This Side of Salvation
By Jeri Smith-Ready
Publication date: April 1, 2014
Simon Pulse, 384 pages
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…
— Goodreads.com description
Hmm, This Side of Salvation wasn’t my personal cup of tea, but the plot and storyline sucked me in just enough that I couldn’t help but keep reading.
The story is a strong departure from other books I’ve read from Jeri Smith-Ready. It’s very philosophical and digs deep into religion and spirituality. That isn’t my thing, but as an outsider I could really appreciate that she tried something different and — at least from my uneducated perspective — seemed to have put a lot of time, effort and research into it.
I did love the cult angle. I NEEDED to keep reading to find out what the heck actually happened to David’s wacko parents.
If you are more into deeper books, philosophy and religious theory, this one will be for you. If, like me, you aren’t super into it, I’m not sure the fascinating cult bits were enough to make up the difference.