5 Stars Out Of 5
Especially Great Book for Teen Girls
March 23, 2012
I just read this book in two days and I plan on reading parts of it to my daughter and then encouraging her to read the whole book in a few years when she's a teenager. I am sure most teen girls would find the writing and stories captivating. Bristol includes snippets here and there regarding her mother's career and the campaign but the majority of the book is about her teenage journey. I think that Bristol's story illustrates well the consequences of sin and also the redemption we have through Jesus.
Bristol began the book by confessing that she lied to her mother. Like a snowball, the lie led to more lying and other sinful behaviors, including drinking (although Bristol did not know what she was drinking would make her drunk- another lesson there) and sexual intercourse (although she does not remember losing her virginity due to being drunk). She wrote about how her deception changed her relationship with her parents, with God, and eventually led to her public embarrassment and referred to the consequences as the "quicksand of sexual sin". Bristol explained how as she drove away from her house, after lying to her mother about where she was going, "I drove away from the ease of childhood and smack into the middle of the weird complexities of serious relationships ideally reserved for later in life". I love how she points out that she was emotionally too young to get caught up in a serious relationship. Furthermore, she said that "because of bad decisions, I didn't get to experience the wonder of my first sexual experience" and " the fun of telling an excited husband about a pregnancy".
Bristol also stated that she wishes she had "confessed her sin right then to God, accepted the full forgiveness of a heavenly father who loved me...instead I tried to salvage the situation. I tried to fix it". This can be a great way to show girls (and even boys) that in cases where a sin has been committed, it can be dealt with immediately and be redeemed. In Bristol's case, though, she wanted to make things right herself, and did not only deceive others but was deceived by the enemy into thinking she could have a relationship with the boy she had given her virginity to in her drunkenness.
That is another area Bristol's book illustrates well: how a young lady can become so deceived to not even see the truth before her. Bristol's boyfriend had problems in school from a young age, her parents did not approve of the behavior they saw coming from him and his character. Yet, Bristol was infatuated with him, and also figured that since she had given her virginity to him she would marry him, so she did all in her power to believe in this young man. Bristol was a girl who had a purity ring given to her by her parents and intended to remain a virgin until marriage, so her "mistake" was a huge deal to her.
Bristol summed it up well, when she wrote that she hopes her story will help people to consider "how they date, when they have sex, and what they do if they've already made some pretty terrible decisions". Her true stories and candid thoughts successfully raise these points.
Toward the end of the book, Bristol also briefly spoke about beauty and weight, which is such a sensitive issue for so many teen girls today. She wrote, "I'm not skinny and I'm not fat. I'm a girl like everyone else who lives in this era of air-brushed photos whose trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle".
She also wrote about the moment she finally came to God and professed, "He no longer sees my sinful self (lying, drinking, sexually unwise); He only sees me for who I am in Jesus (redeemed, forgiven, and pure). Bristol concluded the book with such a focus on God, encouraging others that true happiness comes from living by God's standards (which include not having sex if you're not married and not having affairs if you are) and that we all need to "reach out to the only one who truly offers hope in this world".
I'm not claiming to agree with every word Bristol wrote in this book, but overall the message is clear and well illustrated through her candid stories. I think any teen girl (or even boy) would clearly be able to see the consequences of deception and sexual sin, the characteristics to look for - and avoid- in a boyfriend (or girlfriend) and the redemption and forgiveness that God gives if we receive it from him:)