Katrina Burchett's Reviews > It's Not About Me

It's Not About Me by Michelle Sutton
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's review
Aug 03, 2008

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bookshelves: young-adult, christian-fiction, books-i-own
Read in April, 2009

Annie Myers was a Christian girl who wanted to wait until marriage to have sex. Tony Lane had been dating Annie for almost four years and the flesh was getting weak. It was becoming more difficult to wait to have sex, so when it was obvious that he wasn’t going to get what he wanted out of wedlock he proposed marriage. Then tragedy struck and Tony regretted giving Annie his late grand mom’s expensive ring. While Tony was having a hard time dealing with what happened, Daniel Lane saw it as an opportunity to get closer to his brother’s girlfriend; close enough to take Tony’s place in Annie’s life.
I liked Annie. I felt so bad about what happened to her and about all she had to go through during recovery. She was a strong girl, though. And instead of becoming bitter and angry she began strengthening her relationship with the Lord.
Why this girl was being told that she wasn’t a Christian, I really didn’t understand that part of the story. Annie said the sinner’s prayer when she was in seventh grade because she was told that was what she needed to do to be saved. I believe she mentioned twice that she’d said the sinner’s prayer. And since she wanted to be saved I would think she not only confessed with her mouth that Jesus is Lord but believed in her heart that God raised Him from the dead (Romans 10:9). She was attending First Christian Church, singing for the Lord, serving God as the church’s secretary, wanted to be married in the eyes of God before she had sex – sounded to me like she was following Jesus’ teachings. Yet, someone suggested to her that she wasn’t really a Christian. If she wasn’t working on her personal relationship with Jesus, not growing in Christ wasn’t really a good thing but it didn’t mean she wasn’t a Christian. If she got saved, then she was a Christian.
As for the love triangle, I’m sure it was supposed to be romantic, but I just couldn’t see it that way. I understood why Annie would choose Daniel over Tony, but if Daniel really loved his brother like he said why would he want the girl his brother loved and had been with for almost four years? Not four months, four years! Daniel claimed he wanted to be more like Jesus and there were areas in his life where he was Christ-like. But Jesus wasn’t selfish. I think it was selfish of Daniel to want a relationship with Annie. If he wanted to be like Jesus so much, why didn’t he sacrifice? Tony loved Annie. He also had serious issues and needed his brother’s support. Where was Daniel’s respect for his brother’s feelings? Even if Tony wasn’t right for Annie, he had been with her a long time. They’re brothers. There are some lines you just do not cross. Where was the family loyalty? Tony was the youngest and the troubled one throughout most of the story, yet he was the bigger man in the end and much more like Jesus then Daniel.
There were phrases in this book that popped up repeatedly – lumps formed in throats or aching throats, tightening of chests or chests aching. Besides that and the “being saved” contradiction the author wrote a good, dramatic story. And it was really good that she included Teen Challenge, letting teens and parents know there is help out there.
Sutton also makes some important points in her debut novel: True Christianity isn’t just about getting saved, but having a personal relationship with Jesus. Alcohol consumption can only make a bad situation worse. What’s in a person’s heart means much more than outer appearance. A Bible-believing church service should always include a salvation invitation so those who aren’t saved can become Christians if they choose. And Jesus can change people!

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