awakeningWriting a review for a book like Awakening, by Claudia Cangilla McAdam, part of the new young adult fiction line by Sophia Institute Press, under the Imagio imprint, is like walking a fine line.

How much do I tell you without telling you too much? But, on the other hand, if I don’t convince you, you might mistakenly think that this is a book you can live without.

OK, maybe you can. I thought, after I read the back cover, that I could too. It just seemed…not as pressing as some of the other novels in my stack of books.

In this novel, I found a story that gripped me and writing that moved me to a new consideration of one of the most important events in human history: the Passion of Jesus Christ. It makes use of an old sort of concept and twists it with characters who are relatable and tangible.

How can Awakening do all this in less than 150 pages? Therein lies the expertise. Therein lies the art. Therein lies the beauty.

If you need a boost for your faith journey, or a reminder of how stories can charge your understanding of God, consider a copy of this book. It’s both a spiritual prod and a book you can put in the beach bag for summer fun.

Though it’s labeled young adult, I recommend this book for anyone. For me, the YA label is compelling because it means I’ll be able to whip through it (call me lazy, I don’t mind). It also means, in many instances (especially with mainstream titles), that I get to skip distasteful scenes that I would rather not read anyway.

Many of the YA titles I read, though, also give me a very real glimpse of the world of the teens around me. I have a lot of teens in my life, but only little kids in my house. I want to be in touch, and reading YA helps me to stay a little closer.

But, truth be told, I just like this book. YA or not, short or long, it’s a great read.

(I did receive a complimentary copy of this book thanks to the kind folks at Sophia Institute Press. This did not bind me to writing a rave review; I would have done that anyway.)

Copyright 2010 Sarah Reinhard