Title: Life, in Spite of Me: Extraordinary Hope after a Fatal Choice
Author: Kristen Jane Anderson with Tricia Goyer
Challenges: Read 'n' Review Challenge; Take Another Chance Challenge (Challenge #5: Title Word Count)
First Sentence: "Numb. The cold Illinois wind chilled my body."
Summary (From book flap):
Overwhelmed by wave after wave of emotional trauma, Kristen Anderson no longer wanted to live. One January night, determined to end her pain once and for all, the seventeen-year-old lay across train tracks not far from her home and waited to die.
Instead of peace, she found herself immersed in a whole new nightmare.
Before the engineer could bring the train to a stop, thirty-three freight cars passed over her at fifty-five miles per hour. After the train stopped and Kristen realized she was still alive, she looked around -- and saw her legs ten feet away.
Surviving her suicide attempt but losing her legs launched Kristen into an even deeper battle with depression and suicidal thoughts as well as unrelenting physical pain -- all from the seat of a wheelchair.
But in the midst of her darkest days, Kristen discovered the way to real life and a purpose for living.
Life, in Spite of Me recounts in riveting detail the trauma of her suicide attempt, the miracle of her survival, and the life-transforming power of hope in Christ.
For anyone struggling to find the strength to go on, the message of this heart-wrenching yet hope-building book is clear:
God loves you more than you can imagine.
He has good plans for your future.
Life is a gift.
An extraordinary reminder that even when we give up on life, God doesn't give up on us.
My Two Cents:
I've never read an inspirational memoir before, so this was a new experience for me.
I think this book could do people in a certain place in life a lot of good. Anyone, teens especially, struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts could easily relate to Kristen's story. She gives a glimpse of what her life was like following her suicide attempt, such as a party she attends shortly after leaving the hospital, but I would have liked to see more of her daily struggles from that standpoint. We see a lot of how she struggles with depressive thoughts and wishing she were dead, but not a lot about the day-to-day problems she faced after losing her legs.
Her message is one of hope. She had these problems and she tried to do something about them, but God saved her for a higher purpose. It's a great message, and one with which a lot of people can identify. But, I also think her faith may have come a little too easily. Perhaps it's because she already was raised Christian, but Kristen just didn't seem to have the same struggles and questions a lot of new Christians have. I wondered if she really did just accept God that easily (If so, awesome for her!) or if she just left those things out of the book.
Either way, this was a really quick read and I would recommend it to anyone struggling with similar issues or anyone who wants to read a story of God working in a person's life.
I received a free copy of this book courtesy of WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group,