Saturday, June 30, 2018

The Healer by Donna Freitas - OPTIONAL

The Healer by Donna Freitas, 400 pages.  HarperTeen, October 2018.  $18.

Language: PG (11 swears, 0 ‘f’); Mature Content: R (on page sex); Violence: G.



For all of her 17 years, Marlena has been the healer girl – the untouchable Savior who dispenses healing every Saturday – for a price, but Marlena doesn’t know that, because her mother has always been in charge of everything.  But something someone yelled at her and a boy she once saw won’t leave her mind.  Is there more to the world to healing?  Can Marlena have a normal life with friends and love and still be a healer?

For all that Marlena’s healing power came supposedly from God, she has no personal relationship with him and seems to discard him quickly when a pretty boy comes into her life. While the issues seem to be deep, they remain on the surface as angst, not a crisis of faith.  Had Frietas established a deeper connection between Marlena and God, her choices would have been more monumental.  Frietas does cover some deep issues of identity, personal choice, love and loss among others – but personal faith is not one of those issues.

Cindy, Middle School Librarian

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