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This Side of Salvation

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  914 ratings  ·  155 reviews
Everyone mourns differently. When his older brother was killed, David got angry. As in, fist-meets-someone-else’s-face furious. But his parents? They got religious. David’s still figuring out his relationship with a higher power, but there’s one thing he does know for sure: The closer he gets to new-girl Bailey, the better, brighter, happier, more he feels.

Then his parents
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published April 1st 2014 by Simon Pulse
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Leila I haven't read the book but I imagine the Rush is an important day in their religion when their earthly lived will end and they will spend eternity wi…moreI haven't read the book but I imagine the Rush is an important day in their religion when their earthly lived will end and they will spend eternity with their god in their version of heaven. (less)
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 ·  914 ratings  ·  155 reviews

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Stephanie Fitzgerald
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Mature Y.A. readers and older
This was a very different type of Y.A. book to read. It involves a family whose members are mourning the death of the oldest son. David deals with his grief by acting out destructively and questioning God about why his brother had to die. Mara throws herself into getting ready for college.The parents just seem lost...until they encounter a radical preacher who claims to know the date and time of the “Rapture”. Then they cut themselves off from “worldly” things, constantly quote Scripture (even t ...more
Stuti Rai
Apr 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
"Ooh, sneaking in math homework. Rebel geeks!"
"Studying like there's a tomorrow," I said with a movie-trailer voice.

I'd like to consider myself secular, but I know I'm not because I only like the festivals and holidays. The fun ones. Maybe I'm straddling the line between atheism and agnosticism, but the bottom line is: I'm not a believer. I don't believe in Gods or gods and although it doesn't mean my faith, or lack thereof, casts shadow or light or whatever-the-fuck on my perspective, I do
Debbie Narh

2.5 Stars

I'm not a religious person and I highly doubt I will ever become one. I think that this is one of the reasons why cults interest me so much, they explore different kinds of religions, mashing them up and manipulating people to believe complete nonsense and stealing their hope and faith, some of the last things they have to offer. The idea of cults in this story is a lot different from the ones seen in documentaries and that's what first interested me. I was looking for something dif
Dec 15, 2014 rated it liked it

Another you get 24 hours to read this book from pulseits 31 books of Christmas.

David and his sister Mara are home schooled with many rules. No dating until 16 and only in a group setting. A strictness that seems to have happened after the death of the eldest son Jon. They are religious, their father speaking only in bible verse after the loss of employment. The bible also a replacement for his alcoholism. And now they believe the second coming of Christ is about to happen. The Rush as it is call
I was so lucky to have been able to read an early version of this book. It’s a beautiful, poignant, uplifting story that makes you think about love, life and loss in a whole new way. You will fall in love with the protagonist, David. And that cover! Eep – it fits the story SO perfectly.

This is very different than anything Jeri has written before. - a male protagonist (yay! because Jeri writes the male POV perfectly IMO) and a stand alone novel that explores a lot of interesting ideas.

Jun 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow, what an amazing, intense, deep, unique and awesome book!! Jeri, you did it again *bows*

This Side of Salvation is so different from any other books I’ve ever read and I don’t mean it just because the theme of religion is part of the book but because it really made me think about a lot of things, it’s complex and deep; truly special! Me, I was raised a catholic but I was not offended at any moment that I read this book, one is definitely free to believe whatever they want but I don’t think th
May 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
I've been a fan of Jeri Smith-Ready since WICKED GAME, the first book in her WVMP series, came out. It was smart, funny, and an inventive take on vampires. I was quite excited to read THIS SIDE OF SALVATION, her first foray into contemporary fiction.

David was a baseball star with a girlfriend he loved, but he gave it up because of the Rush. He didn't believe in the Rush, but he still prepared for it. Now his parents believed. They believed their priest, Sofia Visser, that they would be taken to
I wasn't really sure when I started this book. For the first half of the story, I wasn't fully invested in it. There were too many distractions for me and I find the flashbacks quite annoying. They drag the story and made no sense at first. But when I've reached the ultimate turning point where every detail falls into the right place, I find myself quite amused with the plot. It wasn't a bad book. It was more than good actually. That is, if you have enough patience to get this through, you'll se ...more
Aimee ♥ | Aimee, Always
You can find this review and more at Deadly Darlings, a young adult book blog.

*Thank you to Simon Pulse for the review copy!

First things first--I want you guys to know that this review will be coming from the perspective of a religious person, a believer, at that. I don't know if you'd have different thoughts on this one if you're from a different religion or don't have one.

Honestly, when I went into the novel, I thought that it'd be about a non-believer who went against his parents' beliefs. Bo
Jan 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
Nope, just didn't do it for me. The topic of the Rapture, or Rush as it's called here, might interest some teens, particularly here in the Bible Belt, but this incarnation just fails to thrill, challenge, or titillate. For me, it wasn't particularly entertaining, so when I factor in YA attention spans, doesn't that mean even less of that audience will buy in to David's story of the prom night that corresponded to a religious leader's predicted date for the righteous and saved to be plucked from ...more
Jan 29, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ya, did-not-finish, 2014
I automatically picked this one up because the author is an auto read for me. But when I started to read it, well...I wondered what I was getting myself into. Parents believing the rapture is coming, having found God after their son was killed while serving over seas. I can see finding God, can even see where you would really get into religion, needing a reason why your son died. What I had a hard time with was forgetting about the dead son, claiming your remaining son was your only one, and not ...more
May 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
Smith-Ready's best book so far, and that's saying a lot.
Don't let the religious aspect hold you back from reading this one. The book does not preach, in any direction. It discusses and reflects. This is a story about family, not extreme religion. A story of pain, grief, resolve and resolution. And it's a darn good one, too.
Lis  Carcamo (The Reader L)
Jun 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: amazing-covers, arc

This side of Salvation by Jeri Smith-Ready is a wonderful story about family, friendship, love, loss and freedom.
David, the main character is in a very difficult situation because after the death of his brother his parents became religious, like hard-core religious, and David doesn’t know what to do. Because David is a normal teenager, he wants the things all the boys his age want.

So, personally, I think this book takes a topic that catches my attention: how people mix religion with fanatici
Adriana C
Jun 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-arc
Lately I have read several contemporary books about the loss of a loved one and each one of them is different because of how every person acts or feels different during mourning, but even though I founds this book a little different of the others and unique, perhaps because of the way it is told.

The book begins on the day that is supposed to be the end of the world (The Rush) in the prom after party that David is attending, in which he´s with his sister Mara, then both return home to discover th
Roberta R. (Offbeat YA)
Rated 4.5 really.

Excerpt from my review - originally published at Offbeat YA.

Pros: Fascinating premise. Believable, full-fleshed characters. Open-minded story that doesn't take sides.
Cons: Both Bible quotes and baseball talk are sprinkled rather freely, so you might get tired of them (they're integral to the plot though).
WARNING! Some teen sex, though not explicit or graphic.
Will appeal to: Both believers and agnostics (and even atheists, I swear) looking for a family/friendship/love story with
Teresa Mary Rose
More Reviews Here: Readers Live A Thousand Lives

This book is very hard for me to review. I really really enjoyed it, but I really just don’t know where to begin or what to say about it. This book is very different from anything I have ever read before and that is part of what made me enjoy it so much. The characters are great and the story really gets under your skin.

David is a great voice to read from and I really liked him. He has dealt with a lot of grief in his life and my heart breaks for h
Religion in books is a difficult subject, and something I usually try and avoid. However, in This Side of Salvation it's used as a plot device that works well to drive the plot without shoving a whole bunch of ideals in your face. Add in a sweet romance and a close brother-sister relationship and a load of grief, and This Side of Salvation ticks a whole lot of boxes.

David and Mara's parents have always been religious, but when their older brother John is killed in tragic circumstances, they begi
This Side Of Salvation is an exciting new direction for Jeri as it finds her dabbling in YA contemporary. This story delves into what happens when one very traumatic moment in life truly tips the balance on the harmony of family life. How far would you go to keep your family together and at what point do you realise it's not enough and let go? This is something David struggles with while still coming to terms with events in his past and trying desperately to be true to himself whilst hanging on ...more
Annette (booknerderie)
Apr 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was my first Jeri Smith-Ready novel and it will not be my last. This Side of Salvation was an honest look at how one family who is preparing for the Rapture. The parents believe what this prophet, Sophia, is telling them. David {our main character} doesn't believe the Rapture/Rush is coming on a certain date but is willing to sacrifice for his family and plays along with his family. Mara {the older sister} doesn't believe the Rapture/Rush is coming and doesn't play along. I'd go into it mor ...more
Jun 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, 2014
I've never read anything quite like this book. I'll be honest. It had a lot more religion in it than I expected. But it's not a story about religion. This is a story about a boy (and his family) struggling to deal with the aftermath of his older brother's death in Afghanistan. I've been there - I've felt grief like that. The kind of grief that makes you feel like the world is wrong somehow and you can't fathom how everyone else can't feel how wrong it all is. Yes, religion plays a huge role in t ...more
Apr 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
I felt in the beginning that the book would portray or campaign the author's beliefs, which would have been offensive to some people, and I was afraid of the consequences of her using this book to her own religious or non-religious advantage. But the fears turned out to be moot because Jeri Smith-Ready seriously kept the religion thing out of her life and executed a beautiful book besides.
I really enjoyed the chapter style and felt really involved in both timelines the whole way through. I like
Jun 06, 2013 marked it as ya-contemporary-tbr
Shelves: ya
I have no words to describe how much I love this cover. Oh wait I've found some: it's amazing. I love the font and the title and how the top of the title breaks into "the rush" and all the "the rush" floating around just make it a great cover. Plus the summary sounds so freaking good so right now this book has it all.

It's an amazing cover. It really is.
Read for free on Simon & Schuster's!

Something about this book bothered me. I'm not religious at all and don't believe in the Rapture or any of that and this book was just pretty dumb. If it were just a book about a family coping with the death of a loved one, I might've liked it. But the whole "Rush" thing was just cheesy. I just didn't buy it.
Frankie Diane Mallis
Jun 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
All Jeri Smith-Ready fans are in for a real treat with this one. TSOS is a detour from her usual paranormal/fantasy writing, but it still has all the soul of her SHADE series. I can't wait for everyone to read this! ...more
Jan 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, 2015
Amazingly, beautiful book about family and loss and the struggle to communicate.

On a lighter note, I will admit that "In the end, I chose the box with the fewest adjectives" is probably my favorite sentence.
Beth M
Feb 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This is a rare book that takes a serious look at the strengths and flaws of a variety of Christian experiences from the perspective a a teenage boy. It does not belittle faith but does ask some tough questions. The story line is fascinating too.
Jun 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014-releases
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

This Side of Salvation by Jeri Smith-Ready
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Summary (from Goodreads):

Everyone mourns differently. When his older brother was killed, David got angry. As in, fist-meets-someone-else’s-face furious. But his parents? They got religious. David’s still figuring out his relationship with a higher power, but there’s one thing he does know for sure: The closer he ge
Arielle Morin
Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.75 stars
This book was a very enjoyable read for me. It stuck with me after finishing it, and I really closing the cover and just thinking, "Damn. Unfortunately shit like this actually happens, too." Not so much the exact premise of the book, but grief can really screw with a person's mind. Oh, and I'm not a religious person at all and this book is in no ways "preachy". It's not that kind of book so if you're afraid to read it because it involves Christians then don't be!

This book simply deals
Larkin Avers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Jeri Smith-Ready has been writing fiction since the night she had her first double espresso. A steady stream of caffeine has produced twelve published novels for teens and adults since 2001.

Jeri lives in Maryland with her husband and two cats, who often play tag-team "sit in the author's lap and keep her from writing." (The cats, that is, not the husband. Though, actually...)

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