**This book was given to me in exchange for my honest review**
Somewhere between 3 and 4 stars
I wasn’t expecting to get caught up in this story as much I was, especially because I was in the middle of reading a really good book series. However, I felt that if I didn’t read it now, I might not ever get to it. And I’m pretty glad I did.
First off, I wouldn’t label this a Christian book, although there are themes of religion and Christianity involved. Being raised in a Christian church and going to a Christian college, I’m familiar with some of the settings. However, the description about the main character’s faith in God was kind of what drew me to it.
Braden is the main protagonist, and basically, his family is all kinds of dysfunctional. Since he lives in a small-town community, you’d think his dad being accused for murder wouldn’t gain national attention, but it does for two reasons: who his dad is accused of murdering, and that fact that his dad is an outspoken Christian radio host.
When Braden’s brother comes back to town after being gone nine years without any communication with Braden of their father, things start to unfold about the life that Braden has been living.
It’s a painfully realistic story of how so many kids and teens can and have been manipulated by those in authority, and in many cases, by their parents. Not only that, because of his belief that God will make everything right in a conventional sense only exacerbates the confusion and low self-esteem in himself.
Although he knows he’s a good pitcher, we get to know just how low in the totem pole he thinks he is, and it’s a sad and brutal look at the life of a boy so subtly manipulated into thinking that only one person can love who he truly is.