Reviewer: Carol A. Brown
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Usually this statement is at the end of a review, but I need to state it here because of the statements I make in the review. This is my honest review!
First of all, this story has some good bones.
The couples in the story have real issues that will resonate with many readers: addictions (gambling, alcohol, and promiscuity), as well as being blind to one’s own tendency to judge others behaviors.
Characters are drawn well enough that you can “see” them and have empathy for them. A group of college age couples living the life of “the young and stupid” who struggle to transition into responsible? adults.
Secondly, there is some good storytelling in this book. The story line is very believable. Where I have an issue is with the technical aspects, the crafting of sentences, transitions, and how the pieces of the story are put together, for example:
Page 3 – 7 indentations from the bottom – There’s something wrong with this sentence.... “We’ll have to hit of the mountain after lunch.” ??? Might it possibly be, “We’ll have to get off the mountain after lunch”? This is only one example of this kind of problem.
Another issue I had with sentences was the amount of extra words. I used to teach English language. I would have returned this kind of a paper without grading it and instructed the student to “tighten up the sentences and to take out the “fluff.” This was a problem throughout the book; so much so that it was distracting for this reader.
My next issue is one of character inconsistency.
Page 20 – There is an inconsistency in the depiction of a character here—“Piper’s group headed to Rambo” you had just said that Piper was not as good a skier and so they were not doing Rambo, but going on an intermediate slope. Also Piper and Chase were doing that without the group.
Page 22 – Here Nick is the evangelist—when and how did this happen? Up to this point Piper has been worried he may be an alcoholic! This is too sudden of a change...makes him look schizoid flipping from a carnal Christian to an evangelist without warning.
If both pictures are true about the character, there needs to be more of a transition so the reader is able to see the character as flawed but honestly, sincerely working to overcome his flaw. It is possible that this could have been caught in editing for plot if that kind of edit was done.
This same kind of thing happened at the end of the book. I had formed a picture of Piper’s family as basically loving and stable, but at the end there is suddenly a picture of the family piling on Piper in a negative way...the kind that tempts you to want never to go to a family event ever again! She had made comments throughout the story about her family “not believing” her spiritual experiences but there wasn’t enough story evidence to help the reader get the picture until toward the end of the book. At that same family event we see a different side to Piper’s father that had not even been hinted at. The reader wonders, “Where did that come from!”
I came away from reading not quite sure what the author’s purpose was...what main message was being communicated. That was not as clear as it could have been.
Would I recommend it? Mmmm, possibly, if the potential reader needed to see how someone could be Christian and have character flaws and yet have spiritual experiences! Our God takes us where we are and helps us overcome. Some of us who struggle with various issues need to see that we can emerge victorious. But I would caution the reader that they would need to overlook the technical difficulties.