Tag Archives: Catholic teens

Hope for the Future: A Review of ‘For Eden’s Sake’

“It is a poverty that a “child must die”, so that you may live as you wish.”–Mother Teresa

Reading Level

Grades 9+

Review and Comments

One of this year’s newest Catholic YA novels is difficult to describe.  I want to make this a simple review, but there’s too much to think about.  It’s beautiful, it’s sad, it’s hopeful, it’s true.

The story begins with Isaac, a young man of faith and conviction, letting go of his inhibitions and drinking too much at a work event.  He makes some bad decisions and because of this ends up getting a girl he hardly knows pregnant.  This young woman, Rebecca, decides that she is not going to keep the baby and asks for money from Isaac for an abortion.  From here the emotions fly on both ends as they fight over the life of this unplanned child.  It’s a simple plot, but the emotions behind the actions and decisions of the characters is what really moves the readers.

What is Beautiful

I’m old enough now where I’m able to look at the parents of Isaac and feel their pain and disappointment in the actions of their son.  He has done something stupid.  He has sinned, and his sin has caused a difficult situation not only for him, but for a girl he hardly knows.  He is now connected to this girl whether he wants to be or not.

I felt the tension in the room as Isaac told his father what he had done and I felt for both of them, but the reaction of his father is one that I feel most parents SHOULD hope to have.  His mother the next morning is describes has having disappointment in her eyes despite the smile on her face as she makes breakfast for her son.  

The beauty here is that Isaac has wonderful parents, but also, this is how I would imagine God would respond to a confession of sin.  Disappointment, sadness, and yet love that permeates the frustration.  Isaac’s parents react in the image and likeness of God…and THAT is beautiful.

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Following His Holy Will: A Review of ‘Where You Lead’

“There are times when He Himself allows terrible sufferings, and then again there are times when He does not let me suffer and removes everything that might afflict my soul. These are His ways, unfathomable and incomprehensible to us. It is for us to submit ourselves completely to His holy will. There are mysteries that the human mind will never fathom here on earth; eternity will reveal them. (1656)” – Saint Faustina

Reading Level

7-12+

Review and Contents

Three cheers for Leslea Wahl! Her young adult stories for the Catholic audience are fun, adventurous, and pure entertainment so I was so happy when she asked me to review her third book. Where You Lead is probably my favorite of her novels so far.

The story begins with Eve having visions of a boy named Nick. She can clearly see his face and she sees that they are friends, but she has never met this boy before. She realizes that her visions are more than a dream and she begins to pray asking God what it could all mean. Slowly God’s plan begins to unfold for her and her family moves across the country to Washington DC.

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THe Strength of Young People: A Review of ‘Secrets: Visible and Invisible’

” We need saints to live in the world, to sanctify the world and to not be afraid of living in the world by their presence in it. We need saints that drink Coca-Cola, that eat hot dogs, that surf the internet and that listen to their iPods. We need saints that love the Eucharist, that are not afraid or embarrassed to eat a pizza or drink a beer with their friends. We need saints who love the movies, dance, sports, theater. We need saints that are open sociable normal happy companions. we need saints who are in this world and who know how to enjoy the best in this world without being callous or mundane. We need saints.” –Saint Pope John Paul II

Reading Level

Grades 7-12+

Review and Contents

I was so excited when this book first came out. First of all, I am a HUGE fan of the short story genre. It was my favorite thing to read in school and my favorite to teach to my freshmen in high school. Truly great writers can tell such a good story with only a few pages.

It’s also no secret that I’m a fan of Catholic fiction for young readers. Most YA literature is full of vices of the modern world. Sex, drugs, violence….the list goes on and on. It feels so safe to have Catholic writers compile good stories for teens to read.

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