Posted by: rcwriter | March 16, 2009

Guest Review–“It’s Not About Me”


Thought I’d do something a little different today. Instead of post my review of Michelle Sutton’s book, It’s Not About Me, I have a guest book reviewer.    Donald James Parker writes great reviews, and is a wonderful author. Be sure and stop by his website to check out all of his titles.

Don, thanks so much for allowing me to post your review of It’s Not About Me.

Written By Michelle Sutton
Reviewed By Donald James Parker

Sex is something very special that God created for bonding a husband and a wife as well as for producing offspring.  Not many teenagers are going to learn about the intimacy/bonding aspect of Mother Nature in entertainment media today. Michelle Sutton fills that gap with It’s Not About Me. Her heroine, Annie, has a boyfriend who is the son of a pastor. However, the PK (preacher’s kid) almost fits the stereotypical bad boy image which a few wild-oat sowers over the years have cemented in place due to their rebellion regarding the strict lifestyle of a Christ follower, especially the family of a pastor who is to set the example for the flock. In this situation Tony is stuck in the middle between the gospel of “Do unto others” and the gospel of “Do whatever feels good.”  The major struggle in the book is the tug of war of two brothers for Annie’s heart, but a more critical story within the main plot, in my eyes, is Tony’s struggle to accept the lifestyle promoted by his parents and the Lord of their lives. This story presents the dilemma that every young person faces. Do they follow the world and all its temptations, or do they walk in the spirit and follow God and his son Jesus Christ? Or do they try to walk in both worlds at the same time? I have a feeling that this battle has never been easy for most. The lure of the world is strong. The big difference in today’s world is that the good examples made prominent by past generations are considered to be out of fashion by the modern society. Morals that people have strived to uphold in the past because of influential voices in their lives such as parents, teachers, and other mentors are now subject to second guessing. Many of those people in a position of influence are now openly advocating that those morals are not something which should be allowed to be millstones around our necks, because in reality there is nothing that is right or wrong. Michelle’s presentation of this dilemma is very realistic as both Tony and Annie, and even her hero struggle to find their way in a world of conflicting voices.

I am a firm believer that fiction provides a vehicle to preach a sermon without the preachee wondering when the collection plate is going to get passed. Jesus himself spoke in parables to get his points across. You can just tell somebody to refrain from sex until marriage. Or you can write a book about that topic and have the reader figure out the ramifications of caving into the pressure and giving of one’s body before the “I do’s” are pronounced. Receiving the message in that fashion allows them to think they arrived at the truth themselves.  In addition to enhancing the argument for delaying sex until matrimony, this book encourages young people (it applies to older people as well) to evaluate suitors in a spiritual light to understand the difference between love and lust. Annie has the “love” of two handsome males, but one seems to truly love her while the other one suffers from the common male ailment of loving what a woman can do for him and not loving the person behind the physical charms.

Most Christian books dance around the subject of sex and the repercussions, especially at the teen-age level. This one wades right in and lays it on the line. A couple of the scenes get somewhat graphical in nature, making it seem more real. They may make the Puritan types queasy and even cause them to put the book down and maybe send them scurrying to the bookstore to complain that they are offended by the garbage they have purchased. This material is not written for them anyway. This work is a light in the darkness to help teens find the safe haven of the love of Jesus and not mistake the lust of the world to be their refuge. For impressionable and inexperienced youngsters to understand that lust, they need to see it unveiled in at least some of its unholy glory. The true hero is not portrayed as a saintly zombie who is above being tempted by sin. He fights the same temptation that we all do. But he wins the battle, partially by knowing that discretion is the better part of chastity and that the best way to avoid making a mistake in the area of sexual encounters is to avoid putting yourself in a situation where there is no escape.  Are you looking for something to augment the lessons for your children or young protégées dealing with the birds and the bees? You can’t go wrong with giving them this book. Teens will be able to relate to this.

About the reviewer: Donald James Parker is a novelist and computer programmer who resides in Madison, South Dakota.

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