I could not have read this at a more opportune time. I was raised in a conservative Muslim environment, and my experiences and thoughts were almost identical to those of Kate's. This book is spot on with the doubts and uncertainty experienced when trying to get out of an extreme religious upbringing, and my praise and sympathies to the author for having to deal with this kind of stuff firsthand and then be able to write so eloquently about it. The whole book is just beautiful, and Kate is privileged enough to live in a place where a liberal church exists--I have never had that experience, unfortunately. I also like how the book ends on a kind of uncertain but hopeful note. Nothing in life is certain, contrary to what religion might sometimes claim, and Kate still has a lot of thinking ahead of her. It is really refreshing to see young adult fiction portraying teens thinking about the role their faith plays in their lives. It's a natural part of most of our lives, and I wish there were more books that were open about that process. The only other YA I have read that addresses religion is Sara Zarr's Once Was Lost. Kudos to Weinheimer for her courage.
"there are those who say that life is like a book, with chapters for each event in your life and a limited number of pages on which you can spend your time. but i prefer to think that a book is like a life, particularly a good one, which is well worth staying up all night to finish"--lemony snicket