Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Book Review: 'Soul Surfer' by Bethany Hamilton

✰✰✰ Back in 2003, Bethany Hamilton was just like any other teenager. She enjoyed being with her friends and family and living the Hawaiian lifestyle. She was also a promising young surfer. Long before the tender age of 13, she set her sights on a professional surfing career. It looked like all the hard work and dedication was beginning to pay off as she won contest after contest. Then suddenly everything changed.

It was a morning like any other. Then, in the blink of an eye, a shark attacked Bethany. It was every surfer’s worst nightmare. After a harrowing trip to the hospital and lifesaving surgery, Bethany woke up to the grim reality that her life would never be the same. Through sheer grit and determination, she would fight to get back in the water and on the board. But it would take just a little bit more help to get her there. This uplifting story of one young woman’s faith and perseverance will inspire and motivate you to follow your dreams too.

The Bottom Line: This is a very quick read with a focus on faith and moving on. Bethany’s story will inspire you. Recommended for young adults and fans of faith-based stories.

Book Club Notes: It was refreshing to read a book from a teenager’s point of view. Although it is very short, there are some nuggets of wisdom in the book that stem from Bethany’s strong faith. To supplement the book, we watched an interview and a video of her wedding before talking about her life today. Our discussion focused on her positive outlook and faith. Additionally, many in the group had watched the Soul Surfer movie, which is actually quite good. 

Overall, on a scale of 1 – 5 (with 5 being the highest), we rated the book an average of 3 and the movie an average of 4. Recommended for young adult book groups. Note: If you watch the movie DVD, be sure to check out the documentary as well. For more information about the film and links to interviews, visit Chasing the FrogFor discussion questions, take a look at the study guide  

Details: Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board by Bethany Hamilton. Paperback published by Pocket Books in 2004. 222 p. ISBN: 978-1-4165-0346-0 

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