“How can you say that someone should read a book that you don’t like?”
Once again, I tried to explain what I meant. “I didn’t say I didn’t like the book. There’s some great stuff in there. I just have issues with some of the writing.”
The conversation has happened more than once in my life, but the most recent was over a YA book I just finished. Indebted.
Note: links may be affiliate links that provide me with a small commission at no extra expense to you. Additionally, I requested and received a free review copy, but you know me. I say what I think regardless of such provision. 🙂
3 Excellent Reasons This Belongs on Your TBR List
Indebted offers the classic story of good vs. evil with the literal and symbolic “slaying of dragons” in our lives. When the free review copy I requested arrived, my youngest absconded with it, and I haven’t seen it since. She’s not finished, but her halfway-mark opinion is, “It’s a really good book, but the cover makes you think it won’t be.”
I concur… mostly.
There are a few problems with Indebted that I want to look at before I tell you why, despite those problems, I still think it belongs on YA lovers and fantasy/medieval fiction lovers’ TBR lists.
The writing needs a bit of work. Told in the first person, far too many sentences and phrases begin with “I,” which becomes frustrating to the reader. Additionally, there’s a lot of “telling” by means of “explaining” what we just saw/were told. This also results in quite a bit of repetition.
Add to those the frustration of having awkward and sometimes over-the-top wording, and you’d think that I didn’t actually like it.
But that’s not true. There are three excellent things about this book.
First: Indebted tells the story of a confused and hurting young woman desperate to find somewhere that she feels wanted and accepted. Sometimes I wanted to roll my eyes at her dramatics, but they were natural and realistic for Wren’s age. These timeless themes are important to remember for those of us who are a bit older and have learned Where our true acceptance and worth lies.
Second: The allegorical nature of the story is excellently done. The story unfolds in delicate layers that add richness and depth to it. In fact, the final “battle,” if you will, teaches an excellent lesson in slaying dragons in our lives. I can’t really say what it is without giving away the story, but I will say that I believe rereading this scene is worth it–read with an eye to what truths could be shown in this showdown between mankind and the spiritual representation of Satan.
Third: Not all of the spiritual truths are layered in the story. Those that are out front and open are well done, too. In fact, I think Wren’s first real prayer to the Lord is one of the most realistic I’ve read in conversion-like scenes. Instead of it being couched in “churchese,” Wren related her hopes and pleas with what she knew someone else had in her life.
If the things I mentioned that I didn’t like aren’t your pet peeves (and if you don’t mind a few typos and such), this book might just be the one for you. Recommended for those who love allegories, fairytale-like stories, enjoy YA drama, and learning spiritual truths through fiction.
Indebted is on tour with Celebrate Lit
Author: Charmayne Hafen
Genre: Young Adult, Adventure, Mythology
Release Date: August 25, 2019
When the abandoned princess discovers a friend, some muscle, and a passion for swords, she also acquires the crucible by which she uncovers the mysterious key to unlock her grief and win true freedom. Or will her strength confound her future in the kingdom to which she rides?
At the mythical edge of the Berkshire Forests, Wren finds herself rattling around in an austere castle, abandoned by the King and Queen. King Belodawn seems to blame his daughter for the mysterious disappearance of his wife, and he avoids his daughter at all costs in favor of conquests requiring his person away from the kingdom.
But, things are about to change; the princess has matured. Wren’s spirit refuses to remain the lost bird she became at age twelve.
With the aid of the cook and the cook’s son, Wren discovers her unknown dexterity in sword fighting. With it, she believes a new community in which to live will open up, but is this young girl prepared to encounter deceptive ghosts, angels, and demons in the maze of the forest to attain her aim?
About the Author
She has written several short stories for children, teens, and adults, as well as the fantasy trilogy being published in 2020 by Capture Books, called, The Land of Twilight. Charmayne is currently working on the development of her sequel to The Berkshire Dragon.
Charmayne has a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism and psychology as well as a Master of Arts degree in counseling. When she’s not writing, Charmayne is running counseling groups for adults and a therapeutic photography group for teens. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband John and her two chihuahuas, Pepe and Frida.
More from Charmayne
Hello, Readers, Educators, Book Reviewers and Celebrate Lit Bloggers!
Although I am new to a lot of social media, I have heard that your group is a fantastic resource to new authors. Being a little bit of an introvert, you might even call me reluctant or a slow starter, but I assure you that I can imagine strategies and battle in the heavenlies for readers’ minds with the best of ’em. I say, “Let’s go!”
Please feel free to connect with me on any social media platform, or to write to me directly. I have loved engaging with anyone who has read my book and has sent me a comment or question. Because Indebted was published, I was thrilled to be able to speak to a group of college students taking coursework in literature and writing at Texas Tech last year.
I love facilitating creative writing seminars especially speaking to authors about how to join a system of discipline and creativity to overcome writer’s block.
My hope, however, is to be able to engage more students in elementary school and junior high about the topics in my books because I write about the things facing young people with a certain perspective that the Lord sees them right where they are, that God actually cares deeply for them, and that He has answers for them. These answers include that Jesus paid the penalty for a kid’s lying, bullying, violence, disbelief, envy, and rebellion and that bringing them to back to God means that they get to be adopted into His kingdom as princes and princesses.
I hope that my books provide that suspension of disbelief needed for us all to see the possibility of walking in faith with others in traumatic times and to experience the wonders of God’s word to us.
Sincerely and Gratefully,
Texas Book-aholic, January 22
For The Love Of Literature, January 23
Just the Write Escape, January 24
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 25
Mamma Loves Books, January 26
Wishful Endings, January 26 (Author Interview)
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 27
By The Book, January 28 (Author Interview)
janicesbookreviews, January 29
Inklings and notions, January 30
A Baker’s Perspective, January 31 (Author Interview)
Seasons of Opportunities, February 1
Blogging With Carol, February 2
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, February 3
Artistic Nobody, February 4
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