My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Pub. Date: November 25, 2014
*Received free digital ARC for review*
Short Sweet Synopsis: 15 year old Ben moves to a small town in Colorado quickly discovering that atheists are not tolerated by the conservative community. Will he be able to find a way to fit into a high school filled with students with such strong religious beliefs?
Misdirected was a fast paced and enjoyable read. As someone from Massachusetts who was not raised in a religious household, I could relate to Ben. Although I grew up in a small conservative town so people did tease me because of it, but no where near what Ben faces in the book.
I liked that the characters weren't static, they were human beings that would make mistakes and many tried to grow from them. I was a bit worried that the book was headed in an anti religious direction at the beginning, but by the end it felt completely different. I was really impressed with how Misdirected handled the issue of religion in our country; it is a polarizing subject that can't be ignored. This book could help facilitate some wonderful discussions on the topic. I really liked how the book ended. It was hopeful without having that afternoon TV special feeling.
I just realized that some of what I just said might have made the book sound boring, but it isn't! Even if you don't want to read about religious differences, there are plenty of classic teen moments! Ben has his first kiss, people are sneaking out of their houses, there is bullying, first day at a new school jitters and family drama; Misdirected even has magic! I will say that the magic tricks were probably what I liked least out of this book, but at least it made Ben unique. I appreciated his passion for it in the end.
Bottom line, interesting book with great characters that tackles a timely topic without slowing down the plot. I definitely recommend it.