Sunday, July 14, 2013

Book Review: Popular: Booze, Boys and Jesus by Tindell Baldwin

*I received this book compliments of Tynedale House Publishers for purposes of this review, however all opinions are my own.

Popular:  Boys, Booze & Jesus
by:  Tindell Baldwin

About the Book:
Tindell Baldwin’s words best describe her passion and this book: 
“My heart is for teenage girls because my story is much like so many of theirs. I was just a girl who made a lot of mistakes. I was a girl who had sex before marriage and then had a broken heart. I was a girl who did drugs and drank to fill the void that was deep in my heart. I was a girl who was desperate to be popular. A girl who, like so many others, didn’t know the dark side of sin. So my aim is to reach teenage girls, and through an honest account of my darkest sins, show them what they are up against. My heart is that teens would hear my story and flee to Christ. My greatest desire is that God would be glorified above all else.” 

Through a two-part journey (“Dark” and “Light”), Tindell details how she said goodbye to her family’s God and pursued popularity at all costs while climbing the social chain in high school. During a night of partying, she even encountered the man suspected of killing Natalee Holloway in Aruba. But God did not leave Tindell. The “Light” part of her story shows how she reconnected with God, changed her ways, and discovered abundant and real life through Christ.

My Review:
I don't even know where to start with my review of this book. I guess first I have to say that I was blown away and second, I think that this is an invaluable resource for parenting a teen girl.  It's a raw and candid glimpse into the teen world that is high school and college. I also think that every teen girl, whether she is on the precipice of making bad decisions or just coasting along as "one of the crowd" should read this.  

"There's one in every class- the kid the other kids laugh at, the oddball or the social misfit.  They've perfected the art of not seeming to care.  True or not, it's almost as if they don't notice.  Sometimes I get the feeling the only reason the other kids make fun of them is because they're jealous that the misfits have so clearly staked out their own identities, or think they have.  By rejecting the whole concept of "fitting in," misfits each get to be their own person.  I wonder who it's harder to be:  the misfit who has her own identity or the girl who's just another face in the crowd."

Tindell Baldwin bares her soul in an utterly open and purely honest way.  Although she comes from a stable home with good christian parents, Tindell chose a path that was destructive.  This book is that path and the pain, heartache and ultimately the redemption that came, before it was too late.
Drugs, drinking, smoking, and sex are all very real and very common in today's society of teens.  Everyday young girls are choosing to follow the crowd and fit in and those decisions sometimes result in very real consequences and very bad habits.   

"What I never realized when I was younger, and what I hope to reveal now, is that the decisions you make when you're seventeen will shape the way you live the rest of your life.  Who you sleep with will be in your heart forever.  The addictions you form at fifteen won't go away on your twenty-fifth birthday, and cleaning up your life doesn't magically happen.  I wish someone had told me this."

 As the mother of a teen and a woman who has herself been a teen who has seen the edge, I recommend this book.  This story is one you will be drawn into and you will learn from and I love her main message... God loves you and no matter what you do, you can return home to Him.  2 Thumbs Up!

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