Eleanor's secret love for Chad could mean losing her inheritance and giving up a life long dream. Will she follow her own will, or make the hard choice to submit her life to Christ's leadership? Now available with a contemporary new look, Not My Will is a classic story of love, loss, and surrender, with more than 500,000 copies sold.
My Ranking: 9 out of 10
Ages: 13 & up
Not My Will was a reread for me, though I didn't realize it until the end and I already knew how it ended. :P I thought I might have borrowed it from a friend a long time ago, and it turns out I did! I enjoyed this book just as much, if not more, as I did the first time around. The story that takes place in this book by Francena Arnold is one that will make you cry, laugh, and realize just how precious your life is and how blessed you are with what you have. Written from the sobering perspective of a girl who loses everything, Not My Will will most certainly make you step back and recognize your blessings. The lessons taught within these pages are astounding, and little do I find such a book that I agree with so much as this one. Eleanor must learn to surrender all she has to God; it makes one step back and wonder if we are submitting to God's will in our lives also...or are we running away from it?
Eleanor(Len) was such a lovable and sweet character. Though she made some bad choices, she was an excellent character whom I grew to love very quickly. The mistakes she made and the lessons she learns from them were great - I loved how real Eleanor was. With a lot of books I've read, I end feeling the character was fake or not very realistic - It was not that way with Len. Every moment of her sorrow, confusion, and despair, I felt that I was right there with her. Then when she embraced the joy that Christ offers, I felt myself erupting with hapiness as if I were there watching it.
While I enjoyed Phillip's character in the story as he helped bring joy back to Eleanor, I could not bring myself to cherish him as I cherished Chad. Chad was such an awesome guy - he was truly Eleanor's perfect match. I was so devastated with some of the happenings in the book, but in the end I was content. I still missed Chad, though. He was such a great example and he loved Eleanor SO much. Phillip was also sweet, but I just didn't feel the connection between him and Len. I was left wishing I had gotten to know them as a couple more. But, as I said before, I was content with the ending. :)
As for content, I've little to mention. Chad and Eleanor were married and shared a few tender moments, but nothing was explicit at all. Other than that, all I have to mention is that Eleanor keeps secrets from her husband, but in the end she realizes her error and repents.
All in all, this was an excellent story. I did have a hard time picking it back up around the half way point or so - it was all SO despairing! - but in the end, I was glad I persevered and got to the sweet ending. I highly recommend this book! Though it lacks action and adventure, it is brimming with forgiveness and redemption, and emphasizes the virtue of letting go...and surrendering to the plan God has chosen for you.
I received this free book in return for an honest review from Moody Publishers. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.