Thursday, April 10, 2014

REVIEW, plus Day 9 of Superfan Contest for This Side of Salvation by Jeri Smth-Ready

Everyone mourns differently. When his older brother was killed, David got angry. As in, fist-meets-someone-else’s-face furious. But his parents? They got religious. David’s still figuring out his relationship with a higher power, but there’s one thing he does know for sure: The closer he gets to new-girl Bailey, the better, brighter, happier, more he feels.

Then his parents start cutting all their worldly ties to prepare for the Rush, the divine moment when the faithful will be whisked off to Heaven…and they want David to do the same. David’s torn. There’s a big difference between living in the moment and giving up his best friend, varsity baseball, and Bailey—especially Bailey—in hope of salvation.

But when he comes home late from prom, and late for the Rush, to find that his parents have vanished, David is in more trouble than he ever could have imagined...

Before the last quote card is revealed for the last day of the superfan contest, I'd like to squeeze in my review first for This Side of Salvation by Jeri Smith-Ready.

So, lets roll this beautiful read footage.

Let me first start off when I keyed in Jeri's name in my smart phone notes, it autocorrected as hero. My phone is in fact very smart because that is exactly what she is to me. My hero. The admiration I have for this author and her books is very profound. I relish my time that I invest in her work- I look forward to it, and my family knows that when it comes to Jeri Smith-Ready, best step back, lol!! Her books are part of my soul. Every single one of her novels are filled with deep emotion and a beautiful meaning and so real. Each of her series or stand alones are definitely in a class of their own. JSR could write about donkeys mating and I'd favor it!!

I highly anticipated This Side of Salvation since Jeri had released the news that she was writing it. As the release date of 4/1/14 neared, the days leading up to it seemed to go by so slow. The night before, all I could do was think about it and kept reading the synopsis over and over and stare at the captivating cover.

Panic attacked me when my preordered hard copy from B&N didn't arrive in the mail on 4/1. Bitches April fooled me-- so I downloaded the ebook on my handy dandy E reader. Thank you technology! There was no way other people would be reading this novel on its release day and not me.

Low and behold, I opened the book. To a quote. A very strong, powerful quote. And then I read the first sentence in the first chapter and it intrigued me to the point that I had to read it several times-- to the point that I knew I had to mentally prepare myself for the emotion and events to come.

I have to laugh at some of the reactions and preparations for the Rush. It reminded me of the Y2K frenzy. I mean, they are two totally different things... end of world vs. end of technology. What I can't laugh at is what the main character, David and his sister horrifically discovered when they came home on supposedly the last night of their worldly lives. I later discovered David and his sister Mara had already endured grief in many ways within their broken family. After a life altering event, David's parents had become extreme in their faith. I found that his father over compensated his grief with intense evangelism and theological speech. It had to be tough for David and Mara to be exposed in that type of environment and their poor mom was caught in the middle.

I was brought to now and then with a perfect mix of present tense and past tense in this mysterious, yet contemporary young adult novel. At times, it was a bit eerie, giving me the chills. A lot of religion, theology and verses were mentioned, which is something I'm a bit distant with (all because of the Rapture and Revelations-- eeek!-) but even so, definitely held my attention and kept me interested. With that said, the meaning behind the Rush both fascinated and frightened me.

This Side of Salvation was written in David's point of view. He had the typical boy's thought process, just some heartache and faith to go with it. It was both fun and serious being inside his head, knowing his thoughts. I adored his mentality, his questioning, his realizations. He has my heart. It was a journey for me in him finding comfort within himself and trusting in his faith. It was David who was the Savior in this novel. What makes me respect David the most, is he never gave up on his father. It takes a strong will to forgive. I commend him for having it.

"If my life is about being good, then it loses meaning when in bad. That's the thing about God-He loves us no matter how much we screw up. Because He made us." ~David

David's sister Mara was a cool cat. She was snarky like sisters are to their brothers. But when it came down to it, she and David's bond was strong. They looked out for each other. If I had to compare myself to any character in this book, I'm certain I'd share Mara's views.

I love how Bailey, David's girlfriend, understood him- how she offered the words he needed, how she made him feel normal in his, IMO, abnormal life. She was charismatic; a free spirit and was the ying to David's yang.  Plus- I really digged her "Easy as tank.

'When she was out of sight, I rubbed my forehead where she'd touched me, wishing I could stamp the imprint of her finger onto my skin.' ~David's thoughts on Bailey.

David's best friend Kane was fun and supportive. I adored his humor. He brought in laughter in this somewhat serious story.

"So she's a prophet with no profit?" ~Kane

TSoS was a different read for me than most books... more spiritual I guess I'd say. It had made me ponder, laugh, cry... kinda made me want to get in touch with my spiritual side, so I went to church this past Sunday--- I didn't burn!! Lol. The ending gave me a stronger serenity than other books have and I had a pleasant reflection post read. I was at peace and that's the best feeling one could have.

This Side of Salvation, by Jeri Smith-Ready is a great read for mid teens on up to older adults. Not only is the reader guided through David's journey, but I believe that the events and quotes in this novel will give each who read it something to think and reflect about for the main character and his family and friends, and for themselves.

Now, onto the superfun, superfan contest for This Side of Salvation. It's the final quote card Jeri is posting. Each of these quotes gives you a glimpse of the characters in this book. You can read more about this contest by clicking here.

 Without further ado, the last card for the superfan, superfun contest introduces to us to Mr. Ralph. How true and striking his quote is.

Check out Jeri's website, her books, the contest, THIS SIDE OF SALVATION  released, 4/1/2014.
Purchase This Side of Salvation by Jeri Smith-Ready at B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
See This Side of Salvation on Goodreads.


  1. Whenever I type "kept or keep" into my phone it pops up as Jeri lol

    I'm glad you loved this as much as I did. It's a really beautiful story. have you received the hardcover yet? Because it's gorgeous in person!

  2. Yes, I received on last Wednesday. My Jeri Smith-Ready shelf is filling on up!