Monday, March 30, 2015

Book recommendation/Caveat


The "dog" ate my Kindle?
It's March, and I have just enough time to squeeze in a book review for Reading Month. Unfortunately, my Kindle bit the dust some months back, so I haven't been indulging in literature much as of late.

However, I have a series that I wanted to share. I've started to write about it a few times and always stopped just short. The first book in the series is called "Chop, Chop" (by L.N. Cronk) and you can download it free for Kindle here. 
And what's worse,' she went on, 'is that on Sunday we're going to get back onto a plane and go back to our houses and our TVs and our hot tubs and we're going to forget about all this.'
'No we won't, Laci. We won't forget.'
She wiped her eyes and glared at me.
'Yes, we will. You say we won't, but after we get home we'll feel differently. It won't ever feel like this again.' -Chop, Chop (L.N. Cronk)

So....how to describe this series? For one thing, the dialogues are all like the excerpt above; pretty down-to-earth banter from a group of friends. This first book features their years as members of a high school youth group, and the conversations are very believable. I felt almost like I was back in high school, writing in my diary or reading a note from a friend.

As the friends come of age, the subsequent books continue their stories throughout their adult life. Though the author realistically portrays the most mundane moments of daily life, she also tackles a multitude of "heavy" topics, including divorce, alcoholism, adoption, teen pregnancy, child abuse, terminal illness, car accidents, and murder (I keep remembering more and adding them in). There are also episodes where characters are on the mission field, which that same excerpt is alluding to. 

Since this is a series favoring Christian values, I really appreciated the handling of such tough events in the light of God's saving grace. Though there were moments of redemption, they weren't portrayed in a fluffy or cheesy way. When I read about the topics I'd dealt with personally, I felt myself nodding in agreement. Some of the conversations felt like they were taken out of my own life. And the other ones were dealt with so poignantly that I felt compassion for anyone experiencing them.

So why would I NOT recommend these books? Well, there are pros and cons to covering so many heavy topics. A little soap-opera-ish, maybe? Though I don't think the author necessarily exaggerated on the specific issues, I wonder what the odds are of them all occurring within one close circle of friends or even within the same town. Of course that takes a little away from the realistic factor.

But my main caveat is just in how many emotional triggers come up in reading this series. A few is okay, but constant heartache is a little rough. Again, these are stories of redemption, but that doesn't lessen the grief. I especially found it hard reading about the progression of Alzheimer's, as told through the patient's eyes! It stays with you.

So I really don't know how to conclude, as I feel like these are all really important topics for discussion, and I'd be interested to hear if any of you have read this series, or would like to give the first book a shot! Just keep in mind, you will likely need to have some tissues handy! 



2 comments:

  1. Yipes...but I think I have enough problems. When over-stretched I have to be careful about what I add in the name of literature or entertainment.

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  2. I'm not sure what would be the better choice...a light-hearted plot with no point to it, or a heavy, Bible-based one. I think you would identify with some of the characters, but it does provoke some emotions.

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