You can read all of my reviews at http://alluringreads.blogspot.com
A big thank you to Penguin/Putnam Juvenile for providing me an ARC for review.
The Right & The Real is too right and way too real. Joëlle Anthony has weaved a story that feels as if it was ripped from the headlines. It's a story of fanaticism and how it affects your life. It's a scary thing, and I too have been outcasted from the life of a person who was very important to me for not succumbing to their beliefs. It's a harsh reality that someone can be introduced to a belief or a way of life that consumes them in such a way that if has grave effects on their relationships with the people around them.
Jamie was a very lovable character with whom I empathised with immensely. She was facing some very heavy stuff for a 17 year old, yet she handled it the best she possibly could. I believed this character, I felt her emotions and I understood her reactions. The story of her father, Richard, was a difficult one. He was a weak man with an addictive personality and although I hated the choices he made in this book, I felt bad for him. It is way too easy for an organisation or a belief to get their claws into the people who are missing something from their lives and alter them in an immeasurable way. Richard was quite clearly an unhappy man who was looking for anything to cling to that could in some way bring him resolve and happiness. I appreciated the dynamic of the three best friends in this book. They all stood out in their own way, yet their love of theatre gave them an impenetrable bond. I liked that they weren't carbon copies of each other.
The relationship between Jamie and Josh was so frustrating to me. She put up with so much from Josh, and never got to experience what a real relationship is. Trent was a breath of fresh air, the scenes with him made me happy and every time I realised I had a silly grin on my face. At time's I found myself frustrated with Jamie because she wouldn't take the plunge, but that's what young love does, makes you do stupid things! Another relationship in this that was great was between Jamie and LaVon. He stepped in as a sort of skewed father figure for Jamie and it felt so natural.
The Church of The Right & The Real was haunting. A Teacher who projected that he was the second coming of Christ, and a whole congregation of people who believed it, who would give up their life, and everyone in to to serve in any way they can. Haven't we all heard about this before? This story is all too real and so well written that it reaches down and pulls emotions out of you that you didn't even know were there. I will most definitely be recommending The Right & The Real to anyone looking for an Alluring Read.