Saturday, October 18, 2014

Misdirected: A Novel by Ali Berman Review

I won a copy from Goodreads First Reads.

"Misdirected is the story of fifteen-year-old Ben, who moves to a small conservative Colorado town where his atheism seems to be the only thing about him that matters to everyone. His classmates bully him for not fitting in, his teachers don’t understand him, and with his brother serving in Iraq and his sister away at college with problems of her own, Ben is left on his own to figure things out. Being a teen is tricky to navigate when you’re an outsider, and Ben struggles to find his place without compromising who he is. He rebels against his teachers, he argues with his classmates, and he rejects what others believe, bringing the reader with him on his enlightening journey as he learns the value of challenging accepted beliefs—including his own."

No cover available. At least as of October 18, 2014. 

Misdirected is most certainly an interesting book, interesting novel. It may be short, but it definitely does get messy. There is God, there is faith, and there is hate. All those mixtures make a very messy, messy book.

(Out of curiosity, is the church in Misdirected called Westboro Baptist Church? Kind of sounds like them, but I'm not quite sure. At least, they aren't calling anyone anti-christ, but there are some terrible words involved). 

Ben, as the main character, is flawed, but he seems very real. Very 3D. He isn't angry (unless provoked), and he is much more accepting. Think him as a soldier in the war of atheists and believers. Faith is always something very touchy and sensitive. Ben is an unbeliever, and no, he doesn't get converted. He firmly believes in science and the hard facts, and he thinks the religious text to be fiction. 

But the point is that he is a really good mirror. He draws parallels between himself and the readers. And so does his girlfriend, Tess. She is a believer, yes, but she isn't as... crazy as the rest of the group in her church. 

And the book touches real-life situations very well, too. I enjoyed it very much, and it is quite fascinating to see the prejudices and beliefs at work. It is all very complicated, with so many colors and layers.

Overall, Misdirected is a great book. It isn't very hilarious or amusing, but it does get very sensitive and hits the more... sensitive topics. (Wow, I got a bit redundant on that part). There are great characters, though some aspects of the book seem a bit off-topic. But after thinking a bit, I consider Misdirected to be a questioning book with great parts and features and edges. 

And yeah... It is pretty good. I really liked it.

Rating: Four out of Five

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