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Searching For Grace (2014)

by Juliann Rich(Favorite Author)
4.16 of 5 Votes: 2
ISBN
1626391963 (ISBN13: 9781626391963)
languge
English
publisher
Bold Strokes Books
series
The Crossfire Trilogy
review 1: Recently I've read three books from the publisher of Searching for Grace and it is by far the best of the three. While there is a clear anti-homophobic agenda on the part of the publisher that isn't the end all and be all of the novel - Searching for Grace is a multi-layered story. And as an added bonus it is the second book in a trilogy but it can be easily read as a stand alone novel. Prior to the start of the novel, Jonathan met and fell in love with Ian while at a church camp. He dealt with the conflicted feelings this brought up and has started revealing his true nature to his family. The revealing process is taken out of his hands when a person who is supposed to be his friend decides to start bullying Jonathan and outs him to the school. Luckily Jonathan is able to ... morefind new friends who accept him for who he is. Jonathan is slowly adjusting to his new life until Ian shows up in town and disastrous consequences ensue. These consequences are foretold from the very beginning of the book in flash-foward-type chapters. Hopefully more books like Searching for Grace are published in the future as we need more books like it on our shelves.
review 2: At the end of Caught in the Crossfire I was convinced I would not last until Searching for Grace… and the end of Searching for Grace has left me in the exact same state. I believe the email I sent Juliann said something along the lines of “I NEED TAKING THE STAND LIKE YESTERDAY.”Like the first book in the Crossfire Trilogy, Caught in the Crossfire, Searching for Grace is an amazingly unique and honest portrayal of a teen walking the line between his sexuality and his faith. As some of you know, I have walked a similar path. The experience is not much talked about in queer literature. It was very validating to read Caught in the Crossfire, and I hoped that the quality of representation would not decrease in the second book: I was not disappointed. Most books where religion and sexuality collide, the queer character turns their back on religion and their religious community. Which is am important thing to have represented to be sure— but not everyone goes down that path. I admit, I was worried that this book would start taking Jonathon down that road. I was looking for a book that went even more into the complexity of this situation: and that’s what I got.At the end of Caught in the Crossfire, we leave Jonathon determined to come out to everyone back home. But when he gets home, he finds his resolve wavering. The bubble of camp has been severed, his mother refuses to acknowledge his identity, and homophobia runs rampant in his school. He remains silent, and closeted. But soon, rumors start spreading about what happened at Bible Camp.Searching for Grace is a much harder book than Caught in the Crossfire. For me, the second book always cements my love for the characters, and this time was no exception. So when you add that love to them going through harder things… well.Dawn and Simon, my favorite characters from the last book return, and the equally enchanting characters of Mason and Sketch are introduced. Nerdy and artsy and funny (sooo many Dr Who references…), I found myself grinning almost whenever they appeared on the page. Jonathon’s character grows, and the way he reacts to every situation seems completely honest and realistic.The book was a balance between light and dark, humor and horror. Throughout the book, scenes are weaved in in which you have no idea what is happening, only that it’s something terrible, and Jonathon is in a hospital. Throughout the book I found myself unhappy with that, as I thought I knew what it was that had happened, and I really didn’t like it. But it wasn’t what I expected at all. And unlike most books that reveal a “twist” near the end, this one does not depend on it to make the rest of the story good.Overall, Juliann Rich’s writing continues to ring with honesty in a difficult subject matter that has not been explored before. Readers of Caught in the Crossfire will not be disappointed with Searching for Grace. less
Reviews (see all)
Rabii
So good. How long do I have to wait for the next book?
Chris
More later, but I really enjoyed this.
kaylalou
arc arc arccc!
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