Monday, May 14, 2018

Review: A Window to Your Heart by Sean McKissack

A Window to Your Heart


My Take:
Jason Dennereck has a serious problem. He can't seem to get past the word 'Hello' with the girl he wants to spend the rest of his life with. As chance after chance to push the relationship past that word pass him by, he begins to realize that she may slip away without even knowing how he feels. His best friend informs him that everyone, including the girl, is aware of his infatuation, so why can't he summon up the courage to just ask her out? But for Jason, that moment never can seem to come.

Enter Lydia, the strange, Goth girl who promises she can help him achieve those dreams, his own way, without any fear of rejection. At the same time, a new teen at school, named Gabe, tries to encourage him to do things God's way, and let the relationship grow organically.

As Gabe pulls out a flaming sword and opens a portal to show Jason his past, and Lydia brings him a tome she promises is a recording of his dream girl's entire life, and the easy way into a future with her, Jason begins to realize these two are not average students.

Jason is given the rare opportunity to choose the future he wants, or accept the future God gives him. If he chooses to do things his own way, he may gain everything he's ever dreamed of, but lose himself in the process.

Drug Content:
G - squeaky clean.

PG - There is a fist fight at school. There is one scene, a dream, where a student is cut to pieces by flaming daggers.

G - squeaky clean.

Adult Content:
G - It's clean. Pre-teen angst is about as far as it goes.

Christian content:
Gabe is obviously a younger rendition of the Angel Gabriel, and his encouragement to have Jason follow the guidance of God is clear Christian content. Lydia is never truly described as the demoness she probably is. The book of Life is referred to. The importance of a life, of the destiny of an individual, temptation and character, longing and patience, are discussed and dealt with. The battling of Good and Evil is clear, and the spiritual forces are represented well. An event in the past concerning a church youth camp is visited.

No scripture is quoted, God is not given center stage, and church attendance is only present during a wedding. But that does not mean that Christian values or an eternal perspective are not here.

Final analysis:
Window to Your Heart explores the struggle most boys this age go through. I certainly went through it myself. The struggle to overcome the fear of rejection enough to tell a girl how you feel about her. The struggles Jason goes through, the trauma and drama of Junior High School is very real, painful, dimensional. Trips through time, alternate realities, life-altering decisions, all make for an exciting and spellbinding MG fantasy with some life lessons thrown in. Jason is likable, realistic, and has to go through a very real character arc to navigate the dangerous waters of Middle School.

I would love to have given this a five star rating, but I found some of the scenes, carried primarily by dialog, to be a bit confusing, and I got lost trying to follow who was saying what, and where they were, to the point where it pulled me out of the story for a bit. This was an excellent read, though. Fast action, a quick read, real characters, and a solid plot. Four Stars!
About the Author:
Sean McKissack's ability to view the world around him and find a story and truth enables him to prepare the stage in a reader's mind for a heart-felt life cinema. Inspired by God, music and his experiences, he captures teaching and growing moments commonly found during adolescence. His writings epitomize the good and the bad in life, the joys and the pain, culminating in the coming of age and wisdom.

Sean hails from Southaven, Mississippi and he's always thinking of new stories to write

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