Some laugh out loud moments, some moments were it seemed a little too happy-go-lucky. Over all, fairly successful for a third book in a series.
I think what knocked that fourth star off for me was the chick flick ending sort of thing. I knew it was coming, but it just didn’t end the story in a very creative way. Other then that this book was rather timely for me, as I am just completing my senior year of university. Going to a conservative Christian University I could still relate to it pretty well, especially the idea of all your friends getting married off and having babies and such. I think the first book will always be my favorite though.
I’m really not sure why I liked this book so much. Anne should really come across as a mary-sue, she gets so close sometimes, but ultimately she dodges that particular bullet every time. I think it has to do with how many scrapes she gets into, and how many people think she’s crazy. It also probably has to do with the fact that I listened to it as I went to bed, instead of reading through it; I am not sure if I could have stuck with such an optimistic character for so long if I had had to read it.
So I must say that this book manages to balance happy optimism and realism to an extent rarely seen. It reminded me a lot of Little Women, except with less of an agenda. I kind of wish that they still let sixteen-year-olds teach elementary school.
This book does have some good points. As Christians we should ideally be working on maturing in our faith. It is good to be sure that you’ve actually given your life to Christ (and haven’t just inherited Christian culture from your parents), and God did create us to bring glory to himself - he’s perfect, so he gets to do stuff like that.
BUT, I am not this book intended audience, and this book is a dangerous mess.
Even if he hadn’t told us, it wouldn’t have been that hard to guess that MacDonald has an anger problem. He just comes across at times as so very angry with other people who are “twisting” the gospel in various ways. I do agree with him on some points, if you think that God’s grace gives you license to sin Paul does have some words for you. But the way that he came across as so cynical, so negative and so angry, did not show any maturity and really embodied the antithesis of the fruits of the spirt. I was really surprised that this guy is allowed to disciple other people. He actually equates (on page 194) the Lord’s Prayer and Hail Mary, and says those are those are not the prayers to be praying. I know a lot of people really don’t like liturgy, but the Lord’s Prayer is in the BIBLE! It is Jesus showing us how to pray. It is never wrong to pray the Lord’s Prayer.
Besides that, he is literally all over the place. One minute he is kicking positive thinking to the curb, saying it’s a horrible idea and he thanks God that people are disproving such folly, and the next minute he is saying we can only truly change if we believe we can. Sounds a bit like positive thinking to me. He repeats this cycle with almost every other self-help formula on the market today. While I guess his views ultimately come across as middling, which is the water I like to swim in, I really feel like the book would have benefited from more restrained language.
Finally, he lists extreme quietness as a sin you might want to work on.
So yeah, this book was hard for me to read. Really got to work on my own anger issues. I am hoping that these thoughts will be helpful to others or even myself - I would love to hear from anyone who thinks I’m wrong, as long as we can keep it constructive. Yes sin is something serious that we need to work on, despite the fact that I like to think about how much God loves me (even though I don’t deserve it) I still believe that.
While I didn’t necessarily appreciate some of the intimate details Ilgunas felt inspired to share - especially when it came to his genitalia and other regions which are generally covered. What I really liked about this book was the journey of the author as he “came of age”. Of course the perspective of the memoir is from his vantage point at the end, so maybe I shouldn’t be so lenient on him, but it did seem - particularly after he got into grad school - that his narrative style at least got a bit less judgmental and egotistical. He isn’t perfect, but who is?
Over all 4 stars. Down with the system! I don’t know. I am certainly biased in Ilgunas’ favor.
Amazingly enthralling, horrifying, realistic, and humerus, almost all at the same time.
I listened to this book again, suffering under the false delusion that it could not possibly be as good as I remembered. I was wrong. Soulful poetic science fiction does exist!