I am sure that most of you have noticed by now that I am abstract. I say things that are often misconstrued and my opinions on things like faith, marriage and politics tend to vary from the norm. When I was in high-school this was a problem for me. As a matter of fact, it eventually broke me. I was, of course, well liked in my own circle of friends, but everyone else saw me as mouthy, opinionated and naive. It took a while for me (if I’m being honest with myself) to get past these “labels” (I guess you could say,) and view them in a different light.
Expressive. Passionate. Hopeful.
See, to everyone else I was just this girl who growled a lot and refused to go on weekend benders with my friends, but to me…well…I was just trying to be myself.
Because years earlier, someone much smarter than myself, told me that it was a good idea. His name was Dr. Seuss.
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
Peer pressure is a bitch. There really is no better way to describe it. As humans we crave acceptance, but as teenagers we are told that acceptance comes at a price. Some times it is our dignity. Sometimes our pride. But most of the time…it’s at the cost of our morals.
In Craig Hansen’s novel “Most Likely” Becky gets to learn about pressure the hard way.
“Becky Howard is a teen under pressure. Pressure from her best friend not to breathe a word about the abuse she’s suffering by her mother. Pressure from her sister to understand her marital difficulties. Pressure from her boyfriend to get more physical than she’s ready for. And pressure from the rumors about her boyfriend that are eroding her trust in him. As she prepares for the biggest track meet of her life, Becky’s about to learn that sometimes growing up is about more than having sex, and that clinging to ideals might not be as helpful as learning to expect whatever is MOST LIKELY.”
Let me first start by saying that this is, (in every way shape and form,) a Christian Themed novel. Now, while this doesn’t bother me, (since I’m a Christian and I have been known to dive into a faith filled read once or twice in my lifetime.) I DO know that people tend to get frustrated if that’s not divulged up front. So…in case you didn’t notice the cross on the cover of this book…God is a main character.
Now, moving on.
While I wasn’t all that impressed with the plot as a whole, (sorry Craig) there were parts of “Most Likely” that I really admired.
First…the characterization. Becky was clearly going through a crises of faith and her actions reflected this. She was lost, she had trouble concentrating and she second guessed even her most minute of actions, all of which displayed the wrenching inner turmoil she was dealing with in both her heart and her head. If the writing (as far as Becky’s traits are concerned) hadn’t been as strong as they were, the novel as a whole would have crashed and burned.
Second…Hansen’s ability to handle a touchy subject (child abuse) with grace was wildly impressive. While most authors shoot for “shock and awe” when dealing with a sensitive subject, Hansen chose a different road. Does that mean we aren’t given details as to what happened? Of course not, but instead of focusing on the bruises themselves, he chose to focus on the emotional ramifications of them which was a refreshing new take.
So…why wasn’t I a fan of the plot? Well…to be honest, I think it needed to be tightened up. (Don’t roll your eyes at my choice of verbs…let me explain.)
There were several moments throughout this book in which I thought Hansen started to repeat himself, (Most of these came after Becky’s sister showed up, if you were wondering) and because of this, the book started to drag about halfway through. The elements of the story were great, I just think the execution lacked finesse. If these issues were to be addressed, I think my opinion of the book would be slightly higher.
Overall…I think it was a nice CHRISTIAN read that could be helpful to any teen that is having an identity crises or at the very least pressure issues. For everyone else? I leave that up to you…you know your faith better than I do. I know books, and this one was average.
Happy reading my fellow Kindle-ites and remember: Sometimes it’s not about how FAST you are, but rather…about how STRONG you are.
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