By: Ashley Sanders
Publisher: Trafford Publishing
Publication Date: September 2011
Reviewed by: Mary Lignor
Review Date: May 3, 2011
Facing Demons is an extremely heart-rending book that will keep the reader’s attention throughout. It is a fictional account about the real issues that face young and old alike in today's world.
This totally inspiring novel starts with Blake Solomon, who is the Director of a rehab center on the shores of the ocean in Australia. The place is a refurbished hospital and the program is called "Another Chance at Life." Four young people have been brought to the center with the hope that they will be able to get a new chance at life. First there is Jason, who is gang member. Jason lost his family (mom, dad and sister) to gang violence. He was so overwrought that he formed his own gang to retaliate and when caught, was given the choice of rehab or jail. Needless to say he chose rehab. Next up is Rebecca, a teen who never knew her own family and grew up in foster homes. She was mistreated and finally ran away and was found on the street by someone she thought would save her. Unfortunately, he had other ideas and began to abuse her sexually. Rebecca ran away again but this time when she was found, fate was smiling on her and she was sent to the rehab center. The third member of this group is Felicity, a girl from a wealthy family who is ignored by her parents and goes wild on the street. When she delves into drugs and alcohol, her parents send her off for rehabilitation. The final teen in our story is Matthew, a refugee from Africa. He has had a horrific life, being separated from his family at an early age and forced to live on the streets. When he was caught trying to steal some food from his work place, the store’s owner caught him and tried to burn him alive.
These four people show up at "Another Chance at Life" with large chips on their shoulders. To avoid jail, they were forced into treatment and while they have left their individual worlds full of violence behind, it’s clear that they don’t want to be there. They are full of hate and are angry at everybody, including each other. Will Blake be able to help these troubled teens?
Blake sends them on a camping trip where they slowly came together as they learn to rely on each other to get back to the Center. It is clear that the stay at “Another Chance at Life” will be a very difficult time for all of them including Blake and his wife Anne, who are facing an extremely tough battle in their own lives. Blake has been diagnosed with cancer, and has promised himself that by helping these kids, he would get another chance at life too.
This book covers many of the problems facing young people today who are on the wrong path. The story speaks strongly on issues including racism, drugs and alcohol, violence, and sexual abuse. With it's very explicit coverage of these topics it is definitely not for the faint-hearted. However, it is a real eye-opener for readers who do not understand why some kids act the way they do. A perfect book for children in trouble, parents trying to understand, and an in-depth look at turning their lives around.
Quill Says: Facing Demons is a good narrative concerning problems that are plaguing young people today and will likely bring hope to many.