Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Book Review: Amy Inspired

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Amy Inspired written by Bethany Pierce

Book Description: Amy Gallagher is an aspiring writer who, after countless rejections, has settled for a career as an English professor in small-town Ohio just to pay the bills. All her dreams suddenly start to unravel as rejections pile up--both from publishers and her boyfriend. But just as Amy fears her life is stuck in a holding pattern, she meets the mysterious, attractive, and unavailable Eli. She struggles to walk the fine line between friendship and something more with Eli, even as staying true to her faith becomes unexpectedly complicated. When secrets, tragedy, and poor decisions cause rifts in Amy's relationships, she must come to terms with who she's become, her unrealized aspirations for her life, and the state of her faith. Can she dare to hope that she will find love and fulfillment despite it all?

Book Review: This book was written in the first person ~sigh~ but I was still able to follow along and still enjoy the process of reading, unlike most other first-person books I’ve read.

I found the story line to be, okay. I didn’t mind picking the book up to read it, but it wasn’t something I “couldn’t wait to get back to” either. It falls somewhere in between a good book, and just an easy-read to pass the time. Depending on your literature preference you could easily fall on one of the two sides – for me, I fell in the middle.

The book had a usual storyline: compulsively organized, list making girl meets a free-spirited, easy going boy. Their attraction is predictable, and filled with the ups and downs of “opposites attracting”. The other characters in the storyline added slightly more depth, an eccentric, vegetarian roommate to the borderline stalking student, but brought with them too much detail and distraction. The book was slow in creating an exciting storyline, and went too in depth of some of the less meaningful characters, for an average storyline, it created a dragging story and only an okay book.

One thing I do have to mention about this book, is that although it is classified as Christian fiction, there are some less than honorable “scenes”, you should use discernment when allowing young adults to read it. While no "obvious” lines are crossed there are a few less-than-pure situations.

This point brings me to a tangent I must make, please disregard the following if you could care less about my personal opinions about book (and other media classifications):

Booklist (the review journal of the American Library Association) in their review of this particular book described the main character as “a flawed woman facing modern-day dilemmas and conflicts of faith, thus bringing a welcome dose of contemporary reality to the Christian fiction genre” I disagree. A flawed woman, like us all, she may be – but to seemingly justify moral degeneration by calling it modern-day does not make Amy’s obvious lack of conviction acceptable, and certainly not “welcomed”.

I understand that my task is not to critique  Booklist or their review, but rather this specific book, however in doing that I was brought face-to-face with an example of how our society (and often the church) looks at luke warmness, compromise and obvious disregard for scripture and accepts it as “Christian”.

Just because a book mentions God, or faith should not qualify it as “Christian Literature” or meeting Christian standards. Just because an author/artist claims Christ, does not mean their work always points to Christ. The author of this book may be Christian but this book does not fall in the same category.

Does the storyline contain situations that happen in the lives of Christians? Yes, probably. Does it promote and encourage Christian standards? No. Did it mention or portray the gospel message? No.

So I want to be clear, although I did enjoy parts of this book, and the storyline, it was in the same way that I enjoy other non-Christian books at times. However, I would probably not recommend it as a Christian Fiction.

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