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