Saturday, February 10, 2007

Bad Idea by Todd & Jedd Hafer

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A weird family, one messed-up guy, and an angry coyote transform Griffin Smith's rite-of-passage road trip to his freshman year of college into an attitude-changing adventure! As their journey takes random detours and the states blur by, Griffin, his best friend, father, and kid brother learn life lessons about forgiveness, integrity, and character.

Griffin Smith feels like a composite of today's youth, and he even reads like one. You know, where all the of characteristics are boiled into one caricature. But I'm afraid he's an all too accurate representation of what this generation consists of.

A broken and dysfunctional family. Substance abuse. Ritual self-mutilation. The struggle to find real Christianity in those who claim to belong to Christ. These are the topics this novel tackles, and it does so with brutal honesty.

My husband kept asking me if I enjoyed my reading. I couldn't give him a definitive answer.

It reads well, the dialogue is genuine, and the characters are real enough to get you to invest in them from the opening pages. These are all earmarks of a great novel.

But it is so honest about tough topics, that at times I was uncomfortable. I know teenagers who struggle with these things...I have a daughter who struggles with some of them. So it was hard to read.

But it also opened my eyes, and gave me some answers. Bad Idea is so brutally honest that it forces the wool to be pulled aside from our eyes and enables us to glimpse into the world of today's teen.

I'm by no stretch of the imagination a teenager. But I still remember what it was like to be one. And having three of my own, I know it is far different today, yet so similar in many ways.

In my humble opinion, Bad Idea needs to be required reading for any youth counselor, advisor, or worker. Especially for youth ministers--needs to be a job requirement.

This novel was written by two preacher's kids...and I believe they know of what they pen...but I don't want to know HOW they know it.

Adults, get and read this book. Encourage your young people to read this book. Pass it on to the ones in your church and tell them to read this book. It's not just's the lives of many that we know. And how can we help if we do not understand. Bad Idea will help with that.

"Bad Idea" gets four out of five bookmarks from me...and it nearly edged its way to five!

Happy Reading!


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