Author: Jeri Smith-Ready
Series: Stand Alone
Published: April 1st 2014 by Simon Pulse
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Description: Everyone mourns differently. When his older brother was killed, David got angry. As in, fist-meets-someone-else’s-face furious. But his parents? They got religious. David’s still figuring out his relationship with a higher power, but there’s one thing he does know for sure: The closer he gets to new-girl Bailey, the better, brighter, happier, more he feels. Then his parents start cutting all their worldly ties to prepare for the Rush, the divine moment when the faithful will be whisked off to Heaven…and they want David to do the same. David’s torn. There’s a big difference between living in the moment and giving up his best friend, varsity baseball, and Bailey—especially Bailey—in hope of salvation. But when he comes home late from prom, and late for the Rush, to find that his parents have vanished, David is in more trouble than he ever could have imagined...
I Give This ...
There's a lot of things that drew me to this book. It's not uncommon for those who experience loss to immerse themselves in religion. I think most of the time this can be an truly uplifting experience. But, I was curious as to the circumstances that may occur in this book.
I really liked David. He's been through a traumatic experience and it's no wonder that he begins to question God. He even goes as far as to mock God publicly. But because of a series of events, David begins to become to devout in his faith. So when his parents start to follow a questionable religious figure, he views it as another test of his faith. He's willing to go the extra mile to keep his family intact, even when its at the expense of his own happiness. He doubts the Rush is real, but he has no way to convince his parents (especially his dad) that they might be duped.
I enjoyed how the idea of the Rush was set up. I felt the author did a great job of making sure the reader recognizes the hoax behind the Rush. I did wonder if the parents were in on the event, and was pleased to discover the truth behind the events. I also appreciated that I never felt like the book was making fun of the idea of the Rapture. David believes wholeheartedly in the bible and what it tells us. And I appreciated how the matter was handled.
I loved how throughout this entire process, David never looses faith. He realizes that his dad's faith has become something unhealthy. But, he never waivers. I think he even brings his sister back to the folds.