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Friday, November 12, 2010

Amy Inspired

With rejections piling up, she could use just a little inspiration...

Amy Gallagher, aspiring writer, has an unabashed obsession with words. She gave up a steady, albeit unexciting, job to pursue a life of writing. However, two years and one master's degree later, she finds herself almost exactly right back where she started. Discouraged by the growing pile of rejections from publishers and afraid that she has settled, Amy knows something has to change.
Then she meets the mysterious, attractive, and unavailable Eli. Amy finds herself struggling to walk the fine line between friendship and something more with Eli, even as she tries to cope with the feeling that her friends and family are moving on without her. When the unexpected begins pouring in, Amy doubts the love and fulfillment she seeks will ever come her way. Forced to take a close look at who she has become, the state of her faith, and her aspirations for her life, she must make a choice: play it safe yet again or finally find the courage to follow her dreams.
Cafe Lily's Review:
Readers of Christian fiction who tend to be a bit more conservative, may find Amy Inspired edgier than what they prefer to read. 

The Christianity presented in this book comes from what appears to be along the lines of an emergent view and for those who aren’t comfortable with a more "Kum ba yah"  approach to God, this book might even be offensive. 

Granted, there’s nothing too shocking or hair raising but readers should be aware that this isn’t your typical sweet Christian fiction.  Based on your personal convictions, I think this is one of those titles you'll either love or hate.  There's some slang and suggestive conversations/situations. However, if you can get past the incense, poetry readings, hemp jewelry and tattooed co-ed roommates sleeping together (but not having sex) then you may enjoy the journey of Amy Inspired.

The main character is quickly approaching thirty and is extremely frustrated with her life. Her biological clock is ticking and she is questioning every decision she’s made thus far.  Sometimes she even questions her own faith.  Having recently broken up with her atheist boyfriend, Amy continues to plod through life, underpaid, bored and feeling rejected. 

A struggling writer, Amy is teaching at a college (a job that doesn’t satisfy her) and sharing an apartment with her quirky, roommate Zoe.  Zoe is a free spirited vegetarian barista who drives Amy nuts and at the same time, is her closest friend.  Later in the story, readers are introduced to Eli, another free spirit who Amy begins to have feelings for.  Eli moves in with Zoe and Amy and complicates Amy's life even more.

Amy’s lifelong dream is to become a published writer and though she’s repeatedly rejected, she continues to submit her story to magazines hoping someday her work will be recognized.  She’s a sweet girl with a good heart but lives in a continual state of emotional conflict, confusion and self-doubt.  She’s unhappy with her current job, restless and feels like she’s always settling for second best. 

There is a lot of turmoil and indecision going on in this book and the overall impression was chaotic.  I found the book hard to get into and a bit monotonous at times (often depressing!) but I attribute that to the fact that I don’t really fit the intended audience for this type of story. 

I didn’t connect with the characters and I had a hard time following what point the author was trying to make.  I think this book may be better suited for college age readers or "20 somethings" who can better identify with Amy.

This is the first book I’ve read by Bethany Pierce and I would be willing to give her books another chance, but sadly this one just just didn’t work for me. 
This book was provided free for review by Bethany House Publishers.

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