Theisen, Lynette E. Through the Night. Dallas: The P3 Press, 2010. Print.
A student loaned me this book to read. As often as I make recommendations to her, I was happy to oblige and read this, one of her "favorite books ever!"
Renee is a high school student bound for Harvard. She is not popular, pretty (she thinks) nor does she have a boyfriend--until the mysterious Italian new student arrives in her town. From there, things get a little ridiculous, cliched and unbelievable.
As I read this book, I realized why this book was self-published. It wasn't a horrible story, but it was full of bad writing. There were so many cliches that I was distracted. I would read sentences and think, "the author must be adding all of this description because her writing workshop said, 'add description.'" I'm not sure who Theisen's intended audience is with this book. At times she wrote the characters to be more adult. Then I'd read something that I thought, "sure, teenage girls would buy into this fantasy."
I was also bothered by the shifts in narrator. Most of the story is told from Renee's point of view. Then, it switches to a third person omniscient narrator that I guess was to propel the story. There also is an italicized conversation between two unnamed characters that showed up occasionally. At first, I thought is was Satan and one of his followers. However, later in the book, it seemed like God and an angel. I was confused.
One thing I did enjoy about the book was the mom's faith. She is strong and has a sense of peace about her, but did Theisen have to include cancer with this character? I think that was manipulating the reader. Maybe that's what I don't like most about this book. I would define this book Christian fiction (there are many scripture references and the main plot is God vs. Satan and good vs. evil). I wondered about the author's motivation. Did she write this and include the scriptures so that people would feel compelled to like the book (who wants to argue that a book filled with scripture is bad?)?
I think the story needs some more work. I also think that I've read this story before now.