This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
The Judas Ride
Tate Publishing (December 8, 2009)
Peggy Sue Yarber
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Peggy Sue Yarber, PhD in psychology, lives in central California with her husband, two daughters, six turtles and two dogs. She works in the field of education.
The Judas Ride was inspired by her current and previous students. She has seen and experienced and seen similarities between the students and Jesus’ traitor, Judas Iscariot. She has always been fascinated with Judas. Yarber went to a catholic school when she was young and Judas was always portrayed like a mysterious rebel.
She ventures to say, “I guess he was my James Dean of the Bible. But in a good way! In the way that…he did something so wrong so that the entire world could be saved. He had to betray Jesus in order for the rest of the story. I have always wondered what it would be like to not do that one bad thing that would lead to that one great thing. So I had the Vader character sort of run through the paces of Judas.”
Redemption and reality are the two distinguishing features about Yarber’s writing. Not all teens find redemption in The Judas Ride. Yarber considered trying to show the negative outcomes as much as the positive. She wasn’t thinking in terms of positive and negative but she did try to balance the two sides. Yarber says she often sees people daily that , “…have even more screwed up lives than these characters.” Yarber admits sometimes there is not an ending to the madness unless someone dies and then even after the death the ripples still linger. She has written another novel TARE and a children’s book Rocketships to Heaven and the SOS Fuel Station. She loves to run, read, shoot guns and watch her daughters play soccer.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
An unwed (and unwanted) teen pregnancy with two possible fathers. Abusive relationships. Drug and alcohol addiction. Rape and molestation. The struggle to understand grace, forgiveness, and free will versus predestination. The Judas Ride
hits the road running in the opening pages, where Sonia and Xavier argue explosively about whether Sonia should have their unborn child and about who the father is: Xavier, a struggling Christian, or Vader, an abusive and abused drug dealer. As the pages turn, readers continue to meet a hodgepodge of troubled teens and eclectic characters, including Pastor Manny, a quirky immigrant pastor infatuated with John Wayne. Pastor Manny desires to help the tortured souls in his community but finds that it takes more than unconditional love to reach them. Secrets literally kill in The Judas Ride
, an edgy, in-your-your face Christian novel that boldly explores the struggles of modern-day young people.
If you would like to read the first chapter of The Judas Ride, go HERE.
I tried to read The Judas Ride, I really did. I struggled through many chapters with characters and events that got progressively worse as I read, hoping for a glimpse of redemption in the midst of all the ugliness. I never did find it and chose to stop reading before I reached the end. The characters were so unlikeable that I could not drum up even an ounce of sympathy for even one of them. I had a stack of much more inviting books waiting to be read and I gave in to their invitation.
I do not object to reading books about real life situations. Edgy fiction does not bother me. Unfortunately The Judas Ride did. I simply cannot recommend this book to anyone.