Saturday, May 22, 2010

Life, In Spite of Me – Kristen Jane Anderson with Tricia Goyer – and a Giveaway!

** This Giveaway is Now Closed**

Life Inspite of Me

After her fatal choice... extraordinary hope.
Why does my life have to be so painful?
What's wrong with me?
It's not going to get better.
It could all be over soon, and then I won't hurt anymore.

Kristen Anderson thought she had the picture perfect life until strokes of gray dimmed her outlook on life. Once a happy child, Kristen's world darkened after three friends and her grandmother died within two years. Still reeling from these losses, she was raped by a friend she thought she could trust. She soon spiraled into a depression that didn't seem to have a bottom.

One January night, the seventeen-year-old made a decision: She no longer wanted to deal with the emotional pain that smothered her. She lay down on a set of cold railroad tracks and waited-for a freight train to send her to heaven...and peace.

Fear coursed through me. I squeezed my eyes tighter.

It's going to be over now. The pain is going to end. I'll be in heaven soon.

As the train whistle blew, the vibration of my body stilled.

The sound stopped. The wind stopped. The train stopped.

Am I dead yet?

Amazingly, Kristen survived her suicide attempt... but the 33 freight cars that ran over her severed her legs. Now she not only had to deal with depression; she also had to face the physical pain and life without legs.

But Kristen's story didn't end there. After her darkest days Kristen discovered a real purpose for living. Now, in her compelling book Life, In Spite of Me, Kristen shares her journey from despair to hope.

Includes letters from Kristen that share messages she wishes someone would have told her-when she was depressed and struggling with loss, shame from sexual abuse, and suicidal thoughts.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tricia Goyer is the author of twenty-four books including Songbird Under a German Moon, The Swiss Courier, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. In addition to her novels, Tricia writes non-fiction books and magazine articles for publications like MomSense and Thriving Family. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions.  She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife. For more info, please visit

MY REVIEW:I’ll be honest – what led me to review this book was the fact that I love Tricia Goyer as an author. But what kept me reading was the story itself.

The voice of this book is different than most - Kristen talks almost in a monotone and I believe that's part of what makes this book so impactful. By talking in this voice she's able to convey her fears and almost detachment.

The premise of the book makes it difficult to say that I loved it and can't wait for you to read it. Honestly though, I haven't stopped thinking about this book even after I finished reading it. There are some lessons to be learned here and that makes it a must read.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

While reading it I was trying to identify with Kristen and sometimes that can be difficult as a grandmother to relate to a teenage girl.  But all the pieces fell into place for me at the end of the book when I read the note from Jan Anderson, Kristen’s mom.  I could relate to her – her fear, helplessness and disbelief.

I sincerely hope that this book makes it way into church and school libraries everywhere.  What Kristen has to say and how she found her purpose – or rather, how God showed her her purpose – is something that all teens should read.

A GIVEAWAY!: And on that note – I have a copy of this book to offer to one lucky reader!  Simply leave a comment on this post and you will have a chance to win.  I’ll close this on Friday the 28th so that the book can get in the mail.

FTC DISCLAIMER: I received a review copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review. If you'd like to see more reviews of this book, please visit the tour at Litfuse.


Debby said...

I'll be honest,stories like this are hard to read, but right now, in my life, it seems like a good thing to read. Even if I don't win, I'm going to get this book.

Tales From My Empty Nest said...

This book sounds amazing!!! What a story this young lady has to tell and what hope for all of us to hear her story. Thanks so much for sharing. Love & blessings from NC!

Renna said...

Like Debby said, I think it sounds like a hard read, but I think I would like to try. I almost didn't read The Shack, because it was such a hard read (the tragedy part), but I perservered at the insistence of a friend, and came away with so much value from it.

Julia M. Reffner said...

This sounds like a necessary read for so many teens out there. As a depression survivor I would definitely like to read this book.


Andrew Smith said...

I would love to read this book. It sounds like a great book!!! :) Great review. It made me want to read it. Keep up the great work!