Part I: My Review as a Christian Mom
I was reading waiting for red flags about inappropriate content or perhaps just shining a little too glorifying light on the rebellious attitude. I didn't find that at all. Tindell has an uncanny way of expressing not only what decisions she made during her teen years and how she felt during that time, but tying it all together with a surprisingly mature and wise inclusion of why she really made those decisions and how the effects are still with her socially, emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually.
This book reads like one 18 or 19 year old might talk to a friend or perhaps a trusted sister or cousin. There are clip-pits from her diary inserted, but the entire tone of her writing reveals that the memories of her past experiences are vivid and fresh. Tindell writes with her heart on her sleeve and lays it all out (as in all of her bad choices, sparing us the inappropriate details but including the relevant consequences) in hopes that young women who get a hold of her book or hear her story will make better informed choices than she did.
Having grown up in a Christian home where purity and sobriety were highly esteemed, Tindell decided to define herself by straying outside of her family's moral and social expectations. After 4 years of drama and defeat trying to independently seek a sense of belonging, she writes, "I wasn't expecting for it to change my life, but I did go in with an open mind, something I hadn't had in years. I went in knowing I was unhappy and wondering if there was something better. In other words, I gave God a tiny space to move in, and He blew it apart." That quote is halfway through the book, and I wondered, will my teen even bother to read the remainder of the book if she figures the rest is all "Jesus stuff"? Thankfully, Tindell continues to interweave some interesting and even comical testimonies into the redemption portion of her story, so even a teen adverse to reading any personal religious testimonies will likely continue on.
Perhaps equally as powerful as the author's candid depiction of the heartache associated with sinful choices is the absolutely captivating descriptions of the character of God. No cliches or dry doctrinal statements here:
"Jesus isn't a trend. God is like a classic style, not a trendy knockoff. That's not always appealing, but it's what's great about God: He never changes. He's committed to you. His love is unwavering, unchanging, and absolute. [. . . ] What a comfort when fitting in never seems possible or comes at the cost of pieces of your soul." (pg 130-131)
Part II: 13 Year Old Daughter's Review
I liked that she told it like she was actually talking to you and not just telling you "you shouldn't do this its bad for you". She told her story and then told you how it affected her life and her body. It also told you how she felt and thought about it. She gave you bible verses to read and said to read a chapter in the bible that helped her.
I would recommend this book to everyone because its very honest. Gives you a lot of information on how you can see gods love everywhere, especially in your parents. It tells you that being "popular" isn't really worth it if you aren't going to be yourself. It was really interesting to read about how her whole entire life changed when she gave her heart to god. I really love this book I hope she writes more!