Sunday, 14 September 2014

GUEST REVIEW: Jesus Freaks: Sins of the Father

Hi everyone! Please welcome my friend Marta, whose reviews I adore. She graciously agreed to share some of her thoughts and help me with providing reviews of the latest releases for you. Her first guest review is on very intriguing novel by Andrea Randall
Happy Reading :)

Jesus Freaks: Sins of the Father

Written by: Andrea Randall

Genre: New Adult Fiction

Purchase: Amazon / Kobo


Kennedy Sawyer is the valedictorian of her upper middle class, liberal high school.

Roland Abbot is the charismatic, attractive televangelist from New Life Church with a dark past and an illegitimate child.

Ignoring the cautions of her mother and the confusion of her Ivy League-bound friends, Kennedy enrolls at the conservative Christian Carter University where her sights are set on Roland Abbot—her birth father.

Kennedy’s intentions are to learn more about her father than the Bible. However, roommates who are quick to evangelize to strangers, an RA who seems to be hiding something, and friends in the most unlikely places challenge everything she’s ever held as true in the raging battle of us vs. them.

 Marta's * 4 STARS * Review:

I know this book seems like one you don’t think you want to read. I, for one, absolutely love Andrea’s writing, but had doubts about reading her new book. The topic of religion just generally makes people uncomfortable. It does me. I’m not a believer. I try understanding and accepting people that do believe, but I personally just can’t. And it makes me uncomfortable when people talk religion to me (read: preach to me) or blatantly push their beliefs on me. I like Christians just fine and I am perfectly capable of being good friends with them, as long as we steer clear of the religion topic. So yes, you could say I was hesitant to start this book. And the reason why I ended up writing this review is because I don’t want you to be. Trust me on this, guys. This book is not what you think. Whether you’re Christian, agnostic, Muslim, Jewish or atheist, you can get something out of this story. Yes, religion is a huge aspect, Evangelical Christians in particular play a big role, but it’s not that kind of story.

There are a lot of things I can say about religion, and all of them have been said and thought before. This story has proved to be very thought-provoking, which is part of why I gave it 5 stars, but I won’t waste my time on the religion talk. We all have our opinions, beliefs and faith. Life is not about making sure everyone shares the same opinion, belief and faith. Nope. It’s about respecting people, even though they’re different. It’s about respecting their differences and withholding judgment.

Now we are all quick to judge. I won’t believe you if you tell me you never judge. We are quick to call people “weird”, even I am. There were some kids in my neighborhood that didn’t have TV at home for religious reasons. I judged, because, how weird. My Christian friend exclusively listened to Christian music and I judged, because, how weird and why would you. My classmate all of a sudden decided to cover her hair for religious reasons and I judged, because, why would you and what’s the point?

Now back to the story. Evangelical Christians are pretty devote. If you didn’t know that, now you know. They’re devote and there’s a big group that’s also very conservative. Now imagine you’re a regular girl who was raised Christian, but in a very liberal way. Your mom is an activist for women’s rights, your church has a gay bishop and you have a lip piercing. But you’re a Christian, because despite all of that, you do believe in God and go to church weekly. You have a stepdad and you see your biological dad once in a long while because he’s been mainly absent in your life. Your birth father is a celebrity among Evangelists. He is a televangelist and a famous and well-loved preacher.
You’re basically the daughter of the King of Modern Evangelical Christianity. 
Imagine you’re 18, just graduated high school and you got admitted to Yale. Do you go to Yale? Nope. Why? Because you’re kind of lost. You don’t know what to do, what you want, who you are. You want to get to know your biological father better (you’ve been stalking him from afar online) and you want to get to know yourself, but that’s secondary right now. The only way to get close to your father is to join Carter University (aka CU), the strict Evangelical university with God-fearing and Jesus-loving kids. Your father preaches at the New Life Church which is connected to the CU. So you do. You join CU, despite your mother’s protests and jokes about weird Jesus lovers. Imagine suddenly being surrounded by everything you ever judged as weird. They are weird. You are normal. But now you are being judged for your lack of Bible knowledge, for not being baptized as an adult, for cursing, for having a lip piercing (good thing they don’t know that part yet) and for so many things that to you are normal things, but to them is weird. And for the first time in your life, you are the minority. This is what happens to Kennedy as she tries to find herself and her father in an environment that’s so different from her own. She becomes fast friends with a few people, including her roommates, but the internal judging is still there. Both parties, in some sense, think they’re better than the other.
I’ve been walking around thinking that the people around me think they’re better than me in a spiritual sense, and I’ve been doing the same thing back at them. 
The power of this story that Andrea crafted is that it doesn’t preach, it doesn’t try to convince, it just tells and shows that there is no such thing as weird. That it is all a matter of perspective and that they have as much reason to judge us as we do them. Even better; there is no them and us. There doesn’t have to be a distinction. We are all humans and we are all different in our own ways, but there should never be a battle that requires a distinction between them and us.
I know that CU isn’t necessarily what’s “normal” when placed in the scope of the entire United States, but – as Roland so helpfully pointed out – it’s normal for here. 
So if you are afraid of starting this book, because you think you will be spoon-fed Jesus, fear not. That is not what will happen. In fact, the main character is probably much like you and is equally skeptical of the Jesus Freaks as you are. She internally makes jokes about them that will crack you up. I didn’t expect to, but I laughed a lot while reading this. Seriously, it was hilarious. And the main character is just so easy to relate to. Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. If it weren’t for work, I would’ve finished this story in one day.

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Lucia @Reading Is My Breathing

Lucia is 29 years old passionate reader and reviewer who enjoys talking about all bookish things. Currently she lives in Prague, works in business industry and dreams of starting her own publishing company. Her weakness? She can never say no to cake, coffee or good novel.