This was a really interesting book. Usually ones with slightly religious themes are touch and go for me. I’m an atheist, so it’s either fascinating to see a different point of view or I get pissed off with preachy themes. Thankfully, I found the religious themes in this one quite interesting. This tells the story of Hallelujah (Hallie) a girl on a youth group retreat in the mountains who winds up getting lost with two friends.
When it starts Hallie is suffering from some serious bullying instigated by a boy named Luke, the golden boy, the preacher’s son who everyone loves and listens to and no one has a bad word about him. Truth be told – he’s a dick. He and Hallie sounds like they did something and she got the blame for it. He makes her life miserable as a result.
Its really depressing how quickly people grownups and kids judged Hallie unfairly when she had always been a likeable, trustworthy good girl. One word from Luke and everyone’s opinion turns. She keeps quite. A new girl Rachel, has come on the retreat and tries to befriend Hallie. Initially, Hallie is quite bitchy towards her. She doesn’t want to open up and be hurt again. Her former best friend, Jonah, who is also there, turned his back on her. Somehow, Hallie, Rachel and the other guy Jonah, get separated from their group on a trail and get very lost very quickly.
Things go from bad to worse as the three try to figure out how to survive and get home together. This is where the question of faith comes in as well. Its brought up as their situations change and manages to have several different views and be quite moving without getting preachy and annoying.
It’s a touching survival story with great character growth.