By Sheila, Submitted on 2015-02-25
Hope's Journey starts out like any other book of high school seniors living their lives. I liked the group of friends that hang out and appear to know each other very well. Main characters, Syd and Alex, (both active members of the LDS church) are not only best friends, but also boyfriend and girlfriend. Many of the challenges that young people face are intertwined in this story of young love. The issue of morality plays strong in this story. This novel shows that ALL kids, religious or not are tempted when it comes to premarital sex. On the front cover are these words:
"A life changing mistake. A soul-changing journey"
From the back cover we already know that Syd becomes pregnant. This novel explores the heart-ache and trials, that come to both teens, as they decide what to do concerning the baby. I knew ahead of time that this book would bring up many emotions in me. I was adopted as a baby, and my birth mom was only sixteen years old. I have always been so grateful for the gift of life that she gave to me. I have also been happy that she chose adoption because I love my family so much! I also am the Mother of an adopted child. Her birth mom was also a teenager. I know of the struggles teens go through, as they try to decide what happens after they find out they are pregnant. I want to say here, there is no wrong or right answer. All birth parents have to make the choice that is best for them and their baby. I know with God's help they can make the right choice. This is the overall message in the book, along with the blessing of forgiveness that all people can accept and seek after.
Some of the reactions of ward and family members, towards Syd and her unplanned pregnancy, can be shocking to the reader, especially the actions of Alex's mother. Sadly, I have seen behaviors just like this with people. I hope that all readers will realize that we all sin and need to be careful not to judge others. Some reviewers have said they were troubled by the ending of this book. There is a kind of twist in the last chapter that you don't see coming. I was also surprised, but not troubled. I am also wondering if there will be a 2nd book in this series. I would love to have all of the relationships explored more.
Hope's Journey is a book that I would happily share with any teenager within my circle of friends and family. The message of hope and forgiveness is something that all of us need to be reminded of.
By Lisa, Submitted on 2015-02-25
Sydney and Alex have their lives all planned out, and things are running smooth. Mostly. Everything changes when Sydney discovers she's pregnant. They both have to deal with their own struggles of seeing their dreams shattered. Sydney and Alex must figure out their paths separately, something they never thought would happen. In doing this, they must also figure out if their futures involve each other. The only sure thing is that nothing will be as they planned it to be.
I'm going to get the little bit of negative out of the way first. This is a book with very introspective characters. Sometimes it was a bit too introspective to me. However, some people will really love this aspect of the book. I just got overwhelmed with the emotion of it all sometimes. My other minor issue was with the ending. I don't want to spoil anything, but I did feel like it was wrapped up a bit too neatly.
That being said, what this book did well it did very, very well. This book did a brilliant job in portraying an unexpected teen pregnancy, especially as it pertains to LDS members. Having known females and males in Sydney and Alex's positions, the things they went through and feelings they felt were spot on. The way Sydney got negative treatment from members of her ward was so heartbreaking, yet so accurate. It can be a very harsh world for a single pregnant young lady within the church. I also really felt for both Sydney and Alex. Their struggles with self-worth and forgiveness were hard to read at times, and I wanted to be able to reach into the page and help them.
I think the most important thing this book did was emphasize that so many times the mistakes we make in life can be tied into our feelings of self-worth. This is applicable to both young and not-as-young women. I think that this book really gives an amazingly accurate look into the lives of two people who find themselves in the position of becoming parents at a less than desirable time in their lives. I think a lot of people would benefit from reading this book. Hopefully it can raise awareness on the feelings of young mothers and fathers and the empathy we have for their situations. Everything is handled in such a way that even younger people can read it comfortably. This book can certainly open up avenues of conversation. Overall this book did a wonderful job of telling a difficult story in a wonderful way.
Book provided for review.
By Tiffanie, Submitted on 2015-02-25
This is unlike any book I've ever read. It was very well written and I enjoyed reading it but what made it different from other books is that is was so real and enlightening to the true feelings of individuals in similar situations. The author really pin points the emotions that teenage and young adult girls go through concerning the need to feel loved and wanted during those critical years. The author also explores the feelings that boys experience during these life-altering years. I loved how the author described the journey of the young girl and boy discovering who they were to God and how precious each individual is to Him. It is definitely not what I expected it to be but it was so much better because of the raw emotions and truthfulness of it all. I recommend it for anyone at any age. It is truly a lovely coming-of-age story!
By Misty, Submitted on 2015-02-25
Beautifully, achingly honest, Hope's Journey is a realistic exploration of a teenage pregnancy. Written from an LDS perspective, Worlton emphasizes what a taboo subject this can be in LDS circles, how cruel and prideful we can be without realizing it, and how our snap judgements of others can be so very unfair and unwise besides. Told through both Sydney and Alex's points of view, she explores subjects such as worth, worthiness, insecurity, accepting change, forgiveness, and repentance. Her characters are not only realistic but endearing. You will wish you were one of their friends.
By Sarah, Submitted on 2015-02-25
I loved this book. It was absolutely phenomenal. It was very realistic, and made you feel like you were in these young peoples situation. It'll make you laugh, cry, and give you hope. It is a great story of repentance, and the power of love from your family, friends, and from your heavenly father.