I believe in this book. I finished it with tears in my eyes and my hope renewed and I knew this book needed to get into more hands. Not because my friend Elora Ramirez wrote it. Not even because it's a beautifully, written compelling story.
I believe in this book because it is a book people need to read. Because of the subject matter, it is not an easy read but it is a worthy one. Eyes need to be opened, ears need to hear, and hearts must be broken. Without that, Come Alive remains only a story and girls like Stephanie will remain trapped, abused, forsaken.
And that's why I decided I needed to give a copy away.
From the cover copy:
Stephanie believes in stories. But even though she puts pen to paper daily and creates stories of change and hope, she fails to see the possibilities within her own life. Abused, alone and invisible to those around her, she struggles with self-worth and believing in another world - one of love and safety and healing. There are those in her life who believe in redemption and new beginnings, but can Stephanie trust them when all she's ever known is betrayal? She wants to - her heart says it's safe - but she struggles with believing the lies thrown at her day after day by others who should be protecting her. This is her story - all of it - the chaos and beauty caused by the wrecking ball of her family and the fight for rescue. All she needs is someone to listen. Will you be one who hears? It just may change your world.
Ramirez guides her readers through the dark, depraved world of human trafficking. We are tempted to believe that sort of thing happens overseas. Not here. Never here.
A couple of years ago, the Tennessean splashed the headlines with news of a Somali-run sex trafficking ring. Sure, so it was going on here but with refugees. It wouldn't happen with Americans, would it?
And yet, it does. American girls used by American men. It happens in our cities.
At times while reading Stephanie's story, I wondered why she didn't just turn in the perpetrator. Why didn't she fight? Even in spite of the complications, why didn't she turn to the people so clearly on her side? Ramirez showed me the hows and whys of such abuse, the level of numbness and despair victims succumb to. There seems to be no hope of rescue.
Yet, there is hope for Stephanie.
Ramirez seamlessly weaves in statistics about sex trafficking, while also providing information about organizations fighting this evil. Organizations like Love146, which I knew about, and others I hadn't heard of before. I felt better armed and educated by the end of Come Alive.
Perhaps most surprising of all, I also felt hopeful. God is at work. He uses people like those at Love146 and the ones who come alongside Stephanie in this book. He wants us to open our eyes to those around us who are in pain, who need us to love them as they are. He wants us to recognize the beauty in His creation and the way He created us.
He wants us to come alive. It won't look the same for everyone. But if we so choose, the possibilities are endless.
I'm giving away one copy of Come Alive. The winner can choose whether they'd like the physical book or ebook. The giveaway will end this Friday October 12 and is limited to US residents only. The winner will be notified by email. If I do not hear back within 48 hours, a new winner will be selected.
All you have to do is leave a comment to the question specified in Rafflecopter. You can earn extra entries by following the prompts. Good luck!
Disclosure: I was provided a free copy of Come Alive by the author for my review. I
was not required to write a positive review. The thoughts, opinions,
and reactions are entirely my own. I am giving a copy away using my own cold hard cash. That's how much I liked it.
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