Monday, December 14, 2009

The Judas Ride

Reviewed by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson for Reader Views

"The Judas Ride" is a very complex and dark tale of a number of young people, most of them from underprivileged families, their choices in life and their daily struggles to survive and in some cases try to "do the right thing." It is filled with a veritable menagerie of diverse characters - some of them are menacing and violent, some are borderline crazy, others simply abused and sometimes abusive as well, and here and there are some do-gooders who do not always succeed quite as well as they would like to.
 
The book opens with a series of scary scenes between an unwed teen mother-to-be, Sonia, and two possible fathers of her baby. Xavier, a slightly hesitant Christian, is trying to "do the right thing" and protect Sonia from the other man in the picture, Vader, as well as from her oftentimes self-destructive tendencies. Vader, abused and abusive, does not hesitate to hurt those around him, including the ones he should be protecting, including the mother of possibly his child, Sonia. In the first fifty pages alone the reader is confronted with senseless violence, destruction of property, severe beatings, verbal and physical abuse, rebellion against parents and other authoritative figures, abuse and dealing of drugs and more. This pace of violence and evil continues, with rape, molestation, murder, suicide and a few other assorted violent acts.

While it is clear that there are people trying to "do the right thing" in the mix, most notably Pastor Manny and Xavier, the overwhelming feeling one is left with is that life for the young people nowadays is pretty grim, free will and choices notwithstanding.
 
 I definitely want to commend Ms. Yarber on writing a story that shows the young people of today that their choices and actions have tangible consequences.