Stepping out of my comfort zone is difficult to do, but this time I am glad I did! And I have to admit, I do judge books by their covers (even though we know how terribly wrong–not to mention cliche–this is). When I selected Stand By Me, I expected to receive a feel good novel that made light of Christianity. Boy was I ever wrong.

Kat and Avis are both two strong, Christian women trying to balance building a relationship with the Lord while still staying grounded in everyday life. Though they couldn’t feel more different from one another, they come to find out exactly how they can help each other (and how sometimes the people we think are least like us turn out to have the most in common WITH us!). Neta Jackson has created complex, charismatic characters that make you feel as if they live right next door to you–Kat is that girl we all know who has the best intentions but the worst implementations; Avis is so prideful her perceptions of everyone around her are skewed. Yet, I like them both. Realistic characters are the basis for great Christian fiction.

With all the of novels that make Christianity seem easy, I welcome a novel that challenges what it means to be in a relationship with God; I welcome a novel that explores the notion that it’s okay to question God and to have days where you don’t know what he’s doing, but encourages working through those days and coming to some understanding. Relationships, after all, require a lot of compromise and a lot of working through situations–true Christianity is not a “coming to Jesus” meeting and then a cake walk.

Neta Jackson has portrayed a very realistic experience that will be well-worth your time to read!



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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.