I don’t normally read Young Adult books, but this short and thought-provoking book is an excellent introduction for Young Adults on the importance of recognising that one’s faith in God is not necessarily restricted to the religion in which one was raised. Thomas, a young man from a strict religious background, goes off the rails when he heads to LA to fulfil his ambitions. Luckily, the Christ-like figure of his mysterious boss, Mr C, is there to act as a moral compass.
The strength of the story lies in the author’s ability to weave a very real story of a young man’s struggle to be good in a world in which it’s all too easy to be bad. Thomas’ struggle could be any young person who longs to make it rich quick at the expense of a relationship with God. Zehr’s open-minded approach to different faiths is appealing and well-integrated into the main plot.
BLURRING THE LINES is slow to start, and at times there is some repetition (for example, in the dialogue with between Thomas and his girlfriend Jennifer), but the formatting was clean and the book an easy, enjoyable read.
Thomas’ journey appears set to continue in future stories and it’ll be interesting to see how the mysterious Mr C (whose foster parents were Marie & Jose – I couldn’t help wondering if there’s a significance to these names, given Mr C’s Christ-like attributes!) helps Thomas evolve towards his personal theosis: finding the Divine Grace that will transform him spiritually.
Because there is no sermonising and no judgement of young Thomas’s mistakes, and the spiritual questioning is simply stated, BLURRING THE LINES is an important story for young adults who are searching for a faith that will sustain them in today’s dangerously materialistic world.