Just in time for the holidays, I randomly picked up a book to read. By randomly, i mean, I went to Goodreads, checked one of the top books list they have there, and found Are You There God? listed.
Are You There God? is a quick and nice read. Kinda left me hanging a bit and wanting more thought which is not necessarily a bad thing. The book is intended for teens. haha. But is not limited to that age group.
The book is about Margaret (duh?!), an almost 12-yr old kid, and her day-to-day conversation with God about her daily happenings – her family’s move, her new friends, new school, boys, and crushes, religion, and menstruation.
It’s kinda like a light read if you look at it at first but it will make you think and reflect on things later on. One of the theme it revolves in is religion. The title suggests that God is involve in the story, one way or the other. At first, I thought that the story will be like about struggle and hardship in life and the main character is kinda questioning if God hears, but i was wrong. Although not as heavy as I thought the story would be based on the title alone, Margaret still faced obstacles which might have been big for her already considering her young age. And considering her ‘no religion’status, it made me think if i was not born into Christian parents, would I have been able to come across and believe in God? or if I were given freedom to pick my religion like Margaret, would i pick the religion i am currently in right now? I think it’s not necessary to be in a religious group as long as you have faith and you believe in Jesus.
Second, the story also touches on puberty especially menstruation. I remember it being also one of the hot topics when I was in the twelve-thirteen age group. And like in the story, my group of friends are also comparing who already have the big red. I also became worried if i’m normal or if i have hormonal imbalance when i still haven’t gotten my period even though i’m already in my first year of high school when all my friends already have theirs. I remember the first time i got it, i was so happy and because i was already preparing for it for a long, long time already, i think it went pretty smoothly. haha.
Third, i can definitely relate to Margaret’s experience re peers and growing up. I’ve also went thru the gossips, the jealous stage, the lying, the backstabbing. It’s like the book opened up the reality that these things are really what is happening regardless of the part of the globe you belong in. Spreading gossip about your classmate/schoolmate/person, when in fact, you’re just jealous because they have something that you so desperately wanna have, even if you’re not explicitly stating your desire. I actually hate myself because i’m on the side that’s spreading the gossip.
Fourth, crushes and boys. Boys, boys, boys. It’s like every girl will always have a mutual crush on the cutest/most popular guy in school wherever you are in the world. And there will always be that one girl in your group who has a long, long list of crushes. hahaha. Although at this age, it’s too early to be pro-active or to take any action at all. So it’s all just about teasing, shy crushes, being mad at your friend for telling your crush that you like him, etc.
I like the book. It’s not something that’ll stick with me for a long time but it definitely help me reflect on things this holiday season.