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The Right & the Real

The Right & the Real - Joelle Anthony When Jamie refuses to join the cult-like church of The Right and The Real, she never imagined life as she knew it would cease to be. Kicked out from church and home, and unable to confide or count on anyone Jamie has to learn to survive on her own. As she soon finds out, it’s a hard, dangerous world for an underage girl, with little money, and no friends out there. Joelle Anthony's The Right & the Real is about mistakes, hardships, and forgiveness, and how a young teenage girl finds a way to put her life back together. Jamie is one of those characters that you look up to. She's lovable, she's fun, and very determined. When she's kicked out of her house, she doesn't know what to do. She's been counting on these people—dad, friends, boyfriend—for so long that now that her life has been swept from under her feet and now she can't count or confide in them. Rather than give up, Jamie keeps trying and trying, and even as things get worse for her she never gives up. She's scared, alone, and she cries most nights, but there's never a moment where she thinks it’s the end. Jamie keeps looking for solutions even when they seem out of reach. There's one line she says that really stuck with me, "I ached for my old easy life." Sometimes we don't know what we have until we lose it, and then we don't know what to do. If I've learned anything from this book is not to panic, and always look for a solution no matter how impossible it seems. Aside from trying to get her father back from the claws of the church of The Right & the Real, another of her ordeals is with her boyfriend Josh. He's part of the church, and he's trying to keep things the same yet they clearly can't, and she's suffering for it. The way he ends up treating her is horrible. Honestly, Jamie was too good for him anyways. That's why I loved Trent from the start. Not only is he charming—I just love a boy that babbles like he does—but he is always good to Jamie, even when he has no idea how much his little acts of kindness light up her day. LaVon is another favorite character. He becomes a sort of surrogate parent to her, and puts his life on the line to help her. The fanaticism of the church and the way they end up treating Jamie's dad, was very hard for me to read. I got so angry several times, that I just had to close the book and breathe. However, the ending was a breath of fresh air. Opening that final box cracked my heart in half, and it was just perfect. Like, I don't read many contemporary stories, much less one with religion involved, but I'm so grateful to have received and gotten the chance to read this! It's really one of the greatest contemporary YA novels I've read this year, right up there with Paper Towns, and Mare's War. *I received this book from the publisher*