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Flamingnet Student Book Reviewer TKono
Saving Maddie by Varian Johnson is difficult to put into words. The synopsis makes it seem as if this is about a wayward girl with low morals that is brought back to the Church by a preacher's son that must resist her temptations. However, Maddie never returns to the Church. She claims to still believe in God but renounces organized religion. She drinks, smokes, wears provocative clothing, and is not sexually pure. She does seduce the preacher's son and causes him to rethink why sex before marriage is wrong--something the author does not explicitly use Scripture to back up.
There are some parts in the book that are unnecessary. Sure, Maddie and the preacher's son never "make babies," but they get awfully close and in detail that readers will not want to hear. Also, while God is mentioned, there is not any explicit discussion of Jesus. There are even points in the book where Catholicism is subtly demoted compared to other forms of Christianity. Towards the end of the book, readers discover why Maddie acts the way she does. There is a seed of sympathy, but that seed is not planted on good soil (pun intended for Bible scholars). The book is engaging, but readers are left unhappy with the ending, longing for a more Christian basis for a book with a cross on the cover, and an edition of the book with perverse scenes deleted.
State and Country: Staten Island, NY USA
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