Monday, August 9, 2010

"Forgotten" by Melody Carlson

In terms of suspense and voice, this book is one of Carlson’s better books. However, the strong religious part is lacking. The story is about a seventeen year old girl that ends up being homeless. What’s interesting is that Carlson does not just dive into the homelessness. Instead, she tells the girl’s story from the beginning—from riches to rags, if you may. Teenage love is discussed a bit, but there is nothing graphic. Friendships are included, as are young rivalries among said members. While there is no description, things such as drunkenness, prostitution, and sexual abuse are mentioned. What this broken girl experiences while on her own really will make readers reevaluate how they view the homeless and how they don’t know what their friends are really like when they leave the school building and go to whatever place they call home. As with all of Carlson’s books, there is a religious tone. Conversely, it is pushed towards the end and speaks of God, not really Jesus. The one time Jesus’ name is mentioned, it’s when the girl readers a sign for a homeless shelter. Having a relationship with God [and learning about peace, grace, and the fact that bad things happen to good people] is covered. Still, there is no big push for Jesus or that He is the only way. Perhaps, this book will be best for young girls that are not super strong Christians. It will force them to reevaluate their lives and realize that, no matter their circumstance, life can be worse. It’s great that the girl finds a home in the end and develops a friendship with God (yeah, surprise surprise for a Christian publisher), this reviewer would like a book that has more Jesus in it. ;)

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