So I recently read a book that I was really looking forward to reading. Graceling by Kristin Cashore. The story sounded right up my alley, early reviews were great, pretty high first printing for an unknown author's debut young adult book. I was so impatient and hoping this would be a new favorite, so I bought it the week it came out without having read it from work first.
So the review? Good idea for a story: Katsa lives in a seven kingdom region, the niece of one of the kings, and is "graced". A grace is basically a "super power"... and could be anything from cooking to fighting to swimming. Katsa has grown up believing her grace is killing, after she accidentally killed a man who tried to attack her as a child. It turns out that her grace is something entirely different. Since this is a coming of age story, Katsa grows, putting her foot down with her dominating uncle, sees who she really is, learns to let people in. The story is well-written, the characters developed, the dialog great. I loved how Katsa grows into her true grace. But what I didn't like was the unnecessary sexual relationship between the Katsa and another graceling from one of the other kingdoms, Prince Po. Loved his patience with her and her slowly letting her walls down in order to care about someone. Didn't think the way it played out was necessary... especially for a young adult novel.
So after all the anticipation of reading this story, despite the good writing and story in general, that one thing left me feeling disappointed. I know no book is perfect. Ahhh, but wait, there is ONE book that is! This weekend, a few days after finishing the book, I was at my church for a teacher training class. I've taught lessons for the small groups I've lead over the year and my work is kind of like teaching, but I know I'll never know everything. I always love learning new things, and I've had the guy teaching the class for adult electives in Sunday School before and he is one of the best teachers I've ever had. So anyway, I went to this class. As we're going through exercises of studying the Bible as a teacher, we talked about reading the Bible and examining the details... finding something new with every reading. We read different translations. And wouldn't you know it, during that class, something new popped out. The Bible never changes, but every time, I can find something new and exciting that God will show me inside His Word... if my heart's just open and available. So I know I already knew this, but during the class I was just struck... I can never be disappointed in God's Word. (Maybe disappointed in my reaction to His Word, but that's a whole other post!) Books I read for personal enjoyment, work, whatever... while they might somehow even minutely miss the mark for me, the Bible never will. Like it's true Author, it'll never disappoint. And for that, I'm eternally thankful.