I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.This Side of Salvation by Jeri Smith-Ready
on April 1, 2014
Genres: Young Adult
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 pretty much adore everything’s I’ve ever read by Jeri Smith-Ready. The Shade series was truly amazing and one of the few paranormal series that I kept up with and still recommend. So, it was just a given that I would read This Side of Salvation even though it’s so different from her other books. So, so different.
The story flashes between the past and present. You get thrown right into the confusion and commotion right after David’s parents disappear. You see the story leading up to how they got to that place in alternating chapters. This way of storytelling made me really anxious to see how it was all going to unfold. It was an excellent tool to keep me on the edge of my seat.
It’s pretty obvious that the book has some religious themes. Honestly, I try to stay away from books like these, but since it was written by Jeri Smith-Ready I trusted that I would not be preached to or insulted, and I was right. She handles what could be a very touchy subject with class and precision. If you’re hesitant because of the religious aspects, please don’t be.
Jeri Smith-Ready has worked her usual magic with this batch of characters. They are all so interesting and super easy to cheer for. David was fantastic and I loved the romance between him and Bailey. He cared about her so much that it made me a bit swoony at times.
This Side of Salvation has some dark points. The death of David’s brother is what started his family on this downward spiral. It was heartbreaking to watch it all unfold but I was captivated throughout.