The Whisper Theory by Amber Albee Swenson

I received a free ecopy of this book courtesy of Book Look Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.

The Whisper Theory is intended as a book  to help late teens/young adults struggle against peer pressure that might lead them into paths they don’t really want to go.  The title is taken from a David Crowder band song:  “send me a sign, a hint, a whisper. Throw me a line, ’cause I am listening.”  This fictional story features a young lady named Meghan who arrives at the Northwestern University of Illinois at Evaston to share accommodations with Carol, who has a 3-bedroom apartment in a low rise building close to campus.  She has found a found a 3rd student to share their space and expenses.

In the beginning, Meghan is strong in her faith and has answers to statements made by her new roommates that suggest God doesn’t care, is too remote or doesn’t even exist.  But as time passes, she talks less about what God can do and begins rationalizing some of her actions.  While she is still reaching out to others (such as a lonely, elderly lady who spends a lot of time looking out her front window), and applying herself to her studies and work, she becomes more involved in activities she wouldn’t have even considered a year earlier.

First problem, the 3rd roommate is named Jeff.  Even though ground rules are laid down, problems arise as Jeff and Meghan spend time together and find they are attracted to each other. Even though she knows Jeff is not a Christian and she promised her parents she wouldn’t date him, she breaks that promise and starts going out with him.  She does it secretly, so now she’s lying to Carol.  Before you know it, Meghan is tempted to try things she’s never been interested in before: alcohol, smoking, and dating.    She has led a very “protected” life and is naïve enough to misunderstand when the professor who has hired her as his assistant asks her out for a drink — she thinks he wants to discuss the work assignment.

Next problem, a murder in Meghan’s apartment building brings her parents to visit and they decide she can stay in the building but they sense something is happening between Meghan and Jeff.  They suggest that one of them should move into the now available apartment on the 2nd floor.  Even though they stop seeing each other, and Meghan meets a Christian boy heading for theological school, more problems present themselves: jealousy, resentment, uncertainty, and guilt.  When a second murder occurs in their building, things become really tense.

I see the problems outlined in this story as very real for someone trying to live a Christian life away from home, and, while some might find the ending of the story rather naïve, many will recognize that such things do happen, especially when one has placed his/her faith in God and is listening for the “whispered” answer.

99c73e_9013b3f0b9ba45f8a6c6dbe81b188250.jpg_srz_121_175_75_22_0.50_1.20_0This is an easy to read story with study and discussion outlines at the end of each chapter which I liked at first, but then found a bit distracting as I wanted to get on with the story line.  However, the outlines are very thought-provoking and the Bible references are bang on, and I could see how the placement of the study sections would be good if you were sharing the book in a group or in a situation where you were seriously seeking help with similar difficulties.  There are lots of references in the story to Christian musical groups, and interactions with older people who step in at the right moment to help with tricky situations.  While the target audience is young Christians preparing to head off to university or already at university (or some other first-time-away-from-home setting such as work or training), almost everyone can probably glean something from this story and study.  Parents might find some practical advice, and older singles may, as well.  I found it a solid, Bible-based outlook as well as an interesting story. * * * *

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About mysm2000

Having taught elementary school for more than 25 years and been involved in many amazing technology and curriculum projects, I find I've developed a myriad of interests based on literature I've read and music I've heard. I've followed The Wright Three to Chicago, Ansel Adams to Colorado, The Kon Tiki Expedition to Easter Island, Simon & Garfunkel lyrics to New York City, Frank Lloyd Wright to Fallingwater, Pennsylvania, and have only just begun.
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