Series: Jesus Freaks #1
on August 23, 2014
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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.
Jesus Freaks has me torn with both the story and content. I am a huge fan of Andrea Randall. In the Stillness, Ten Days of Perfect, Reckless Abandon, and Bo & Ember are some of my favorites. I was able to pull from those characters, in some way, and relate to them. I may not be a mother that cuts but I was able to feel her pain and appreciate the story. Andrea has a way with words that paints you a picture, pulling you into the story.
So with that said here is what you need to know about Jesus Freaks – it is a beautifully written story. I enjoyed Kennedy and her father’s story. In the world we currently live in the dynamic between a parent and their child is difficult to say the least but throw in the other drama and difficult becomes down right impossible. Kennedy finds herself at a crossroads and submerging herself into her father’s world seems to be the answer she was praying for. So then queue the parade of, for lack of a better wording, Jesus Freaks and I am at a complete loss.
Ok, so to start I feel I have to say that I am not against religion. Since religion is key to the story I want to make it clear that this did not factor into my finial thoughts. I was born and raised a Catholic. I was baptized, made my first communion, attended youth group, and I appreciate the beauty in religion. I even collect rosaries and display them in my home. Needless to say I do not have a problem with religion but this book was not for me. I feel the story of Kennedy and Roland was lost in a sea of a “how to” religion manual. I yearned for more of the two of them and less of the other interactions. The story didn’t take me on a journey. I expected to be pulled and pushed along with Kennedy. I was looking to find feelings in these characters actions and grow attached. For me I didn’t reach that moment. Then when I thought I could possibly be there the story ended.
Being that this book is part of a series I understand the need to create anticipation so with that said I am willing to see this through to the end. I have my thoughts on where I would like to see Kennedy and Roland’s story lead me. I am curious and because I am I will say this, read Jesus Freaks. Give it a chance. For me it wasn’t a must read and if not for enjoying other Randall creations I would not have picked up Jesus Freaks. With a “hot topic” story backdrop, like religion, this is a book you need to experience for yourself.
Jesus Freaks: The Prodigal (Jesus Freaks #2)
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The morning after Kennedy Sawyer confirmed to the world that she is the daughter of internationally renowned televangelist Roland Abbot, she’s faced with a new challenge: What kind of daughter does she want to be to him? The sometimes kind, the title kind, or the all-in kind?
In the months following her decision, Kennedy is faced with sex, drugs, extended family, lying, threats, booze, strip clubs, and wavering faith among her family and friends.
Exploring how much honesty is too much, Kennedy pushes the boundaries of all of the relationships around her to see if God really lies somewhere beneath it all.