Monday, August 1, 2011

Small Town Sinners (ARC)

Small Town Sinners

Author: Melissa Walker

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Pages: 272

Read Time: Three Days

Tag Words: Christianity, world views, tough issues, hell houses, stereotypes battling issues, teen pregnancy, abortion, asking questions

My Summary:

Lacey has always been a metaphorical sheep in the flock of the church, but when new guy Ty moves into town and starts asking questions, Lacey wonders if she’s been a sheep in the worst kind of way for far too long.

My Review:

I am a Christian, I have a personal relationship with Christ. I am blessed to have had parents who allowed me to ask questions, and who guided me to find answers. Those answers always led me back to the same teachings I had heard all my life, suddenly fresh and filled with understanding for this modern, American girl. I have been blessed. Others may not have been so fortunate to have the upbringing I have been given, and so encouraged to walk a narrow road, but not blindly.

I wanted to intro to this review because I’m sure you’re expecting me to be offended by this title. I’ve posted reviews before about books where authors would advertise one book and write another, belittling many of the “classes” I fit into. Texan. Southerner. Girl who actually likes guys and doesn’t see them all as scum of the earth. Christian. Those books frustrated me because I lost all respect for the author, the book, and felt sorry for the advertised plot, that it was never told.

When I first heard about Small Town Sinners my respect for Melissa Walker was instantaneous. I hadn’t read the book, no one had, but the fact that she was so upfront and honest with her readers started things out on the right foot for me.

Obviously this is a book that deals with “issues,” some extreme, some commonplace in today’s society. In the midst of a million crisis Lacey Anne is the small town church's youth pastor’s daughter, who has put her father in the place of Christ and is willing to walk a blind faith. Lacey Anne has faith that what her father says is true, rather than faith that what she believes in was the way, the truth and the light.

I disagreed with Walker, I agreed with Walker, I spotted bad theology and I saw great observations. I completely marked up my copy of this book with my thoughts, opinions & Biblical fact that contradicted some of Ty’s more self-serving and self-directed views of religion and Christianity. In fact he is my real “problem” with the book. To me, Lacey Anne went from following her father, as if he were God, to following Ty like he was God! I kept waiting for her to see that God was God, the same yesterday, today and forever and there is no substitution for that. She didn't, but Walker did leave it open, which I appreciated, in my mind Lacey Anne will find her own way, no idol needed.

I had no problems agreeing, or disagreeing with different parts of Small Town Sinners, in fact I really enjoyed the read and encourage you to pick up a copy. I just hope that every reader will mark up their own copy, as I have done, and not simply bob their heads to everything Walker says; I’m almost 100% certain that is the opposite of what she intended.


Notes on the Names:

Starla Joy is right, her makeshift moniker is much better than her given name, Sarah Joyce. It... shines. : )

Thoughts on the Cover:

LOVE this cover. See me try to recreate it HERE!


Parental Book Review *spoilers*

Sexual Content:

Heavy

Language:

Mild/Moderate

A- 6
S- 1
D- 1
Wh**e- 6
Sl*t- 2
P*ssed- 1

Violence:

Heavy

Other Notables:

A note to parents, reviewers, and readers: I am giving the ratings of this book a sweeping “heavy.” (See language separately.) I say sweeping, not because I didn’t pay attention to the content, but because this book takes maturity to read on many levels. There is great talk about serious issues such as gay marriage, abortion, teen pregnancy, thoughts of suicide, drunken parents, not to mention religion. We do PBRs to “look out” for those who are interested in the knowledge of the details, but for this book, the “details” are the thesis.

1 comment:

flashlight_reader said...

I had no idea about some of the content (based on your parent spoilers). Interesting. These are good to know for teachers too. =) I wanted this book, but I'll hold off on ordering it since it won't be appropriate for my classroom.

Thanks for the review!