Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Life, In Spite of Me by Kristen Jane Anderson Review and Giveaway


"She wanted to die. God had other plans.

Why does my life have to be so painful?
What’s wrong with me?
It’s not going to get better.
It could all be over soon, and then I won’t hurt anymore.

Kristen Anderson thought she had the picture-perfect life until strokes of gray dimmed her outlook: three friends and her grandmother died within two years. Still reeling from these losses, she was raped by a friend she thought she could trust. She soon spiraled into a seemingly bottomless depression.

One January night, the seventeen-year-old decided she no longer wanted to deal with the emotional pain that smothered her. She lay down on a set of cold railroad tracks and waited for a freight train to send her to heaven…and peace.

But Kristen's story doesn’t end there.

In Life, In Spite of Me this remarkably joyful young woman shares the miracle of her survival, the agonizing aftermath of her failed suicide attempt, and the hope that has completely transformed her life, giving her a powerful purpose for living.

Her gripping story of finding joy against all odds provides a vivid and unforgettable reminder that life is a gift to be treasured." 


Wow! First of all, let me say that this book is a little difficult to read. Within the first 10 pages Kristen has already been ran over by the train. I am often drawn into stories of other peoples pain and misery partially due to my Psychology history (I have taken several college courses and that was my original degree) and partially due to the morbid human nature that is strong in me. Even still, the first half of this book depressed the hell out of me and made me worry for my future teenage daughter. I still don't understand why Kristen did it. I do however, love what became of her because of it.

Kristen tells her story of her Grandmother's death, the death of a few other friends, the suicide by hanging of a close friend, her rape and finally her parents grounding her "until farther notice". All of this mixed with teenage emotions and the fact that she kept everything to herself leads to Kristen's attempted suicide. While it is painful to read, this is an excellent book. Kristen's life is anything but boring. She also talks about her recovery and all of the issues that come along with missing your legs. Eventually, She finds God. God helps her to not only get through her trauma, but to realize why she was saved. 

By the end of this book I was smiling and I felt the strong need to pray. I have always believed in God and had faith, but I have never really been to church regularly. My parents never went to church when I was growing up. I used to ask to go with my Grandfather. He would take me every week and I Loved it. Unfortunately, my Grandfather moved away when I was still pretty young. Then, I had no one to take me to church. I went on and off throughout my youth with a few friends, but never very much. Somewhere along the lines as I was coming into adulthood I realized how much of church is a business. To this day I don't go to church, but I still pray occasionally and believe in God. Kristen made me realize that I should talk more with God and that I could talk to him about anything.

Not too long after reading this book, a close friend of mine came very close to death. I watched him fight for breath and die over a period of a week or so. It was very hard. After the first night that I went to see him, I talked to God. Kristen and God both helped me find the strength to get through this experience. I think reading this book has helped me to become a better person. Whether or not you are religious, I think you should give this book a chance. You will be pleasantly surprised by the time you are finished.

Go here to learn more about Kristen and her charity Reaching You Ministries.
Go here to purchase the book ($19.99).

One lucky reader will win a copy of Life, In Spite of Me

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@Latsyrc728 has a Life, In Spite of Me by Kristen Jane Anderson #Giveaway http://goo.gl/fb/bweL2 (ends 06/02) ~Please RT~

Giveaway ends 6/02/10 at 9pm EST. Giveaway is for US residents only. No P.O. Boxes. Winner will be chosen randomly. Winner will be contacted via e-mail and then will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner will be chosen.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Life, In Spite of Me from WaterBrook Multnomah  in exchange for hosting this giveaway. I was compensated in no other way. The thoughts here are my own honest opinions

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