Pub. Date: December 1st 2010
Pages: 304 pages
From amazon.com:I haven't reviewed a lot of Christian fiction on this blog because I haven't been able to find any new authors. Thankfully lately I have started to find out about a lot of Christian authors, including Karen Kingsbury. This is the first novel I have read of hers.
Before You Take a Stand ... You Got to Take a Chance. Holden Harris is an eighteen-year-old locked in a prison of autism. Despite his quiet ways and quirky behaviors, Holden is very happy and socially normal---on the inside, in a private world all his own. In reality, he is bullied at school by kids who only see that he is very different. Ella Reynolds is part of the 'in' crowd. A cheerleader and star of the high school drama production, her life seems perfect. When she catches Holden listening to her rehearse for the school play, she is drawn to him ... the way he is drawn to the music. Then, Ella makes a dramatic discovery---she and Holden were best friends as children. Frustrated by the way Holden is bullied, and horrified at the indifference of her peers, Ella decides to take a stand against the most privileged and popular kids at school. Including her boyfriend, Jake. Ella believes miracles can happen in the unlikeliest places, and that just maybe an entire community might celebrate from the sidelines. But will Holden's praying mother and the efforts of Ella and a cast of theater kids be enough to unlock the prison that contains Holden? This time, friendship, faith, and the power of a song must be strong enough to open the doors to the miracle Holden needs.
The book is written in many different points of view. There are mainly three, but I believe I counted seven total with two being only once or twice. Don't worry though, I didn't find it confusing at all because all of the characters are so different from each other. I found it really interesting to read from Holden's point of view and it definitely helped me understand him more. Ella was such a sweet character too. She was so kindhearted even though she didn't have a strong faith and I loved to see her grow as a person and a follower of Christ.
The plot of the book was unique to me. The main reason being one main character had autism. I loved seeing how everyone reacted to Holden and how they helped him too. It broke my heart to see how some people treated him though and how they treated other students. Sure, I've seen it happen in real life, but knowing about them and who they are made it harder. That sounds so ridiculous though and this book definitely helped me realize how awful that is.
Although I really enjoyed the plot and characters, the book wasn't anything fast paced or something to read in one or two sittings. There were times when I was a bit bored, but the whole message of the book made up for that, for me at least. I also want to note that Karen Kingsbury is very straight forward with her faith and the faith of her characters. Even so, I recommend this book to all.
Overall this was a beautiful story, but not the best one I have read.
Rating: 3.5 stars / 5 stars