Review of Son of Hamas by Mosab Hassan Yousef (with Ron Brackin)


Genre: Memoir


son of hamasThere is a reason this is a best-selling book right now: it’s a good one! It is also a brave book. The author expresses his experience as the son of one of Hamas’ core leaders, his work as a spy for the Shin Bet, and his conversion to Christianity. His vulnerability for the sake of his message is outstanding and demonstrative of his love (God’s love through him) for all people.

I was captivated by the spy aspect of the narrative, fascinated by his detailed recap of the groups and events within the Middle Eastern conflict, and especially touched as he presented the gradual transition of his heart from hatred toward the Jews to working with Israeli intelligence, then toward the Creator God and Christian faith. It is interesting to see God speaking through him and guiding him even before he dedicated his life to Him.

It is also amazing to hear the testimony of the difference in his experience of worshipping God compared to Allah. Is “God/Allah’s” personhood defined by His name or His attributes? Yousef shows that Allah and the Christian God are distinct in their characteristics, thus are not the same. His experience with each are deeply felt by the attentive reader.

I appreciate this story, and am excited to hear that there is also a documentary (The Green Prince) based on this story.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers.



Review of Hit by Lorie Ann Grover


Genre: YA Fiction/Contemporary

_225_350_Book.1361.coverNot Recommended.

Sarah is a senior in high school, preparing to make the decision about where to go to college, and day-dreaming about a graduate-student poetry teacher (Mr. Haddings), when she is hit by a car while crossing the street. The driver of the car happens to be Haddings.

The story is written in “live-diary” form from the back-and-forth perspectives of both Sarah and Haddings beginning the morning of the accident, and extending two full days and briefly into the third morning.

I have a personal pet peeve that I abhor the use of first person present tense in fiction–it always takes me a few chapters to get over the awkwardness of the tense and into the story–as was the case with Hit.

I’m also not sure what the purpose of the narrative should have been. I liked that this was based on a true story, and thought the perspectives, grievances, and emotions of the characters were dealt with well. But the outcome and message of the story were lacking considering the content (i.e. the near-death experience, aftermath, and inappropriate near-relationship between teacher and student). Also, the writing was simple (maybe 4th grade level); while the content was more mature (high school).

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blink.