develops an affinity for The Book of Job and the way it parallels her life.
She also discovers a side of her handsome, young physical therapist, Ty Townsend, she can't resist.
When things begin to escalate with bullies and racism at school, her estranged mother appears which only makes matters worse. Somehow she must find the strength to overcome these adversities and win at not only love and life, but in the ring.
Reviewer: Mary Hosmar
This story had me right from the beginning. Meg Barnes goes from a black belt Tae Kwon Do instructor totally in control of her body, and life, to a paraplegic with minimal control of either her body or her life.
Told in the first person, the story rings true. Set against the backdrop of Tae Kwon Do, Lira Brannon has written a novel to which many teens, and adults, can relate. Which teen has not been angry with God and the world and alienated from friends? Add to that, among other things, frustrated parents, bullying school mates, loss of control, racism, a physical therapist to die for, and a sweet stepmother, and you have a story to captivate any age group.
Not every teenager undergoes all the difficulties and emotions brought out in this story, but I feel it safe to say that many experience some, and some experience much, of Meg’s turmoil.
Ms Brannon has created a cast of believable characters although it is hard to believe that people will actually bully a ‘crip’ as Meg calls herself. But then, human nature is full of surprises.
A Different Kind of Black Belt is a story of redemption, not just on a physical level, but also a spiritual level. Ms Brannon weaves God’s love and strength into the story but not to the point of it becoming overarching and ‘preachy’. Instead she shows some of the ups and downs of being a Christian. Not everything, or everyone, becomes perfect just because you become a Christian. There are set-backs as well as triumphs in life, including in a Christian’s life, and that is brought out well in this story.
I did find a couple of the transitions from one scenario to another a little confusing, but nothing that didn’t straighten itself out by either a careful rereading or a further explanation a bit later in the chapter.
The story has the added bonus of bringing the art of Tae Kwon Do to life.