It's been a long time since I've read a novel that kept me so engaged throughout its entirety. This is that one. I learned a lot about myself reading Jacelynn's struggles. One of which is how each of us reads with a bias, whether it's conscious or not. Even after seeing the cover and reading the descriptions of the characters, I still imagined them as white. I got over that very quickly. But it's amazing how you don't really realize that you're doing it. With that being said, I was so glad to be able to read a novel with a black heroine, and on top of that, it's a Christian novel.
That's where the challenge was for me. This is going to be a mix of personal tidbits and a review, because I want to share what this novel made me think and how it challenged my life. I've only recently started going back to church after almost a year. I felt so far away from God, but I knew I needed to change and work on my relationship with Him. So now, reading a novel where a character has such trust in God but still struggles when it comes to the daily things, it really spoke to me. I think it would speak to a lot of other readers, as well. Since my reading list was so long, it took me a few years to actually start this novel. But God's timing...man oh man did I need to read this novel when I did.
Jacelynn at the beginning of the novel feels secure in her relationship with Jason, a man of God. But when her ex comes back into her life, Jacelynn begins to questions everything, including her walk with God and God Himself. Why hasn't He been giving me guidance? Why is it that every time I feel as though I'm doing His Will things go horribly wrong? Christians have all been there. We all fall short, and we all make mistakes. Jacelynn doesn't always handle it with grace, but has His grace to push through. She's a good example of a real Christian, and I'm glad topics such as sex and pregnancy are brought up in this novel. In most Christian novels we read about these perfect people who never do anything wrong because they walk with the Lord. But that's not real. Jacelynn, and her struggles, that's real.
'When the Real Thing Comes Along' shows us that God is with us through it all. It's not easy, not ever, but He will never leave us. He is our example of love, and if we're patient and quiet enough, we can hear His voice. Simone has done an amazing job capturing and detailing God's character and the strength His gives. She's created characters so real I feel like I know them. This is an endearing novel Christians will love, and I feel non-believers will also enjoy if they're open to learning more about God.