Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Serenity (#2): Stepping Out

Serenity (#2): Stepping Out
By Realbuzz Studios
Publisher: Barbour Publishing
Published: 2006
ISBN-13: 9781593109424
96 pages

Synopsis from the back cover: Prayer Club kids are nice. That doesn't mean they can't be tough. Serenity is warming up to the Christian kids who her their "project" by showing her an unconditional love she's never experienced before. But when she tries ducking responsibility for wrecking Kimberly's car, that unconditional love turns tough. Can Serenity understand it's for he own good?

Chapter 2: "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

Genre: Manga. Inspirational. Young Adults.

What led you to pick up this book? I got the series (four books) for a really great bargain at Christianbook.com for just US$3.80.

Summarize the plot minus spoilers: Serenity becomes a regular at the Prayer Club but not by choice. She also joins the Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) group. She is showing some progress in her character; soften somewhat but only that much. Kimberly, still wary of Serenity, breaks her promise to her father of not letting other people drive her new car. She allows Serenity to take it during a volunteer assignment because she does not want Derek out of her sight. Serenity ends up wrecking it.

What did you like most about the book? This installment has got to with addiction. Serenity is supposed to enroll into a substance abuse program but keeps dodging it. When she finally does, she is surprised to see Derek also in the Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) group. It turns out that he has a history of alcohol addiction.

Reflecting on this, I may not be an alcoholic but I sure am addicted to books. I know I should not be buying more books but I seriously love clicking on the checkout button of my favourite book websites. I suppose I can be categorized as a book shopaholic. I hear myself say this, "Hi, I'm Alice. I'm a bookaholic." There, I felt better after saying that out loud as I type it on the screen. So in that respect, this book speaks to me, especially the quote I stated in the beginning of this post.

What did you think of the main character? Serenity, as I've mentioned in my review of the first graphic novel, is a teenager with a very bad attitude. In this book, because of her acquaintance with the Christian kids, she questions the existence of God and finds it hard to believe Him. She thinks the prayer stuff is bogus but still, she tries getting on her knees and pray. Readers will catch a glimpse of her insecurity and loneliness.

What about the ending? Satisfying.

Here are some of the relevant Bible quotes in context with story, which are only quoted at the end of the book as reference:
When Serenity goes into the woods, away from her nagging mother to attempt praying, but hers are self-serving ones such as "help me score Derek," "make me popular," "gimme a killer bod and money" but her conscience tells her that God will not answer such prayers. She realizes that what she really, really wants is to be happy: "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: That if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us." ~ 1 John 5:14 (NIV)

Serenity's friends keep her in their prayers and tries their best to help her: "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." ~ Matthew 5:44 (NIV)
Would you recommend this book? Yes and I will definitely continue reading the series.

About Realbuzz Studios:
Realbuzz Studios is an international group of artists and writers creating exciting and entertaining original stories for inspirational and christian readers.

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