Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “This Side of Salvation” as Want to Read:
This Side of Salvation
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

This Side of Salvation

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  549 ratings  ·  125 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
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra ClareThe One by Kiera CassCress by Marissa MeyerIgnite Me by Tahereh MafiThe Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan
YA Novels of 2014
258th out of 1,489 books — 7,992 voters
City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra ClareCress by Marissa MeyerIgnite Me by Tahereh MafiThe One by Kiera CassSilver Shadows by Richelle Mead
2014 Releases
164th out of 645 books — 1,192 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Stuti (Turmeric isn't your friend. It will fly your ship
"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 co
Abbe "The Awesome Senior" Hinder

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 differ

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
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
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
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
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
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
Audrey Ryer
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
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
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.
Diego Salvatore
No puedo ni siquiera expresar cuanto me gustó este libro.

"This side of salvation" es un libro con el que me sentí muy identificado y pude relacionarme muy fácilmente con los personajes, la historia nos habla de David un chico que después de que su hermano muriera en la guerra en Afganistán su vida y su familia caen en depresión, hasta que se acercan a una iglesia y su vida cambia, Dios les ofrece esa paz que necesitan, todo esta bien hasta que encuentran esto que se llama "The Rush", una predica
Annette (booknerderie)
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
Adriana C
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 hes with his sister Mara, then both return home to discover tha
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
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
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
Lis  (The reader lines)

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
Apr 05, 2014 Judy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014, ya
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
Jan 11, 2015 Angel rated it 4 of 5 stars
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.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book is definitely not a page turner. I had to really concentrate on the chapters jumping back and forth between before and after but that made it more of a mystery and gave me a sense of the story unraveling slowing rather than making the outcome obvious right from the start. What I must say though is that I found it interesting. Not something you find in most YA novels.

I definitely wouldn't recommend this to a young teenager. It was a surprise that it was written by a woman because a good
Kendra /Books Complete Me
This book took me a minute to get into as it is quite a bit different from Smith-Ready's other books. For one - it is a contemporary novel. No vamps, ghosts, spirit animals. Just a boy, with a family, with just a bit worse than normal family problems.

I was also worried for a minute when I saw that there was so much religious context surrounding the story. I was hoping that this would not be a book with a religious lesson disquised as a YA contemporary.

Well it was - but not in a bad way. Smith-R
Jun 03, 2014 Katyh rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
After his older brother is killed, David's family (which was already battling demons) is thrown into full-fledged crisis. Things seem to improve when they join an evangelical church and David gets saved, but his parents start following a preacher who believes that the Rapture is imminent--and has even named the exact date and time. David and his sister are skeptical, but when they sneak out to attend an after-prom party the night the Rapture is supposed to take place, they return to find their p ...more
Step Into Fiction
So I am not going to lie, I went into this book a bit hesitant. Religion can be a very sensitive topic for some, myself included. But Jeri Smith-Ready is one of my favorite young adult authors. So I really wanted to give this book a chance, and put my own personal beliefs aside and just enjoy the story for what it truly is. This Side of Salvation is a touching and beautiful story filled with tragedy, despair, guilt, and acceptance.

For starters I want to say this book is definitely done in good t
This was a really intense page-turner! It flashes back and forth in time to before and after "The Rush," which is when the cult David's family belongs to believes believers will be taken to Heaven. (They don't like the term "Rapture" because they feel other cults have ruined it.)

I thought this was a thoughtful, compelling look at grief and belief. It was interesting that David did identify as a born-again "Jesus freak" who liked going to church--he didn't reject all of his parents' beliefs, jus
Khamneithang Vaiphei
This Side of Salvation by Jeri Smith-Ready is a novel that explores death, grief, and family bonding. It is complex and deep, with a religious tone, something which the general audience may find difficult to relish. It is easy to digest stories that are inspirational in nature, but when it comes to stories with a realistic approach from a Christian perspective, it is never easy. But it has enough suspense and romance to pull in everyone.

The death of his older brother John in tragic circumstances
Kelly Hager
I absolutely love Jeri Smith-Ready and her books. This is, I think, her first contemp YA, and I put off reading it for a long time. It's not that I didn't think I'd love it; it's that once I read it, I've read all her books. And now that I have, I'm sad. Why can't the authors I love be as prolific as, say, James Patterson?

But enough whining. This is an incredibly smart story about faith and grief, two of my favorite topics. It goes back and forth in time, pre- and post-Rush, the rapture that Dav
“If the Lord comes and burns- as you say he will- I am not going away; I am going to stay here and stand the fire…” Jeri Smith-Ready writes as she begins his fiction novel, This Side of Salvation a story unlike any other I have read. She depicts the problematic, real life of David, a teen whose parents are devoutly religious and believe in (what for a teenager is a completely)[the] “unrealistic idea” of the Rush. The Rush, for David’s parents is a time when those who believed in their faith in ...more
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.

« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Exile (Exile, #1)
  • There Will Come a Time
  • The Last Forever
  • Learning Not to Drown
  • Don't Call Me Baby
  • The Edge of Falling
  • Bright Before Sunrise
  • Going Over
  • No Place
  • Life by Committee
  • Complicit
  • Mayday
  • Starbird Murphy and the World Outside
  • The Chance You Won't Return
  • Summer of Yesterday
  • Bleed Like Me
  • House of Ivy & Sorrow
  • Ask Me
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...)
More about Jeri Smith-Ready...
Shade (Shade, #1) Shift (Shade, #2) Shine (Shade, #3) Wicked Game (WVMP Radio, #1) Bad to the Bone (WVMP Radio, #2)

Share This Book

“It's not our ability to get forgiveness that saves us. It's out ability to grant forgiveness” 5 likes
“Oh yeah, pain. I think it's the same when we lose someone we love. It never stops hurting. But maybe it shouldn't. That pain, after all, is a souvenir of love.” 5 likes
More quotes…