Sunday, December 12, 2010

GODLESS by Pete Hautman

GodlessGodless by Pete Hautman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

(from Goodreads)

"Why mess around with Catholicism when you can have your own customized religion?"
Fed up with his parents' boring old religion, agnostic-going-on-atheist Jason Bock invents a new god — the town's water tower. He recruits an unlikely group of worshippers: his snail-farming best friend, Shin, cute-as-a-button (whatever that means) Magda Price, and the violent and unpredictable Henry Stagg. As their religion grows, it takes on a life of its own. While Jason struggles to keep the faith pure, Shin obsesses over writing their bible, and the explosive Henry schemes to make the new faith even more exciting — and dangerous.
When the Chutengodians hold their first ceremony high atop the dome of the water tower, things quickly go from merely dangerous to terrifying and deadly. Jason soon realizes that inventing a religion is a lot easier than controlling it, but control it he must, before his creation destroys both his friends and himself.

I would give this book a 3.5/5*, or possibly even a 4*. This book was 196 pages long and the story was well written.

This is a book about a teenager named Jack, who lives with a mother who is determined to prove that her son is sick. With what, who knows...every time he coughs, sneezes, sleeps too long or drinks too much she is sure that there is something wrong with him and so she has him at the doctor all the time getting tests done. And then there is his father who is a lawyer but also who is very religious. He has his family attend church every Sunday and Jack has to attend TPO classes, which is similar to bible study classes, once a week. The problem with that is that Jack doesn't believe in God.

And that is what the story is about, without all the talk about God. Jack and his friend are hanging out by the town's water tower one day when Jack has an ephinany. Why not make the water tower a god?

So Jack starts asking his few friends if they want to join him in worshipping this water tower. What starts out as a joke of sorts develops into something more during only a few weeks time.Something that started off as something innocent and just for fun ended up becoming something a little more serious and ended up changing people's lives.

Jack had gotten 4 of this friends to join him and together they came up with a name for their "religion" and a set of commandments. Also, one of the kids started a "bible" of sorts.

Jack didn't think that anyone would take this whole water tower as being a "god" thing seriously and so he continued on with it. Before you knew it they were all climbing to the top of the water tower for a "midnight mass". All of them, except one. One who was afraid of heights.

While up on the top of the water tower they thought it would be fun to go SWIMMING inside the tower and so they cut off the lock and dove in. Into this tower of drinking water for the town! When they had enough they got out and started to get their stuff back on. But while one of them was trying to get his boots on he slipped and something terrible happened.

Something that almost ended up being fatal made the kids open their eyes and see what they were actually doing. I am sure the fact that they all got in trouble with the police and with their family also had something to do with it.

Jack got blamed for the whole thing even though the whole thing was not his fault, but his father said that his friends are always going to do what Jack says. OK, I understand about peer pressure, but there are some things you just have to take responisibilty for for yourself and I think that this was one of those things.

Just when we think that everything is over and they all had learned their lesson and came to their senses that a water tower simply cannot be a "god", the boy that didn't climb to the top of the water tower does something very shocking.

This book was a coming of age story and even though it is about discovering who God is or isn't, it isn't heavy at all on religion. Even people who don't believe or are unsure of what they believe can read this book without feeling like they are pressured into thinking one way or another.

I really liked how this story was written ( and even though I only read 1 John Green book-An Abundance of Katherines...this book reminded me of the writing style of Green) and the character development was well done.
If you haven't read a Pete Hautman book you should check out this one.

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