Published by Bloomsbury UK
(first published October 28th 2008)
0747597855 (ISBN13: 9780747597858)
Riley Rose, atheist and bad girl, has been tricked into attending Spirit Ranch, a Christian camp. There she meets Dylan Kier, alumni camper and recent paraplegic, who arrives with a chip on his shoulder and a determination to perfect all of his bad habits. United in their personal suffering and in their irritation at their fellow campers, they turn the camp inside out as they question the meaning of belief systems, test their faith in each other, and ultimately settle a debate of the heart.
I'm not entirely sure what to make out of the novel itself other than to say that it certainly had a lot of depth and power to it and that it represented everything that perhaps needs to be represented within a novel. for me the book showed that beauty is not about what we see on the outside but its about finding who we are and allowing people to see that that is who we are. I do think that the main character was produced well. the abd girl who would do anything and everything to make sure that no one bothered her or annoyed her. And yet you could see that this was merely a mask placed there to stop the real problems getting through. I think what I liked most about Riley was the very fact that she was a relatable character. she was someone that I could identify with and that I could really become what she was describing and what it was that she was feeling. I loved the very point where I felt that she was like my best friend, who wanted to help but who also wanted to be her own person. the author just seemed to represent all the possibilities of a real person, she really made the book as real as it needed to be and that in its own right just for me seemed to be the be all and end all of the novel.
I liked the mixed personalities that was there within the book but found the whole catholic christian summer cap thing a little hypocritical as it almost seemed in some ways that the book was bible bashing. I suppose though when you really read into it you could see that actually through Riley she was showing and representing that we all have a choice to make and that we can do the things that we want to do. All the different personalities just reminded me of the very fact that we are actually all different people and that just because we may follow a religion and seem like we are totally into it, we can also find that there are things about it that we disagree with, i.e we have the clearly very gay couple in the book who have to keep it a huge secret because same sex relationships are a big no no in the religion that they follow. For me it pulled everything in and really made me look at the sort of person that I am the very thing that I follow and believe in. to me I think the main topic and point of the book was just that we all have the right to be the people that we want to be and that sometimes, rules are most certainly meant to be broken.
The book was realistic and was a worthwhile read. however, is it the sort of book that I would pick up and read again if I was given the option, probably not. its just one of those books that you know you would only read once and not again because it wasnt all that entertaining. it was a book with a message and a purpose to get across, but that waas all and once that had got through then there was no purpose to reading it anymore. I will give the book a four star rating because it did have a lot of important contexts and points within it that I think all readers should get to grips with and grasp with. but was it a book to read again, no not really.