This was yet another example of how an author of Christian fiction has taken what secular fiction is doing and tried to Christian-ify it. Dystopia is super popular right now, so Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee paired up to write this dystopian novel. Ok, I can get on board with that, but the problem for me was (as it has been with other books) that not only is it just another dystopia, it's not even an original or well-done dystopia. If you read YA at all, you probably recognized the plot line: a future world where all emotion has been erased (Delirium?). Except guess what? Our MC has found the cure - drinking the blood of someone who lived before emotion was destroyed. So he does, goes through a horrible transformation and then his female best friend decides that she might as well try it too. And guess what? They immediately fall in love.
This was where I really gave up caring because it was so far beyond belief to me. That two characters who have never experienced emotions other than fear and who are being pursued by the government who is trying to kill them and has killed their families also just happen to have the time to not only process all the new emotions but fall in love. And almost have sex, because we don't want to NOT appeal to secular culture, but we can't go through with it either because then the Baptist bookstores might not sell it either. It's that playing to both markets that really got me with this one. Not because I'm opposed to Christians writing fiction and selling it in the secular market and not because I'm opposed to Christians writing fiction and selling it to BOTH markets - I think cross-market advertising opportunities for Christian fiction are amazing. But write something that rings true. Don't try so blatantly to appeal to both that the writing suffers - and for me that is where this book fell apart.
I am desperate to see some Christian authors who successfully market to both audiences - or really just write well despite what market they appeal to. Not that there aren't Christians doing that, but I'd love to see more examples of authors who are Christians who are writing about life and who aren't writing for a specific market - and way too much of what Christians are doing right now is overtly aimed at one market or the other. Just write and do it well - unfortunately this isn't an example of that.
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