Sunday, November 13, 2011

first review for Blogging For Books!

"Raised Right" by Alisa Harris tells of a coming of age from the innocence she experiences as a child to the transcendence of her adulthood and all the shades of grey it brings.

It took a couple of pages for me to really begin to get into the book since I've been more into self-help books recently. A couple of reviews I read have complained that Alisa doesn't really give you any plan of action on how to differentiate faith and politics but if you turn to the back of the book, (by the bar code) it's under "christian living/social issues" not "spiritual growth/self-help". Her purpose for this book wasn't to cajole you into a certain direction but rather just share her experiences on why she's chosen hers. She closes each chapter really well and offers insight on topics like how what her old sign picketing definition of "love" doesn't compare to the man who gives leftovers at 5am to homeless people (chapter 1), how she says that "in the pursuit of self-preservation, we abandoned the values that are worth preserving" (chapter 5), and how Jesus "didn't call us simply to oppose positions that are wrong but to embody values that are heavenly" (chapter 6). Her insight offers a new perspective without discriminating on others who disagree. She talks about all her experiences from her childhood involvement in politics all the way to college and beyond, while stopping to reflect on the disillusions 9/11 brought, the restored faith she experiences during the Obama campaign (when she was previously campaigning for Bush), and the things she's learned from her parents that she'll pass onto her children.

I've made my faith a serious commitment recently (under a year ago) and can honestly relate to what's being said. Finding that balance is a journey we're all on and she candidly owns up to the complexities of that. Early on in her life, she saw things in black and white and also states how that was a safety net. As she stepped out into the real world, she sees things and begins to ask a lot of questions. Although her parents had the best intentions, she began to see their methods to promote peace as selective and has since tried to adjust to more effectively lead a Christ-like life. The reviews used on the back covers talks about a new generation of Christians and I don't think there's much of a difference between then and now. She just seems more vulnerable and open about the struggles of being a Christian than others would admit to... and if anything, THAT is the new breed of Christian..admitting we're human instead of rubbing in a facade of perfection we don't have. The first step to progress is acknowledgement and Alisa has done a fine job of that. She respects all the values and virtues learned from her parents taught her and holds them close as she realizes labels are one-dimensional and as a result, becomes her own person...whether that fits into a specific category or not.

Overall, Alisa has created a great memoir with phenomenal writing. I can always respect someone who makes me learn new words and packs a punch in all the right placing while still being refreshingly funny.

The good folks at the Blogging For Books program provided me with a free copy of this book so I could review it. I wasn't paid or swayed into any certain opinions. Everything is from my own noggin!

'til next time, stay classy!♥

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