About the Book
Author: Hope Bolinger
Genre: YA Christian Suspense
Release date: August 9, 2021
Rabbits for Food meets Waiting for Fitz meets One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
After Danny Belte ends up with a gunshot wound to the head, he’s shipped off to a local psychiatric center under the assumption he’d attempted to commit suicide. Knowing that he’d actually been killed by a fellow enemy at his high school, and a photographic memory to prove it, manages to keep him sane.
After meeting the fun and playfully rebellious members of his ward, he suspects that some underlying connection ties them all together. Haunted by revealing visions, he may have a shot at discovering a conflict of interest and buying their ticket out of the ward.
But memories are dangerous things. He may just make as many enemies as friends at the ward who want his memories erased.
A modernized take on Daniel 7-12.
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I am late to this series, not having read the previous books in it. If the writing style is as good in those books as it is in this one, this series would make a very interesting one for high school age readers. This novel has an imaginative take on the biblical book of Daniel. Danny is put in a psychiatric institution and has angelic visions. There is much about depression, suicidal thoughts and attempts and being on medications. Teen readers with challenges in these areas may have difficulty with this novel.
Danny, the hero, shows admirable character traits, being compassionate and wanting to help the hurting. He and others do some sneaky things to try to escape their fraudulent detainment. That may not be the best example of good character but then, they are desperate. The teens work hard to discover the underlying reasons for their situation so there is a bit of a mystery to solve but the solution ultimately comes from outside their environment.
This is an interesting novel for older teens with allusions to the biblical book of Daniel.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
About the Author
She has worked for various publishing companies, magazines, newspapers, and literary agencies and has edited the work of authors such as Jerry B. Jenkins and Michelle Medlock Adams. She had four of her books traditionally published in the last three years (see below) She has 8-9 books scheduled to published between 2021-2023.
She has won awards for her essays, poetry, children’s books, novels, and plays. Her favorite way to procrastinate is by connecting with readers on Instagram and Twitter @hopebolinger
More from Hope
“The Book of Daniel? In a high school? Where on earth did you come up with an idea like that?”
I’ve gotten this question a number of times and the answer to it comes from an even stranger place than the concept itself … a college classroom.
We’d blitzed through the entire Old Testament in a semester for our Biblical Literature Class my freshmen year. The professor often accompanied each class for this Gen-Ed with a PowerPoint full of 70 or so slides we’d try to keep up with in our notes. Our hands would cramp from the sheer speed our pencils had to go across the paper.
One day, as she went over the Book of Daniel, something she said snapped me out of my 9 A.M. stupor. “Daniel, and his friends, would’ve been 14 or 15 years old when taken into the Babylonian captivity.”
This woke me up. I’d dropped my pen onto the paper and stared at the front of the atrium classroom for a few moments. Fourteen or fifteen? High-school aged?
I’d always pictured Daniel in his late thirties. Part of me blames VeggieTales and Larry the Cucumber’s rendition, which in no way could’ve been interpreted as a teenager’s voice. But the reality of the Old Testament story came crashing down on me right then and there.
Daniel had been evicted from his home through the Babylonian siege. He likely watched his friends and family members die at the hands of the Babylonians and the fires that scoured Jerusalem. Then he and the cream of the crop were herded to Babylon for a three-year education, where they tried to stamp anything Israelite out of him.
And yet, he trusts God. He continues to stand strong in his identity. As do Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—even when it meant certain death … as teenagers.
That got me thinking about culture now. And how so many Christian teens face problems and dilemmas we could’ve only dreamed about in our adolescent years. What would it look like to stick Daniel in a modern-day high school? I thought.
So that summer, I started to write the Blaze trilogy. I chopped the Book of Daniel into three parts, and showed a teenager standing strong in integrity and faith despite death threats, bullying, and peer pressure. It was the book I needed back in high school when confronted with hot-button issues, and I was so thankful to have that college professor guide me to learn more about the prophet Daniel in the Old Testament.
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 21
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 21
Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, August 22
Texas Book-aholic, August 23
Library Lady's Kid Lit, August 24
For Him and My Family, August 25
Inklings and notions, August 26
Blogging With Carol, August 26
Locks, Hooks and Books, August 27
deb's Book Review, August 28
Nancy E Wood, August 29
Rebecca Tews, August 30
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 31
Mary Hake, September 1
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, September 2
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 3
I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Celebrate Lit.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)