Friday, September 21, 2012


By Madison Daniel

Well, it seems like I have read a lot of teen books lately, so brace yourselves! Next week I will actually be reviewing a whole trilogy. Today, I will be telling you about a book written by a man which is a very rare occurrence in the teen romance genre. The book also has a soundtrack! But I get ahead of myself.

Ember is the story about Max Valentine who has come to live with his uncle on the island of Maui in Hawaii. It is unclear at first why he is there -- he seems to be in some type of trouble, but it is equally clear that Max has an interesting ability to start fires, get hot enough to combust everything near him, and even heal others who are injured. We never really find out where this ability came from, but his family are obviously aware of his talents. He also seems to have a talent for getting into trouble and getting noticed by the wrong types of people.

Max also has the ability to fall for two girls at one time. I suppose this is the “Twilight Principle” for guys. Samantha Summers is nice, smart and attractive. Asia Lyn Michaels is rich, angry and hot. Asia also has the ability to start rain and storms. Although Max and Sam really hit it off, Asia continues to remain in the picture throughout the book and possibly into the next book as well. 

Max is also never without music -- either through his ipod or the guitar slung around his back (I never could understand why he did not seem to keep it in a guitar case and was allowed to have it with him in his high school classes). He joins a band and makes friends, including a drummer by the name of Kai Kadooka. 

And you, dear reader, are never without music either. Every chapter begins with at least one song title/artist reference. After finishing the book, I got on YouTube and listened to many of the songs. I would recommend listening to each before reading the chapter. I think it would enrich your reading. 

What does this book have to do with my faith? I realize that my own faith “moods” are highly influenced by music. Classic hymns, choral pieces, contemporary Christian, Taize, blue grass and modern Christian music make up my own eclectic faith. I can listen to just about any Christian music and get something out of it. In a week, my church will be celebrating their Homecoming and the theme for worship will be about music. So much of our theology and spirituality come from the music we listen to, play and/or sing. Some worship services just don’t seem complete without some kind of music. I have wanted to add a musical component to my daily devotional blog but don’t have the computer knowledge to do so. How has music influenced your faith? 

Ember is full of teen angst, the paranormal, teen romance and lots of rock music references. I recommend this book.

Happy reading -- and listening!


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