TinaB's Reviews > Small Town Sinners

Small Town Sinners by Melissa C. Walker
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's review
Dec 03, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: young-adult


I knew going into this book I was going to encounter stereotypes, most main stream that depicts religion always has the typical format and while I didn't have a problem with the way Walker presented the faith aspects in this novel, I did have a problem with Lacey a very weak-minded main character. I think I would have appreciated the novel more if Lacey had had at least a sense of her parents faith (instead of pretending she did) before she began to question the foundation of it.

For me the book cast Lacey- a professing Christian- as brainwashed, who then questioned everything about it without really knowing what it was. Which to question is normal of course.. we all (those of us who have been raised in a faith) come to point where we must decide what we believe, but none of Lacey's searching or questions really made sense with her lack of understanding to the faith in her brainwashed persona.

Even more dissapointing was the fact that none of the questions got answered in the book, I think in some places the author even skipped over some tough dialog that should of happened if her intent was really to address the hypercritical side of religion. Alas, readers are left with the airhead teetering of Lacey's faith and her lack of knowledge which provided in the end an insufficient bottom line.

Honestly despite the branch of Christianity the author chose to showcase, (the most extreme form of Pentecostal denomination today) the book was pretty mild in its overall shockers and never gets to deep. While Walker never makes fun of the Christian faith she presented it in a way that left readers with two scenarios giving the impression that Christians are either:

A- Religious freaks
B- Hypocrites

Sad. No character represented in this cast of religion featured a level-headed, responsible adult or even one person who knew what they believed and lived it outside of the freakish.

Walker's characters brought us typical teens (who were smarter and wiser than all the adults around them) trapped in religion and raised by radicals, but what I found laughable was her parents really weren't that radical in what they believed - all unpopular by today's standards-but nothing that would shock you outside of the ridiculous Hell Houses.

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