April 11, 2014

Review: This Side of Salvation by Jeri Smith-Ready

Title: This Side of Salvation
Author: Jeri Smith-Ready
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release date: April 1st 2014
Source: Edelweiss
Format: eARC

Rating: 4/5

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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...

Lately I have read several contemporary books about the loss of a loved one and each one of them is different because of how every person acts or feels different during mourning, but even though I founds this book a little different of the others and unique, perhaps because of the way it is told.

The book begins on the day that is supposed to be the end of the world (The Rush) in the prom after party that David is attending, in which he´s with his sister Mara, then both return home to discover that their parents missing. That´s why David and his sister must discover what really happened to their parents and if there is any way to find them.

The book is told from David´s POV and the chapters alternate between the present and the past, beginning when he was 7 years old until the day of the prom party, the day of the rapture (The Rush) and the day their parents disappeared.

In the past we see that his brother John died in Afghanistan when David was 12 years old and devastated his family; so for a while David was constantly fighting in school and then start to express what he felt at that time by graffiti, but when he turns 13 years old, his family visit another church and find a new meaning to their pain in religion, not only David´s parents convert to a different religion but also he and his sister but not only because his parents want them to do that but because David truly becomes a believer. So from there his entire family changes, David and his sister begin to be educated at home, to help the community, they start going to youth groups at his church and at home there is a new set of rules, which David and his sister followed to the letter.

David is a 16 year old who obeys his parents, is a very good baseball player and he loves this sport, he 's a good student and a devoted religious. But when his parents discover a website that talks about the Rapture or Doomsday (The Rush), which approaches this belief, they accept it with open arms and begin to make preparations for the day, they see it as something that make sense and then their parents start to behave differently, especially his father begins to speak only with quotes from the Bible (and nothing else) and David instead of feeling more connected to his parents, starts to feel that his parents have distanced themselves from everyone.

I really enjoyed this book and I must say that although This Side of Salvation is about religion, and has various references to the Bible, is not a religious book; is a book about a young man and his family, about how they struggle with the death of his older brother, which greatly affected his father and David (there is a part in the book where we get to see why), and David wants to keep his family together and try not to cause problems, how David finds his first love and friendship.

I received an eARC of this book from the publisher in exchange of an honest review.


  1. I wouldn't mind the religious connotations in this book, to be honest. I mean, that's the foundation of the plot, isn't it? Many have said this book is too religiously inclined for their taste, but I digress.

    Great review, Adriana. I think I'm going to check this one out.

  2. I am a big fan of Jeri Smith-Ready. I am so excited to get my hands on this book. Thanks so much for reviewing! <3

  3. I totally love this author! She knows how to write awesome real flawed characters regardless of genre, and her contemporary rocks.

    I love that there's religion in it but it's not preachy :)

    Lovely review :)

  4. I've been reading some contemps about tough issues lately as well. It seems to me that I'd enjoy this one especially if there is something different in writing. It's always a plus for me. Great review :)

  5. The cover is gorgeous! Thanks for the great review

  6. I just bought this book! Jeri Smith-Ready is one of my favorite authors so I cannot WAIT to read this. I am glad you liked the book. I probably would have cried it you gave it a bad rating, lol.

  7. I like the idea behind this book, and I look forward to reading it sometime. Religion isn't something that bothers me at all, so that doesn't scare me away. It just sounds like a good story! Thanks for your review!

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  8. I don't know if I want to add this to my list of books I want to read or not, I recognize myself in the main character for what I read from your review,but the motif of religion scares me a little bit even if it's not about religion but about loss... I can't decide..

  9. I tried to get into this, but for some reason I couldn't get past about 6% and I'm bummed because I was so excited about it. Did it take you a while to get into it or did you love it right from the start?

  10. I will have to look into this one. Thanks for the review!

  11. This one sounds like a different kind of contemporary and I'm glad to hear despite the religious references and theme it's dealing with, you wouldn't consider it a religious book!
    Great review!

  12. I agree with Joyous Reads, I don't mind the religious connotations either. I was on the fence about this one but now I think I'll check it out. Great review!

  13. I will admit the premise of this book intrigues me a lot. I may not like a religious aspect in the novels I read, but since it's an integral part of the plot and meant to be over the top, I can totally handle it and not use it as a measure of how much I like the book.

  14. The blurb, honsetly, made me bored. But your review... Score! I'll check about this book soon! >.<

  15. Sounds very interesting & I can relate. I need to break out of my comfort zone & branch out.

  16. I've had my eyes in this one for awhile and after reading your review, I'm definitely checking it out :)