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Life, In Spite of Me: Extraordinary Hope After a Fatal Choice

4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  742 Ratings  ·  156 Reviews
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,
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published May 4th 2010 by Multnomah Books
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Mandy J. Hoffman
Dec 27, 2013 Mandy J. Hoffman rated it it was amazing
Shelves: blog-reviews

Life, In Spite of Me is the story - the testimony! - of Kristen Anderson and God's amazing hand in her life despite her attempted suicide.

I read this book in two hours and hungrily turned each page as I cried in awe of God's amazing grace. Kristen wrote honestly with tenderness that not only shares her story, but touches you in whatever place you are in right now. I greatly appreciated the openness and the vulnerability with which Kristen shared her story.

The book was well written and
Karan Gupta
May 14, 2015 Karan Gupta rated it really liked it
It is always inspiring to see or rather read about someone turning the table on pain and suffering. Kudos to the author for finding happiness and meaning despite a self inflicted trauma - from which not many people can usually bounce back. Despite being moved by her resilience, I was a tad bit disappointed by her over the top preaching about the urgent need for people to believe and adopt Christianity. I am a strong believer that everyone needs to put their faith on something that makes us take ...more
Rori Rischak
I was disappointed by this book. I read the beginning of it on Amazon's Look Inside feature, and the beginning of the book completely sucks you in. I mean, you're reading about being run over by a train from the perspective of a girl who really was run over in a train, and it's an incredible thing to read.

I also think it was an excellent idea to start the book off describing the suicide attempt and the trip to the hospital, and then provide the background story (i.e., the events leading up to th
Feb 21, 2012 Blessedmomfxs rated it really liked it
Struggling with depression, Kristen Anderson acted impulsively. Depression coupled with impulsivity is often lethal. It could have been so for Kristen…but she didn’t die. She just lost both of her legs. She thought she had problems before that winter night. Waking up in intensive care, she wishes her suicide attempt had succeeded. Friends and family tell her, “You’re alive for a reason.” She struggles to find how that can be the case.

Kristen gets professional help, goes on anti-depressants and c
Keiki Hendrix
Jun 30, 2010 Keiki Hendrix rated it it was amazing
"“If you have a teenager, if you remember your teenage years and all the sad angst that went with it, if you want to read of the redeeming work of your Savior in a young girls life, read this book.”

Depression and suicide are powerful deceptions of the enemy to lure those with the most potential, our youth, away from the gracious love of God. In Life, In Spite of Me, Kristen Jane Anderson tells of her struggle with these oppression thoughts and feelings and how it drove her to think it best to en
May 19, 2010 Molly rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Molly by: LitFuse Group, Waterbrook Multnomah
With God, ALL things are possible. Including overcoming fatal choices and devestating tragedies. That's what Kristin Anderson learned and she's telling us all about it in her book, co-authored with Tricia Goyer, Life, In Spite of Me.

I'm truly happy I had the chance to review this emotionally gripping story of a brave young woman. It really puts life into perspective and God's light shines strong throughout. This brave young woman went through so much struggle and pain. Reading her story and see
Dustin Crazy little brown owl
I received this book through the goodreads first reads giveaway program. After receiving my free book, I realized it was a Christian Ministry book - the religious overtones did not bother me until the second half of the book. My copy arrived in hardcover - which was a nice surprise. I read the dust jacket flap and was hooked right away - unfortunately the first half of the book interested me more than the second half. The second half is more about Kristen finding a new life in Christ than the at ...more
Aug 10, 2015 Laurel rated it liked it
This book really touched me. The author was 17-year-old Kristen Anderson, a suicide attempt statistic. I finished it in one day --after picking it up at the Ohio State Fair . I could not put it down. In 2002 Kristen lay down on railroad tracks in from of a moving freight train, hoping to end her life. But unlike many people who attempt suicide and die, Kristen survived...but her legs were severed. Today in 2015 she's now a 30 year old wheelchair bound motivational speaker who runs a counseling b ...more
May 20, 2010 Jennifer rated it really liked it
From My Blog...[return][return]Grab a box of tissues prior to settling in to read Life In Spite of Me by Kristen Jane Anderson and Tricia Goyer. Kristen was a healthy active 17-year-old with a loving family when a series of events beyond her control began to cascade down upon her making her feel no longer in control, no longer worthy, tired, and longing to go to Heaven. Life In Spite of Me speaks openly and candidly to the reader about Kristen's experience, her thoughts on the evening she decide ...more
David Santos
Oct 14, 2011 David Santos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"I'm in the hopsital, can you come do my hair and makeup?"

That part cracks me up. Here you have a girl with two missing legs, laying practically on her death bed and all she cares about is her makeup and hair? No matter where a girl is at, she has to look pretty. Just like a girl. When us guys get ugly, we stay ugly! Seriously, this book is great. At first, when I started reading, our stories sounded very similar, but realized they weren't. However, the advice she gave through her struggles can
Jun 08, 2010 Barb rated it it was amazing
How could you not give this book 5 stars just for the simple fact that it was amazing about everything God did in Kristen's life? Kristen was depressed, and I believe the suicide from her best friend Brandon made her go over the edge to try to commit her own suicide. Lying on the railroad tracks and after 33 frieght cars severed both of her legs she should have been dead. But, God had bigger and better plans for Kristen. Her work wasn't done here on earth. She had yet alot of people to help and ...more
Jimmy Reagan
Jul 19, 2012 Jimmy Reagan rated it it was amazing
Do you need encouraged? Inspired? This book delivers. Kristen Jane Anderson gives us her tragic story that becomes transformed by the Lord into triumph. A suicide attempt on a train track left her a double amputee. She should never have lived (that’s no exaggeration as the book proves), but she did. Listen to her story and finally see the hand of God become clear.

I had never heard her story until my wife, a paraplegic herself, had been reading about Ms. Anderson and was fascinated by it. That in
May 20, 2010 Staci rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010-reads
When I picked up this book I honestly had no idea that Kristen lost her legs to her suicide attempt, her cover photo did not make me do a double-take at all. I found myself in shock that a person could actually feel that helpless and lost that they would lay their body across the railroad tracks in hopes of dying. Kristen's story is powerful, there is no doubt about that. But what is missing here is depth. The story is too straightforward and actually feels emotionless. I'm sure that was not the ...more
May 16, 2010 Michelle rated it really liked it
Life, in Spite of Me is a memoir-type book which I found very inspiring and insightful. I got a bit choked up several times, especially at the scene that described Kristen's baptism, because of how much her newly-changed life positively affected her family. This book was well-written and courageous. I loved the parts that read like a novel, such as when she remembered the past events leading up to the night she laid on the tracks. I also loved how detailed the story was regarding the aftermath a ...more
Jenn Hermann
May 12, 2010 Jenn Hermann rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful book, the author is very brave telling her story with others in hopes of preventing suicides. Parts were a little hard to read just because I understood the way she felt on a very personal level and had gone through similar things. I survived something when I was around the same age that I honestly look back on now and can only describe it as a miracle. Though I was not trying to commit suicide and it was a bus, not a train.

Overall, it is absolutely a wonderful story that I
Feb 21, 2015 Becky rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I will preface this review by saying that I lived one town away from where the author lived when she tried to commit suicide, so I was aware of the story before I read the book. I am also an atheist.

I began reading this book knowing that at least part of it would be about Kristen Anderson's belief in God & Jesus. I didn't expect that at least half of the book would be about her religion, and that it would be incredibly preachy. It conveys that individuals who don't accept Jesus as their pers
Timothy Stone
Feb 02, 2014 Timothy Stone rated it liked it
Sometimes we feel so much in our hearts and want to just *do something* about it all. For some of us, this can include self-injury or even suicide. Most of us do not go that final step, due to a good support system, the Lord graciously preventing it, or some other such reason. Some of us *DO* go through with some horrible action, however, and then the consequences are felt by all.

Kristen Anderson attempted suicide after months of emotional anguish. First her grandmother died, then a close friend
Apr 24, 2015 Laura rated it it was amazing
Such an amazing and inspiring story!
Candice Wagenleitner
Mar 10, 2015 Candice Wagenleitner rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, it is an incredible story of a girl who attempted suicide but instead of dying she lost both of her legs and lived. I can relate to her feelings of hopelessness and depression and it really is quite amazing that she lived.

What I did not like about this book was her going on about how once she found Jesus she was "healed." She goes off of medication because God wants her to trust him. Hmmm. Then for the last part of the book she goes on and
Oct 06, 2014 Rachel rated it really liked it
This is a, read in one day book but is by no means a book you'll forget after one day. I'm grateful that Kristen had the courage to not only continue to live, but to share her story with others.
Jun 16, 2014 Melinda rated it it was amazing
Kristen Anderson's life is a testimony of God's goodness, mercy, grace and love. Her story is about her second chance of living with hope when she started with none. Trying to fill the void in her heart, Kristen came to know the truth that the emptiness can only be found in the secure arms and forgiveness in Christ. Her journey is one of forgiveness--in Christ, towards others, and herself. She lives Romans 8:1, "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus."

I h
Jan 01, 2016 Heather rated it liked it
This was an easy, good read. I’m amazed by this woman’s strength. After everything she went through, to be so positive and so much a champion for God is absolutely AMAZING! I am humbled by her faith and her testimony. I ache for the pain she felt that led up to her suicide attempt. I can’t imagine doing such a thing only to end up still alive and without legs. What amazes me is how she was told repeatedly that she should NOT be alive. Medically, physically (meaning physics of being under a movin ...more
Dec 22, 2015 Jaguar rated it really liked it
She no longer wants to deal with all the emotional events--the death of her grandmother and three friends, and then raped by a friend she thought she could trust--all within a couple years. Her answer to this problem seemed obvious...suicide. So on a cold January night, the seventeen year old laid down on the ice cold train tracks and waits for her life to end. To be free at last from the burden of everything, and finally be at peace. The freight train comes barreling down the tracks. She can fe ...more
Sep 24, 2011 Jolene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kristen Jane Anderson's teen years were filled with one painful experience after another. Seeing no hope, she laid down on a set of railroad tracks and waited for the train to kill her. Unbelievably, after thirty-three freight cars ran over her, she was still alive – but missing her legs. Thus began a completely new part of her life. It was hailed as a miracle that she survived and Kristen's recovery was slow and painful. Only after her suicide attempt did Kristen come to know Jesus on a persona ...more
May 17, 2010 Debbie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian, memoir
"Life, In Spite of Me" is an inspirational memoir. As a teen, the author's family didn't talk about bad things, so she held all her grief and confusion inside when her father was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and depression, her grandmother died, a friend in her school was put in the hospital with a brain tumor, a close friend committed suicide, and a guy she liked raped her. She turned to drinking and partying in an attempt to find some relief, but that only made things worse. If any of these t ...more
Jennifer Defoy
This was an amazing book. It was so scary, touching, inspirational, and a million other things that aren't coming to mind right now. It was so full of raw emotion that I cried on many occasions while reading this one. I've never contemplated suicide, I've never been raped and yet I connected with everything Kristen was talking about. The way she tells her story I couldn't help but get pulled into it.

I can't imagine having to deal with what she was going through at such a young age. While she di
Jul 31, 2012 Sherrey rated it really liked it
When I chose to review Life in Spite of Me by Kristen Anderson (with Tricia Goyer), I really wasn't sure what to expect. I had read the description provided by WaterBrook Multnomah on its Blogging for Books site and the reviews found with the 17-page excerpt available on WaterBrook's site.

What could a young woman possibly write that would make this story, Kristen's story, palatable to a reading public? She made a choice one dark night to end her life, and she lived to tell about it.

But how do yo
Autumn Blues Reviews
Jun 07, 2011 Autumn Blues Reviews rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
A heart wrenching memoir of a teens struggle with depression, a failed crippling suicide and her struggle to attain a personal relationship with God.

A mix of emotions swam over me as I read this real life memoir of Kristen's life. A taboo subject for many Depression seems to eat away at our society while doctors look to treat it with medication, as if there is no other available option. I learned a lot from this book even though I have struggled with depression myself throughout my lifetime, due
Disclosure: I received a free ebook copy of 'Life, In Spite of Me' by Kristen Jane Anderson from
Blogging for Books in return for my review. All opinions are 100% my own!

We've all been hurt. We've all been depressed at one point or another. Have you ever felt like ending your life, though? In 2007 I was diagnosed with a chronic pain condition at the age of 17. I was severely depressed because I knew I was going to have it for the rest of my life. Did I feel like ending my life? Honestly, at one p
Aug 30, 2012 Marilyn rated it really liked it
The book begins, before the train accident, in the mind of a very depressed teenage girl. It continues pretty much right up to the moment the book is published, through all the events in between.

It is a very moving and touching story, and very much believable. (It is also a true story, so this is an important aspect). It correctly discusses the different elements of depression (especially in females), and even touches on the fact that depression can be largly genetic, in certain families.

I am no
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