Books are more than a words

Mar 28, 2014

ARC Review: This Side of Salvation by Jeri Smith-Ready

This Side of Salvation
Author: Jeri Smith-Ready
Pages: 384
Pre-order: Amazon/ B&N/ TBD
My rating: 4.5 stars
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 in 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 


**An eARC of this book was provided by the publisher for review. Thank you!*

This side of Salvation by Jeri Smith-Ready is a wonderful story about family, friendship, love, loss and freedom.
David, the main character is in a very difficult situation because after the death of his brother his parents became religious, like hard-core religious, and David doesn’t know what to do. Because David is a normal teenager, he wants the things all the boys his age want. 

So, personally, I think this book takes a topic that catches my attention: how people mix religion with fanaticism. This teaches us that it’s good to have God in our life but in a healthy way.
But don’t get me wrong, TSOS is not a religious book; it’s a contemporary story with a religious topic.
Jeri Smith-Ready amazed me once more with her gorgeous and light writing. TSOS is fast paced read with wonderfully written characters and a mysterious plot that will keep you on the edge of your seat. 

And the characters… oh my, oh my, these characters were phenomenal!
David: He is a baseball player that leaves everything for his parents’ will, because he’s a good boy, he respect them, and he’s struggling with his unknown future.
Bailey: She’s sweet and funny. She’s a geek, she’s a free spirit.
Mara: David’s sister is the rebel, she’s good as well, but she’s strong and she knows what she wants for her life.
David’s mother: She’s passive. She loves his children but she doesn’t set her own rules, it’s like she thinks what her husband thinks.
David’s father: Oh, he’s the fanatic! And though I really hated his role in this story, I have to admit that he’s the best character of this book. Jeri Smith-Ready did an excellent job creating a character so complex. He is so well developed. You can hate him, but cannot deny he’s unforgettable and very, very realistic. (Except for "that" thing about his language, that was amazing!)
The other characters took a special role in this story, like Sophia and Kane but I rather not to tell anything about them.
Just let me highlight how incredible is this author at creating all sort of personalities.
And like I said, the writing is just as awesome as everything Jeri Smith-Ready writes.
This Side of Salvation is not just hard topics and heartbreak, This Side of Salvation has everything you look for in a contemporary story. Sometimes is fun, sometimes is sad. It has mystery and a sweet romance. 

The only problem I had with this book is that I don’t like books narrated in “Then” and “Now” I don’t like going back and forth because, call me crazy, but I always skip the “Then” part. I like to know what’s happening right now.
That’s why I read This Side of Salvation twice. 
Once it was a 4 stars book: when I read it the way it’s written.
Then, it was 5 stars: when I read first the “Then” part and then the “Now” part. My brain just works this way.
Overall, you just can’t miss This Side of Salvation. It’s unlike everything you ever read.

And now let me show you the quote that made me laugh like a manic. Note that this quote was taken from the ARC and it can change in the final copy.

“How many kittens did she have?”
“Four, including Tod. We fed the kittens this special formula from the vet, since Juno didn’t have enough milk.”  I sat beside Bailey on the rug, wishing I could trade places with my cat. “Tod almost died, so my sister named him after a grim reaper from one of her favorite books. I think she thought it would protect him.”

Yes! Jeri is quoting TOD from the Soul Screamers series!!! Isn’t she awesome?


  1. Sounds like this is a very interesting book and quite different from other contemporaries! I'm going to be adding it to the TBR list!
    Thanks for your review, Lis!

  2. Ha -- I feel the same way about books that skip around in time. They are not my favorite, but I definitely want to read this because I loved the Shade-Shift-Shine series!
    Jen @ YA Romantics

  3. I'm still on the fence with this book. I really don't usually enjoy this genre but I do really like this author. Glad you really ended up liking this one!


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