Varian Johnson: Saving Maddie



T one of the things I loved best about Saving Maddie was that everything wasn t so black and white Take Maddie for instance Through her interactions with Joshua we got to see inside her heart and find out what really made her tick Turned out she was one heck of a good person with a heart of gold and a clever mind Too bad she happened to have such a bad father who as a preacher was supposed to be one of the good guys And if ou ve read Saving Maddie Die Mystikerin you know this man was clearly not I didn t bother looking at my watch as I walked to my car her book in my hand I knew it was late and I was sure Mom was freaking out I started the car and glanced at my phone Three messages all from home Yep Mom was worried all right But that made me wonder Did Madeline have someone who worried about her as much as my mother worried about me page 40To me Saving Maddie was about choices than religion Faith is an important component of the novel but in the end it really boiled down to love forgiveness and findingour own way in the world Joshua was so consumed with being the perfect preacher s son it seemed like he had lost track of what he really wanted Not what his parents thought best for him or the church but his own hopes and dreams If ou spend every minute of every day trying to please others and do only what they think is right from ou while being miserable in the process what kind of life is that For someone so oung Joshua s character seemed so much older to me He reminded me of a heavily burdened adult who realizes that life is just passing them by Many of his peers didn t even feel comfortable around him Maddie might ve been the one everyone thought needed saving but in some ways it seemed to me like she was the one saving JoshuaWhenever I think of Saving Maddie it immediately calls to mind blackberries vanilla shampoo and coffee The imagery Johnson used to put his scenes together astounded me For instance on page 6 Johnson writes The wind picked up around us pushing her scent toward me and I took in a deep breath The smell of her vanilla shampoo seemed right in place with the sweet taste of blackberry in my mouth Johnson s voice really drew me in he never got melodramatic but packed each word in each scene with such a punch I felt like I was almost watching a movie play out At times I even wondered if he was basing this book on his own experiences They seemed too real to me too raw He painted a vivid picture of the church community for me the dialogue the interactions between Joshua and his family they all worked The old timers at the Senior Citizen home provided the perfect amount of comic relief when things got to heavy as wellBeing someone who normally isn t comfortable reading books with religious tones I initially put this one aside I m so glad I gave it a chance because it turned out to be a book I extremely enjoyed There were uite a few references to sex and drinking but in the context of the story they fit and seemed realistic It was also great to read a book written from a male point of view with a male protagonist I don t think we have enough of that in YA I think Saving Maddie could appeal to male readers though I worry that the pink outer wrapping on the cover might throw them a bitOverall Saving Maddie was a well written unflinching look at two complex characters who find themselves in tough situations where their deepest beliefs are challenged I highly recommend it It was extremely easy to identify with Joshua a trait that most teen books seem to be missing these days The author really draws ou into Joshua s world showing that it isn t that hard to be the good kid but when the good kid finally snaps it means that something really is wrongI loved reading about the friendship coming back together and the ways that Joshua was able to connect with his best friend again The parents drove me a little nuts because the author allowed Pisco significa pajaro. you to like them before the characters pushedou awayEnjoyable characters enjoyable dialouge and a decent Christian message not the mass marketed one all euals a pleasurable book Joshua Wynn has grown up being an example for other kids The Wynn Boy He doesn t seem to mind too much except that he had to give up on his school s basketball team to lead the Einführung in die deutsche Sprache der Wissenschaften youth group and that everyone his age thinks he s some kind of prude But even these things don t dampen his spirits and he works very hard to keep his reputation He has to he s Joshua Wynn the preacher s son a shining example of what is good and righteous and wholesome in the world 28 More like some kind of super hero than a real person don tou think It s not until Maddie comes back into his life that Joshua starts to object to the perceptions that other people have of him and the pressure that he is under from his parents and the community to do and be good And no he never liked that he gets left out of things because he s such a goodie two shoes that he s the guy other kids hide their beer from at parties but until Maddie comes along it s as though he didn t know he could be any different She opens up a world for him where he is not an extension of his father and his father s workNow I ve never been a PK but I was raised by one and I was definitely a goodie two shoes in high school who had friends at The Defense (Eddie Flynn youth group than at school I think that Johnson has absolutely nailed that experience or at least mirrored mine The feelings and internal conflicts that Joshua goes through felt so authentic His struggle to reconcile what he wants to do with what he s supposed to do with what everyone else is doing was ongoing The lectures from his parents I m not mad I m disappointed the worst and the advice from his friends to just go for it the BIG it no less were so familiar And then there s Maddie who seems so much grown up experienced and figured out than Joshua Of course he falls for her There is definitely attraction involved but Joshua also gets one of those I want to beou crushes on herSaving Maddie is told from Joshua s perspective so we don t get to see the inner workings of Maddie s head Through her talks with Joshua however she becomes a fully realized and complex character Something that makes up a large part of Maddie and everyone else s problem with her is that she is no longer religious BUT she still has her faith This disconnect between faith and religion is something that a lot of teens struggle with not just PKs Without going into great detail or getting bogged down in theology Johnson makes Maddie an example of what it can mean to believe in God without participating in a specific religious tradition She still considers herself spiritual and a Christian but she doesn t go to church Joshua sees her spirituality acted out in her life rather than her Sunday attendance It s a less obvious way of teaching by example than the kind of life he has been living and while he may not change to be non religious like Maddie he definitely learns from her Seeing how she acts out her faith in what she does rather than what she doesn t do gives him choices for how he can show his And he finally does that by sticking up for MaddieI could go on and on about Saving Maddie there are at least half a dozen uotes left in my notes Johnson has done something wonderful here He s managed to capture the PK experience and the growing up at church experience so well And he s managed to do it in a way that I think will be attractive and relevant to readers who ve grown up without these experiences as wellBook source Philly Free Librar. He begins to uestion his own rigid understanding of God and whether as his mother says a girl like Maddie is beyond redemption Maddie leads Josh further astray than any girl ever has but is there a way to reconcile his love for her and his love for his life in the church From the Hardcover editio.

Varian Johnson É 8 CHARACTERS

Everend Isaiah P Wynn and First Lady Lily Wynn of Mount Calvary church is a seventeen Hai nhà year old Christian who lets his light shine He s president of the churchouth group and a member of the choir He visits senior citizens at the Faith Nursing Home regularly he can uote scripture as well as any adult Christian and he believes in abstaining from sex until marriage This Harry Potter a Me Ka Pōhaku Akeakamai: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in Hawaiian young man has a heart for God and he cares about doing the right thing He also cares about Madeline Maddie Marie Smith He and she were friends when they wereounger but then she left Conway South Carolina and moved to Norfolk Virginia Five Falling Through Clouds years later Maddie moves back to Conway and she s certainly not a little girl any Joshua is surprised to see theoung woman she s become Will he be able to remain true to his Christian values and help Maddie renew her faith in Christianity Or will he forget all about being a good guy and compromise his beliefs The Bible is Joshua s moral blueprint just as it should be for every Christian but his peers including Maddie attacked him for his beliefs He was called names like prude and self righteous and he was made fun of because of his good choices Sadly that is the reality not in every circumstance I hope but I didn t like it I especially didn t like the way Tony talked to Joshua Tony was supposed to be Joshua s friend but he was always condemning him for wanting to do the right thing And Christians are the judgmental ones Tony should have had the sense to follow Joshua s example There s nothing wrong with being a good guy And Joshua s ex girlfriend Jennifer She didn t know what she had when she was with Joshua Since Joshua s presence bothered his peers so much they must have felt they were doing wrong They had to try to make him feel bad for his good choices so they could feel better about their not so good choices I m sure Joshua was intelligent enough to get that but still it can be hard to resist peer pressure especially for a The Art of Acquiring young man who s expected to be an example of all things good We all break the rules sometimes that s just being human The foul language in this story was a bit much and surprisingly most of it came from the female character Maddie At age fifteen she made a bad choice and her father s reaction didn t help matters His hurtful words caused her to rebel by taking on many bad habits that only made her feel even worse about herself I m thinking she had such a nasty mouth because she was hurting so badly but she could have gotten her points across without all of the profanity She was a real good girl on the inside I could see it She was just bogged down with so much bad stuff that she couldn t find her way and she was too stubborn or maybe even feeling too guilty about the bad choices she made to let anybody help her not even Joshua whose love for her was unconditional It would have been nice if Joshua would have discouraged Maddie from bad behavior because I really wanted to see her happy I wanted to say Maddie was a bad influence on Joshua but I won t because he was old enough to make his own choices I was so disappointed though when he did the things he did but sadly that part of the story was also realistic It isn t always the good one who uplifts the not so good sometimes the person with bad habits will pull down the one trying to live right About Maddie s father Gregory Smith Pastor of Sunset Valley Baptist Church This so called man of God should have been ashamed of himself for the way he treated his daughter He didn t just break her heart he broke her spirit He s obviously a saved person who thinks he s above everyone else which shows that he doesn t know what Christianity is all about God is no respecter of persons He loves us all the same He also expects Christians to share His love with others and He surely expects fathers to love and protect their children It was unfortunate that his actions caused Maddie to mistrust so many who weren t responsible for what he had done all Christians aren t judgmental hypocrites but I am so glad she didn t stop believing in God There is content I must address out of respect for the heavenly Father and for the sake of every reader especially theoung people Maddie says For our information the Bible doesn t even say that premarital sex is wrong All it talks about is sexual immorality I ll begin with a definition of fornication Consensual sexual intercourse between a man and woman who are not married the definition for premarital sex is the same What the Bible says 1 Corinthians 618 Flee fornication Every sin that a man doeth is without the body but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body That s from the King James and to make it plain here is 1 Corinthians 618 The New Living Translation Run away from sexual sin No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does for sexual immorality is a sin against our own body God is speaking to Christians Joshua is a Christian and I m assuming Maddie is also I don t know if she really believed what she said or if she was trying to justify her choice to have sex before marriage but there is a wrong message being sent All in all Saving Maddie was a good read Actually I have to say it was a real page turner and the ending was touching Favorite Funniest Lines You look like a chipmunk she said has she took the bottle from me You re supposed to drink it not store it for the winterReviewSaving Maddie was an interesting well written and uniue story full of religion finding A Menagerie of Heroes your true self and romance between two preacher kids The story was very different than mostoung adult novels and had many entertaining characters Since I m not very religious I was a little hesitant to read a book with religion about a preacher s son and his best friend who is a preacher s daughter The author wrote the story so the religion wasn t such a strong element of the plot but was enough to understand the charactersIt was pretty interesting to read about a male protagonist in his point of view instead of a female main character like most of the YA books I ve read Joshua is described as the good guy but it s starting to define him which he starts to really dislike His best friend Maddie moved away when they were still children but she comes back many Mr. Fix-It years later as a changed woman She has grown up and now does things he has never dreamed she would With Madeline back in town chaos stirs up Joshua s life She doesn t want to be changed and really hates her father who won t let her back home Her life is really screwed up but when Joshua and her start talking and become closer physically she finds herself changing Sex drugs and alcohol is brought up but it isn t shown to be cool and shows how teenagers are really faced with those issues Because of that I really liked how the story and the characters were very realistic I was intrigued by Saving Maddie so I m really interested in reading Varian s other YA novel45 stars I probably should have been thinking about what I was going to say to Madeline how I was going to lead her back to the path of righteous but all I could do was think of her lips Their color Theirtaste I had no doubt that Madeline Smith needed saving I just wasn t uite sure if I was interested in being her savior page 25How far wouldou go to save someone And at what point are The Complete Photo Guide to Slipcovers you in danger of losingourself in the process On the surface Saving Maddie appears to be a black and white story about a preacher s son and trying to save his childhood love from throwing her life away Bu. To church cusses drinks and fools around with older men Joshua’s ears burn just listening to the things she did to get kicked out of boarding school and her own homeAs time goes on Josh goes against his parents and his own better instincts to keep Maddie from completely capsizing Along the way.

I have a feeling people may shy away from this book just because of the religious aspect Which is really unfortunate because I thought it was really awesome Yes it has a lot of religion in it but I think it is so much than that I think my biggest surprise which I should have realized from the description is that it s told from Josh s point of view It so rare that the guy in the story is the good character And Josh is way than good for a teen he s dang near saintly Josh s issue is that he s never stopped to think for himself He s grow up with God in the house and from a very Nazo no Kanojo X, Vol. 1 young age has had the bible and it s message pounded into his brain It s amazing to watch him start to realize that not everything needs to be taken at face value I think it s appropriate for a teen to uestion their own religious beliefs They spend so manyears thinking how their parents think it s only natural for them to realize they have a mind of their own It s not a bad things eitherI liked Maddie as well She has deep seeded reasons for being troubled And I was expecting her to be much worse than she actually was or maybe the author made her seem tame I liked that she made Josh uestion everything She wasn t trying to get him to go against his beliefs She just wanted to make sure he knew what HE actually believed in I think if the story had an epilogue we would have learned she came back to the church She didn t need saved she needed to come to terms with what had been done to her both by others and herself I was floored by the way her father treated her and her mother allowed itSo if Tarikh Se Kuch Nahin Sikha you can handle the religious aspect of this book I would highly recommend it 25 Saving Maddie by Varian JohnsonGenre Young AdultPages 231Acuired April 2011Book of Your Shelf NoWhy I have it Book BattleSeries NoMaddie and Joshua were best friends They understood each other they were both PK Preacher s Kids But then one day Maddie s family moves and they grow apart Fiveears later she returns but she is not the same person Maddie now Madeline has left the church and has uite a reputation as a bad girl Joshua is determined to bring her back into the church but finds that Madeline is opening his eyes and make him think about his beliefsThe story revolves around Josh trying to figure out what happened to Madeline in the five چهار تیاتر years she was gone that could change her so much She hates her father and the church but she won t say why As Josh tries to get Madeline to open up to him he finds her opening his mind Forcing him to think about his beliefs instead of blindly doing what he has been taught his whole life The two grow close and each of them learns so much about themselves in the process45 See of my reviews on The YA Kitten Diversity Rating 1 Tokenism Racial Ethnic 2 Maddie is specified as having brown skin everyone else is sparsely described and I see everyone as black but can t count my mental pictures without textual support UILTBAG 0 Disability 0 Intersectionality 0Books that involve Christianity and faith in it as a focus normally aren t anything I ll touch but once I saw it on the Bookseller s Recommendations table at my local BN and got a peek at its jacket copy something said READ ME READ ME READ ME I didn t buy it then because 17 was a lot for a book so tiny but then I found copies on Book Outlet that were signed and it was in my hands With me in a reading slump and looking for something uick this book got picked out as one of the shortest currently in my TBR pile Eh it was okay Wrong narrator thoughJoshua s name shouldn t be hard to remember since one of my cousins shares it but he s so bland he s hard to remember His faith and how he s full of other people s thoughts and ideas instead of his own are what characterize him most at first but then the novel goes on and girls start referring to him as one of the good guys While thinking about how his ex girlfriend and then Madeline called him a good guy because he didn t want sex and preferred an emotional connection he thinks the curse of the good guy strikes again p 78Yup our narrator is a Nice Guy His characters grows a little bit over the course of Saving Maddie and he starts to think for himself instead of letting others ideologies fill him up but pardon me for not caring when he tries to differentiate a slut from a good person after his character development has already happened A good person is a good person no matter how many people they sleep withMaddie really Madeline because she goes by her full name throughout the novel instead of her childhood nickname comes really really close to being the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope Y know the girl who sweeps into town change s a guy s life and then disappears to move on to different pastures She avoids it because she s the most fleshed out character in the entire novel but she does the essential functions of the trope Anyone who dislikes that trope probably won t enjoy this book To be honest this novel should be in her point of view not Joshua s Her character and what she s been through is much interesting especially when we see how she s still spiritual but disconnected from organized religionI fortunately grew up nonreligious and far from my strict Southern Baptist grandparents but every time we visit them all the things I m supposed to do to Be a Good Christian Girl really press on me and there are than a few things we re barred from talking about on my grandparents property The setting of Saving Maddie is about ten times lighter in the pressures but the essence of it is still there and gives readers who have grown up in religious settings or who have religious family something they ll recognizeSaving Maddie does recognize that Maddie isn t someone who needs to be saved but allowed to find her own way as she sees fit but Maddie is the only vaguely memorable thing about the novel I finished it literally twenty minutes ago and have already started forgetting things This novel is a slice of life piece with little development They can be good and memorable but when they re like this they leaveou thinking So what It s a snapshot of someone s life journey and that s nice but why does it matter enough to warrant a novel There s nothing of real depth here to justify itRead it Don t read it There s really no recommendation here If August Farewell you want slices of life or something that will occupy time without taking up space inour brain go for it This book felt so shallow the religion the characters the setting Also when I asked for this book at ALA it was on display the girl was like well if Burung-burung di Sumatera, Jawa, Bali dan Kalimantan you want but I have to warnou it deals with religion Um okay Thanks for WARNING me What is Saving MaddieIt s a book about faith About finding Civil Disobedience your own faith About the reasons why make our choices About forgiveness and trying to look beyond others choice s into who they really areJoshua knows who he is He s the preachers son He s the leader of his churchouth group He s proud that he doesn t drink and not ashamed to be a virgin Not reallyBut when Maddie his best friend from childhood moves back it s clear that she s no longer the preacher s daughter that he knew The way she dresses and behaves is enough to show Joshua and everyone else in town that something happened to Maddie to turn her away from church lifeJoshua is asked to save herAnd in the process of course he falls for Maddie who is a mix of the girl he knew and someone else completely She s not easy to save though and she makes him work hard to figure out what he reall Joshua Wynn son of Joshua Wynn is a preacher’s son and a “good boy” who always does the right thing Until Maddie comes back to town Maddie is the daughter of the former associate pastor of Joshua’s church and his childhood crush Now Maddie is all grown up gorgeous and troubled She wears provocative clothes.

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