About: Rutgers' football player Eric LeGrand, who was paralyzed from the neck down during a football game.
Thoughts: At first I thought the writing was amateurish, but then I remembered he was a college student and is now only 22 years old. So the writing is real, and LeGrand is forthcoming about his emotions and struggles as a quadriplegic. It may be TMI, but he even talked about his bathroom habits. I wanted to feel sorry for him and what happened, but after reading his story I felt only admiration. I really enjoyed this.
Rating: 4/5 ~ Recommend if you're interested in a story about sports as well as inspiration and courage after tragedy.
LET IT GO
About: The author's family's car is hit by a 17-year-old drunk driver. Two of his children are killed, as is his wife, who is 5 months pregnant. Another child is critically injured. The story focuses on his forgiveness of the driver. Interestingly, and ironically, the author was 16 when he accidentally hit a 5-year-old boy who had run into the street. He died a few days later. The boy's mother wrote a comforting letter of forgiveness to him, which I'm sure helped pave the way of forgiveness towards the 17-year-old who hit his family.
Thoughts: It was okay. A little too religious for my taste. Normally I like faith-based books, but I don't understand Mormonism, so I was probably turned off by that (just being honest), but mostly because it went overboard in the religious department.
Example: "My appreciation and gratitude grew for dedicated disciples of Jesus Christ who were always willing to make time to bless my family. It was a gentle reminder that these were all evidences and expressions of love from the Savior, who is the fount of charity, mercy, kindness, and long-suffering, and that it didn't really matter which vessel that power flowed through. What mattered was the source of that power - the Savior himself - and our willingness to let his light shine through us, illuminating the lives of others." It wasn't ALL overly religious like that, but too much for my taste.
Rating: 3.5/5 ~ Can't say I'd recommend to anyone.
About: Short fictional stories about dogs.
Thoughts: I'm not a fan of short stories since I don't like not having enough time to get to know the characters, but these were about dogs - which I love - so it didn't matter. Almost every story was about a dog who was rescued (yay!), and although I've read complaints that all the stories are sad, that didn't bother me. They were all heartwarming and sweet. Jon Katz is an incredible writer.
Rating: 4/5 ~ Recommend if you love dogs.