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

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  893 Ratings  ·  169 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
May 03, 2010 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
Sep 03, 2014 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 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
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
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
Keiki Hendrix
Jun 30, 2010 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 01, 2010 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
Jenn Hermann
May 12, 2010 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
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Such an amazing and inspiring story!
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is absolutely wonderful for a struggling Christian like me. Its a true story about a girl who struggled with depression after being sexually violated and decided to end her life. Long story short, her life ended and her new life as a double amputee began. Here is the testimony of her journey and her relationship with Christ over a period of time. I have to be honest, I cried buckets reading this book and that will probably put off a lot of people. It also is a Christian ministry book, ...more
Aug 10, 2015 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
Jimmy Reagan
Jul 19, 2012 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
Trinity Rose
Jul 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love a book that tells of someone’s life. The struggles they go through, the pain they endure and most of the times finding their way to the Lord, the giver, lover of life.

In this book Life, In Spite of Me Extraordinary Hope After a Fatal Choice, Kristen tells of how other members in her family suffered depression, how her grandmother died, how several of her friends committed suicide and how she was raped. She didn’t know how to handle all of these things and she didn’t plan on trying to kill
May 01, 2010 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
David Santos
Oct 13, 2011 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
Apr 22, 2013 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
May 17, 2010 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
May 20, 2010 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
Jun 28, 2013 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.
Gina Place
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"He reached down from heaven and resuced me; he drew me out of deep waters. He led me to a place of safety; he resuced me because he delights in me." Psalms 18:16,19
After a failed suicide attempt life looked bleak and depressing having to live without her legs. God prevailed and taught Kristen what was important and that she wasn't alone. With God in her life she was able to accomplish more then she ever imagined.
This was a wonderful book by a inspiring young woman. It makes you believe in a hi
Feb 02, 2014 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
Oct 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Life in Spite of Me: Extraordinary Hope After a Fatal Choice, by Kristen Jane Anderson, is the self-told story of Kristen's plunge into depression, regret, pain and guilt, culminating with her choice to lay across train tracks, waiting to die. The first chapter, titled "Just let me die," brings us to the night that Kristen decided to kill herself... and for each page that you must turn because you want to know her story, there is an overwhelming weight of fear and dread for what is about to happ ...more
Orbs n Rings
Jun 05, 2011 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
Sep 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
While I didn't realize it when I picked up this book, I felt that it was written with the teenage/early adult female in mind, which, based on the subject matter, is the right target artist. At 17, Kristen Anderson finds her life at a crossroads just after New Year's, and takes a walk around her neighborhood, ending up at a park near some train tracks. Feeling like she has no one to turn to after a recent fight with her parents and the loss of some close friends, Anderson throws herself in front ...more
Oct 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Life, In Spite of Me Extraordinary Hope After a Fatal Choice by Kristen Jane Anderson was a story about having hope in God always. Kristen went through a dark tunnel in her life and she made a dramatic choice that forever changed our entire life and the lives of the people around her. Kristen was determined that she had no place in life and that there was no hope for her. Kristen was run over by a long freight train and the doctors didn’t know how she survived the impact. Kristen tells the whole ...more
Nora St Laurent
May 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
“If only I could have figured out how to deal with all the pain inside before it came to this. I was never trying to hurt anyone, yet I had. Especially myself.”

I had seen a video of Oprah Winfrey interviewing Kristen; it was powerful. I remember thinking how could this girl be smiling? When Multnomah offered a review copy of this book, I quickly signed up to help spread the word about the testimony of Christ moving in and through this young woman who found hope and peace in a hopelessly agonizin
Sep 24, 2011 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
Holly Renee
Jan 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Kristen felt like she had nothing to live for. After being raped, experiencing the deaths of several friends, and dealing with family problems, Kristen had reached the end of hope. One night she decided to end it all. But God had other plans. The miraculous survival of her attempted suicide launched her into a different life, one that not only set her on the path of a challenging journey, but on the path towards Christ. Kristen tells her story and shares the source of hope in the midst of life's ...more
Jennifer Wilson
Jul 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Kristen Anderson was depressed. Not really any one thing contributed to this depression, but she'd been fighting with her parents, three friends had died as well as her grandmother, she had been raped, and the previous night she'd been out until ten in the morning with friends. She was grounded until further notice. She sneaked out to be with friends, left a note saying she was going to take a walk, and later was in a park. She decided to sit on a train car and think. As she heard a train approa ...more
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