This Side of Salvation
By: Jeri Smith-Ready
Pub. Date: April 1, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Everyone mourns differently. When his older brother was killed, David got angry. As in, fist-meets-someone-else’s-face furious. But his parents? They got religious. David’s still figuring out his relationship with a higher power, but there’s one thing he does know for sure: The closer he gets to new-girl Bailey, the better, brighter, happier, more he feels.
Then his parents start cutting all their worldly ties in to prepare for the Rush, the divine moment when the faithful will be whisked off to Heaven…and they want David to do the same. David’s torn. There’s a big difference between living in the moment and giving up his best friend, varsity baseball, and Bailey—especially Bailey—in hope of salvation.
But when he comes home late from prom, and late for the Rush, to find that his parents have vanished, David is in more trouble than he ever could have imagined.
I really enjoyed This Side of Salvation. I usually stay away from books about religion and/ or cults, but I loved the cover and I am a fan of the author, so I gave this story a shot. I am so glad that I did. The writing was wonderfully done and I loved every single character.
David's parents are convinced that the Rapture, also known as the Rush is going to happen soon. When this occurs, everyone who is worthy is going to disappear and be safe, while God destroys the rest of the earth. You always have to laugh at people who believe religious fanatics such as David's parents. But in this case, Smith-Ready makes you understand. The death of David's older brother, John completely destroyed the family. I can even understand why a young kid like David would turn religious. The way his brother died was horrible and tragic, and David had first hand experience with what happened.
On the night that the Rush was supposed to happen, David and his sister, Mara were at a party. Coming home late, they expect to come home to angry parents, but there parents have disappeared. Neither of them believed that the Rush was going to happen, but what other explanation can there be? I loved trying to figure out the mystery along with David, Mara, Bailey (David's gf) and Kane (David's best friend). All of the characters were written in a way that made me feel connected to them. They were all really fleshed out, especially David.
We only get David's POV in This Side of Salvation, and I think for this story, having one point of view worked perfectly. I think it would have been too much if the author decided to add different POVs. The story is also told during "Now" and "Years, Months, Days, ect Before the Rapture". I liked this aspect of the story and thought it added a lot to it.
Overall, I really loved This Side of Salvation and I can't wait to see what Smith-Ready has in store for us next!