I was intrigued by Hill's book from the cover picture and the title. Since I have been an "Ember," (the main character) my whole life, I wanted to see what a novel would be about and how this phenomenon would be portrayed. I've thought of writing about experiences that actually happened and passing it off as science fiction because it was so strange no one would believe that it was true. So, I asked the author if the story was autobiographical! And, no, it is not--it is strictly fiction.
About the book: Page turner! I was hooked from the first page. This is a story of a teenager finding who she is in Christ and learning to live according to her God-given design. Ember, 16 going on 17, is suddenly pitched from a life of financial ease and of living on the surface into the restrictions of the single-parent, working middle class, much to her relief. Because of the move she has distance from the artificial, "plastic" life-style that left her empty and with a recurring nightmare. She remembers that she gave her life to Jesus; she begins to attend church and "things" begin to happen. She "knows" information about people they did not tell her. Through her mistakes she learns how to share such information in a way that is appropriate to the individual.
Hill accurately portrays the various reactions that people have to such a "gift." Some will sever relationships; some ponder, others dialogue. Some are open to explore and others are not. Some are grateful that someone else knows/understands their pain. The characters are real, sometimes painfully so. Anyone who has had to move and start over as a teenager will relate to Ember's experiences of being "the new kid" and from going from big city to small town, of not knowing what is expected or appropriate. Anyone who has ever wondered how to address unexpressed questions; who wondered "who" they are, what they are to do and be, will also relate. This was definitely a story that validates the truth of Romans 8:28, that "all things do work together for those who love God." Teens in the throes of "finding self" especially need to hear this truth.
My Reaction: There are a few voices validating what life is like with a "gift." I welcomed another voice to our small chorus; a voice a teen can understand and respond to. It is good to learn these things when a person is a teenager--much better than learning them as a middle-ager! When I finished the book I was emotionally drained. It is not often that I read a work of fiction that so accurately captures reality! I felt somewhat like Ember in the final nightmare...(chuckle) and you will have to read the book to find out what that is!
This book is well done on all fronts. I highly recommend it to the general audience, but especially for teens. It is a clarion call to BE YOURSELF!!
To see a book trailer: GodTube Link: http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=FCECCCNU
To leave comments or to see more of Tammy you can find her in all the usual places!
Official Website: www.aseriesofgifts.com
God always gives us good gifts but when we don't understand them or realize that is what we have life can become confusing and painful. I would encourage any reader struggling with such issues to find someone safe to talk to and pray with to shed some light on what is happening with you.