Sunday 8 October 2017

BOOK REVIEW: Finding Freedom by Brittany Nicole Lewis

Finding Freedom
The Zion Series, Book 1
Author: Brittany Nicole Lewis
Genre: YA Christian Fiction
Publication Date: March 16th, 2017

Book Description:
Katie was born into a cult. Her family lived there for generations. As she got older, she realized the Elders were keeping secrets from the community. Risking everything, she leaves the cult and searches for the truth. With the help of outsiders, Katie and her young husband David are put in touch with an organization called Purple Haven, which provides medical care, shelter, counseling and job training to individuals who have escaped from cults. She soon discovers she’s pregnant. With the help of her husband, her therapist, and two friends, Katie learns what it means to have a relationship with God.

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Finding Freedom was the first Christian fiction novel I've read, and I must say it was not what I was expecting, in a pleasant way. This is quite a straightforward story about a young girl trying to find her place in the world. Having grown up in a cult - the Zion community - with her family her whole life, Katie Martin lives a very structured life where everything is planned out for her, right down to who her future partner will be. Her seemingly ideal life starts to spiral out of control, however, when she finds out that the Zion community isn't what it's portraying itself to be. Katie soon starts to question the conduct of her community, and as she comes of age, she starts to disengage from Zion, which ultimately causes her to make big life-changing decisions.

In all honesty, I didn't engage with the story right away as there was a lot of info dump in the opening chapters. Instead of seeing how the community operated, we heard about how it was run, so the story didn't come to life during these chapters. As the story progressed, however, we started to see more interactions between the characters and there was more dialogue introduced, so the characters started to make more of an impression on me and I really started to see how fascinating the story was. I really liked the characters, particularly the main characters, Katie and David. Given how bold their actions were when they decided it was time for a change, I had anticipated a radical side of these characters to emerge, and when it didn't, I felt the story was being a little too safe. The tone of the story never wavered, which was a shame as there were a number of moments I felt demanded a level of defiance or dominance from the characters that I didn't see. Still, I loved the loyalty and determination these characters expressed when it came to protecting their family. Their bond and partnership was solid, which was pleasing to see. They made me believe in their love and, more importantly, they made me root for them.

Despite the grammatical errors and the overload of exposition, I found the story intriguing enough that I could bypass the little things and enjoy the book. I was especially happy that the book wasn't preachy. This was a good read, and I am eager to find out what becomes of Katie and her family.


Award: Silver
Rating: 3 out of 5
Source: Author

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