Tessa, by Melissa Wiltrout, is the story of a young woman who undergoes extreme abuse at the hands of her parents, but goes on to find the love and redemption of Jesus Christ through difficult circumstances.
The book certainly has its good points. Written in first person perspective, the dialogue, internal thoughts, and actions are all well balanced. The story has some very heartwarming moments and Jesus’ love and healing power are clearly displayed. I also appreciated the level of realism. This was not a fluffy book and the characters’ stories were, for the most part, realistic and believable.
That being said, I have to honestly say that I didn’t really enjoy the book. The main character obviously went through things that no one should ever have to experience and the very last thing I’d ever want to do is judge her, however, she simply wasn’t a likable character. One of the issues I had was that I didn’t find out her age until the second to last page. I would have had an easier time with some of her behavior if she was only 12 vs. 15, so not knowing her age was hard for me.
I also felt that the pace was off. I was on chapter 26, half-way through, when I first felt the story was going somewhere. To me, it felt like the largest part of the book was dedicated to character development without the characters actually developing. And, considering the length of the book and some extraneous details, the end seemed abrupt and rushed, and I felt cheated to turn the last page and discover that what I saw as the two main issues would remain unresolved.
In the end, I certainly appreciated the overall story and the author’s writing style. Most importantly for a Christian book, I saw no faulty doctrines and I felt that the love of God was very well represented.
This book did have some violence, particularly early on, but I would still recommend it to teenage girls 13-16. You can pick up a copy here.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Blogger Book Review Partnerships. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
This is the first of what will hopefully be many book reviews that I post on this blog. If there is a book you would like me to review, please leave a comment below and I’d be happy to look into it.
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