About the Book
This relevant, adventurous young adult Christian novel explores faith, community, and family relationships within the setting of a church youth group’s theatre production of the musical Godspell.
Fifteen-year-old Casey Donovan wants nothing more than to live wildly. In her town of Woodfield, Connecticut, she is more than content to toe the line of danger while trying to put away memories of a painful past.
But then she and her boyfriend are arrested for drug possession. To have the charges dropped, and keep peace as her mother goes through a bitter divorce, Casey reluctantly joins her local church’s Youth Group.
She expects a boring summer as she helps with the church’s summer theatre production of the musical Godspell. Though she longs to return to her old life, Casey soon finds herself bonding with the other teens in the group who have their own struggles. Slowly, this once lonely teen realizes that she is not alone in the challenges she has been afraid to face.
Part of Casey’s journey involves letting go of two people who have harmed her in the past, even though at first she doesn’t want to admit that they hurt her. Watching Casey grow in faith and become stronger and more confident as the novel progresses is a testament to the author’s own experiences with growing up, letting go, and finding strength and faith in community.
As opening night of the musical nears, Casey will soon have to confront her own faith and connection to God.
Come As You Are is the story of fifteen-year old Casey Donovan who, after watching her father constantly abuse her mother and facing the final collapse of her family, believes she can only find happiness and self-worth in the arms of her nineteen-year old boyfriend who’s criminally inclined. Events unfold where God intervenes and sets her on a path where she discovers what real joy, peace and fellowship mean even in the midst of life’s troubles. She sees life in new light, and gains faith, love, hope, and a new sense of worth in the God that she never knew truly loves her and is bigger than all her troubles.
Bennett’s tone is sweet, soft, and elegantly paced. Her writing is comfortably visual in a way that easily carries a reader along. Much wisdom is nicely tucked into the plot in a way that it blends well with the overall theme.
A nicely done book!
*Though I offer this review to the public, it is my opinion and simply that. A ‘thank you’ to the author, Anne Marie Bennett, for a free copy in exchange for an honest opinion.
About the Author
Anne Marie Bennett began writing stories with multi-colored pens on lined notebook paper at the age of six and hasn’t stopped since. She lives, writes, creates art, sings, and prays in eastern Massachussetts with her husband, Jeff, and two beloved felin friends named Louis and Seymour.