interesting and, oddly, very applicable to my life!
My husband had to read this book while he was at West Point and one night I decided to share with him what I thought of the book. He was walking about the house and I approached him and told him that I had just read Sun Tzu’s “Art of War”. Like never, he was interested in what I had to say. I shared with him about how nurturing and caring, but firm these generals had to be towards their soldiers and how that benefited the outcome of war and morale. I shared how knowing the strengths and weakness of not only your opponent but also yourself was imperative in success. Finances and budgeting were essential considerations in war and that there was so much pain and hurt that could be prevented if steps were taken before any actual fighting had to take place. I told him that I could really apply a lot of this wisdom to our family and ministries. I went on and on about war strategy and planning. About how courage is most contagious when we are not afraid of death. How to chose and pick fights and discerning what is worth fighting for is key to success in battle. And he listened to every bit and at the end of it all, all he could say was “I love you so much” LOL Was that a tear I saw? Just kidding. But he was struck by my interest in something he is also interested in, and I am grateful that I did stretch my reading genre quiet a bit and learned some things.
This is how I felt after talking battle strategy regarding our 6 kids:
Here are some quotes from the book I found I could use when dealing with my kids, my home and spiritual warfare. You can easily apply these to most life situations!
“He who makes light of his opponents, he is sure to be captured by them.”
“If soldiers are punished before they have grown attached to you, they will not prove submissive and if submissive, will be practically useless. And if soldiers have grown attached to you and are not punished, they will still be useless.”
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.
In the midst of chaos, there is opportunity.
There is no instance from a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare.
I recommend this book to young men or to women who have husbands who are or where in the military or police force. Then I advise you to talk to them about it. They will see you with different eyes and love you at a different level, trust me.
I realize that this is a very popular book especially among women my age, so I did hesitate for a moment about writing this review – but only for a moment.
Overall the book is another self-help book sprinkled with Scripture and some Christianese. Mrs. Hollis is an excellent writer and listening to her read her own book, I can tell she is a great motivator and speaker. There are some things I did get from the book that were helpful, but her slaughter of Scripture left me wanting to throw the book across the room. I didn’t, only because I got the book on audible and would have probably shattered my phone.
In her book, she does provide little small things you can do to start changing bad habits or traits. She has done very well for herself and has a huge following and it is good to take advice from people who have been so successful. She lets the reader know her thought process and provides tidbits of advice and counsel that are helpful. She is also very vivacious and humorous. The book was funny at times, and that made it easier to listen to. She is also very open about her struggles, but I believe this can also lead to a false sense of entitlement or authority. Just because someone is open about their suffering, doesn’t mean they have the authority to tell others how to feel about pain. It can definitely make them more empathetic, but not wiser. So my advice – Girl, you’re a fool and so am I!
Also, Mrs. Hollis unfortunately is not a good theologian. She is your typical American Christian – my way and Jesus on the side. I wouldn’t say this is a religious book, but she does mention her faith and how it helps her in her life often. If I remember correctly, every verse she uses, she uses out of context. She even wrote Philippians 4:13 on her arm as encouragement when she ran her marathon. Ugh! So my advice – Girl, read your Bible!
She also oozes with white guilt. I can’t stand that! There is nothing wrong with being white! Say it with me my white friends “There is nothing wrong with being white!” She mentions in her book how she left her all white church to go to a multi-ethnic church so her children could be exposed to differences. Would she have encouraged me to leave my all Hispanic church in Texas? Or what about a black mom, would she encourage her to leaver her all-black church? I don’t know, but I think she wouldn’t have. Here is where she gets it so wrong. She paints a picture of having friends off all colors and cultures and religions – and that is a good thing! – but she erroneously says that is how Heaven will be. Sorry, but not sorry, there wont be any Muslims in Heaven or Buddhist or unbelievers. Yes, there will be people of all tongues and tribes, but all of them will be believers and covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. She does address a problem in the church – we self-segregate. But this isn’t a white problem. It is a human problem. Growing up in El Paso, Texas my church’s name was Primera Iglesia Bautista Mexicana. In case you didn’t catch that, it translates to: First MEXICAN Baptist Church. We even excluded Hispanics belonging to other countries! So my advice – Girl, grow where you’re planted and you don’t need a tan!
She also drinks way too much. She admits she drank alcohol to relieve stress and that that wasn’t a good thing, but several times she mentions where she met her best friend at happy hour, where she drinks some wine here or drinks with her friends. It’s just not me. I drink, very occasionally, but for someone who admits they had a problem, I was just a bit concerned at the way she nonchalantly mentions these moments. My advice – Girl, find a happy hour with Jesus.
The book ends up being very human-centered just like all self-help books, especially towards the end. She talks about stepping out and meeting new people not like you, which basically is the Great Commission of every Christian, but she dangerously says you do not need a hero because you are the hero. You do need a hero, I do. we do. She does talk about God giving you strength, but that in the end, it is up to you to really change. I beg to differ, I only change because of what God does in me. I fail me. My strength fails me. My motives are tainted. My soul is depraved. My ambitions are marred. All throughout Scripture, there is a constant reminder that I am not the hero, but the one who needs rescuing. My advice – Girl, get rescued!
I do not recommend this book, but if you are a woman who may need a quick pick-me up or just some temporary motivation – this book will provide that. She did motivate me to set goals, to dream and to stop lying to myself. I do that all the time on my own -thanks to Christian friends and THE BIBLE AND JESUS! -, but it was nice for someone else to tell me, and like I said before, she does give some good advice. SOME. I do not recommend this book to white women because she will make you feel bad about your whiteness, and that’s something you can’t do anything about. Most of my friends are white and I don’t want that kind of negativity in their lives. I’m watching out for you my sister! 🙂
Basically she is the next Joyce Meyer. If you like her, you will like Rachel Hollis.