*sigh* I love books. I love to read. Have I mentioned that before? Oh yes, only about 24,572 times.
Well, I love reading as much as I love chocolate!
Ch'ya, it's THAT serious.
I mean, when I imagine reading a good book while eating chocolate, it's like seeing a bit of heaven. And it brings a tear to my eye. *sniffle*
When I get to reading a good book, all else becomes as fruit candy in my chocolate dish. My kids get cold hot dogs and crackers for lunch and my house looks like it threw up on itself.
Well, I already knew Braden Bell was an amazing writer. See, *whispering* psst, I've already read an unpublished book of his. And it was so good my house totally threw up on itself.
Even though it is a completely different genre, when he asked if I'd be willing to do a book review for his book "The Road Show" that was just released, I may or may not have blushed and I may or may not have been thinking to myself, "Pish, does a chocoholic want a candy bar? I'm all over it like my three-year old's peanut butter and jelly sandwich!"
Although I'm pretty sure I left all that out of my email so I'd sound somewhat professional in my ponytail and sweats.
I've never officially reviewed a book before so those of you with experience may scoff, but only in secretive silence. My ego is fragile.
Here are my thoughts on the book. And yes, these thoughts are all mine and I did not make this up just to make Braden like me.
"The Road Show" is an LDS fiction (don't let that frighten you) that features five main characters, all dealing with very different, very real struggles. They are all brought together in an unusual setting, in which they do a road show together and experience healing through the atonement of Jesus Christ.
What's a Road Show? Think cheesy church musical on an almost non-existent budget. The last road show I was in, I was a penguin singing "I like to be in Antarctica to the tune of "I like to be in America" from the movie "West Side Story".
Oh ya, it was awesome.
Now, as I mentioned before, I already know that Braden was a fantastic writer. But I wasn't prepared for how true and real his book is.
I believe strongly that there is something for everyone in this book and that everyone can relate in one way or another to his characters on a very deep level, even if it's only on a small scale.
I cried at one point and laughed at another. And while I wouldn't call it a "funny" book, it was still fun and had some parts that were indeed funny.
The book left me feeling so uplifted that I actually had a strong desire to go out and share what I was feeling by uplifting another.
Due to the nature of the setting the book is written in, it seems that it would be more easily understood by LDS (Mormon) members. Not the struggles the characters are experiencing, for those are universal, just the overall setup. But Braden has a glossary for people not of the LDS faith so that they can understand the Mormon lingo.
What I loved about this book, aside from the fantastic writing, was that the atonement of Jesus Christ was made very tangible in the way it was written, very attainable. I say that because I think we know with our minds what the atonement is, but often fail to grasp it with our hearts.
As I read "The Road Show", C.S. Lewis' book, "The Screwtape Letters" came to mind in the way Braden described that mental and spiritual battle we have within us when we sin or are struggling. How easy we make it for Satan to squash the whisperings of hope and the love the Savior tries to make us feel.
Powerful, poignant, and amazingly real to life, Braden wraps it all up perfectly in a mere 128 pages.
I give it 4.8 out of 5 stars and would recommend it to anyone, anywhere, anytime.
To find out more about his book or to read sample chapters, be sure to check our Braden's website and blog!
Disclosure: I found out AFTER I agreed to do the review that I would get a free copy of the book for doing so. Woot woot!
This disclosure was written for Braden's lawyer brother, Ryan.
Because he told me to.
And when a lawyer speaks, I listen. Because I'm chicken like that.