Monochrome Days: A first hand account of one teenager’s experience with depression

This fall for my Child and Adolescent Counseling Techniques class we read six Oxford University Press novels on different mental health issues that adolescents face. These books were written through the Adolescent Mental Health Initiative by the Annenberg Foundation Trust … Continue reading

Book Review: How to Make Love Like a Porn Star by Jenna Jameson & Neil Strauss

Jenna Jameson Book

Raw. Honest. Insightful for aspiring porn stars, and yet… Inspiring. Jenna Jameson’s “cautionary tale,” How to Make Love Like a Porn Star, gives us a glance into the whirlwind life of an impressionable, young girl from a dysfunctional home who … Continue reading

Book Review: Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult

I love to read, and now that I find myself with a month off of school and only working about 20-30 hours a week I am catching up on all of the fun reading I miss during school. Unfortunately, though, I am someone who reads the first chapter of a book and if it is boring I won’t read the rest of it.  This has led to many books being left on my book shelf with a bookmark halfway through, left because my attention span wasn’t satisfied.

Since I was in high school I have been a huge Jodi Picoult fan.  She writes fiction novels that are based on events that almost anyone can relate to.  I have many of her books and will continue to post some of them in the future.  One of my all time favorites (which I have read twice, which says a lot) is Change of Heart.  Here is a brief synopsis of the book…”Shay Bourne – New Hampshire’s first death row prisoner in 69 years – has only one last request: to donate his heart post-execution to the sister of his victim, who is looking for a transplant. Bourne says it’s the only way he can redeem himself…but with lethal injection as his form of execution, this is medically impossible.”

Father Wright, Shay’s spiritual adviser, is brought into prison to convince him that redemption is not brought through the donation of an organ, but by turning to Christ.  When Shay starts to perform miracles in prison Father Wright realizes Shay is following a fairly unknown religious scripture called the Gnostic gospel.  In between a media frenzy caused by the court case Shay has opened to try to change his form of execution and them finding about miracles that Shay is performing, Father Wright questions Shay and what this man is capable of.  He goes through his own form of spiritual questioning that offers a different perspective at religion and faith.  The book sheds let on the how fused religion and politics truly are in our country.

change-of-heart-400

My review:  I originally read this book as a senior in high school when I was just beginning to really dig deeper into my religion and faith.  The book asks questions and sheds light on issues that I had not ever contemplated.  This book  leaves you questioning your own personal beliefs, the power of faith, the death penalty, religious structures, and the power of forgiveness.  Whether or not you are deeply religious, are agnostic, identify as being spiritual, or this question isn’t part of your life, you will find this book engaging and filled with insight.  It does question both organized religion and political identification, so if you don’t want to read about this, avoid it.  I left this book in Wausau, but plan to read it again over break!

What books do you suggest that I read over break?

-Allie