Pinoy Book Tour Review : This Side of Salvation

This Side of SalvationTitle : This Side of Salvation
Author : Jeri-Smith Ready
Rating : 4 Stars!!!
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published April 1st 2014 by Simon Pulse
ISBN : 1442439483 (ISBN13: 9781442439481)

Source copy : PBT

Synopsis : 

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 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...

Source : Goodreads

"Because if I were sitting up in heaven knowing that people were suffering for all eternity and there was nothing I could do to help them? That would be the real hell."
- Mara

This Side of Salvation is about a family of five which suddenly becomes a four. A devastating tragedy happened to the eldest that leads the family into a catastrophe of grieving and moving-on. This is my first Jeri-Smith Ready book that I borrowed for the tour, simply because the title already captivated me. It was kind of being up in the sky with the theme of the title, because I almost guessed that it was a kind of book that would definitely lift me up throughout the story. The title itself feels like another Mitch Albom theme book which tackles about life, family and faith.

The book is a series of past and present. At first, of course I have no clue what does Rapture or Rush means. Heck, I dont even know where they even get that term that would pertain to religion and God himself. As I turned the page, I eventually learned that Rush is the time wherein God will get all the cleansed people who are ready to be with Him. And it was previously called as Rapture. 

From this, I find it unmanageable to me as to how these family will cling on to believe in Rush. David's family is like one of those ordinary family who live up in an organized town. And so I recognized the sudden change of the family when the eldest son died in the tragedy in the middle of the war. Mainly their Dad who can't get over and changed into another man he used to be.

The book was centered into the stage of grieving and accepting the death of their eldest. Although the book didnt actually pointed it out, I just felt that its the main reason why it all leads into believing in Rush. Easily, this is one of the things that I noticed in the author's writing style. She have a kind of element wherein the floor has its center piece.

This Side of Salvation is a combo of There Will Come A Time by Carrie Arcos and Have A Little Faith by Mitch Albom. It is generally sad because I can't even imagine how David was able to handle his Dad. His Dad who believes and speaks the word of the Bible to move on and believing God made it all for them - the death of John. Of course, I as a Catholic also feels the same way. God has its reasons for everything. But the way David's Dad handled it is so unnerving for me to even sacrifice all their lives for the Rush to come in. 

I realized that almost all of it is about the weakness of heart. At some point, the bond of the family weakens and their hope is God which is clearly comforting to me. Seeing this family be broken and mend themselves is magnificent. I loved how Jeri-Smith Ready was able to swiftly change the insights of David's Dad character. 

I recommend this to the readers who already read the books of Mitch Albom. You wont regret this book. I swear.