For This Life Only
By Stacey Kade
I've long been fascinated by the roles faith and religion play in many lives. So I was very excited when Stacey pitched me a story about Jacob, a young man who has a crisis of identity after his twin brother dies.
I love this novel because it tackles that challenging time in a teen's life when he or she is starting to question the way the world is organized and to recognize the shades of gray amid the black-and-white rules of childhood. For me, the deaths of two siblings before I was sixteen paired with my growing certainty that I was gay led me to question some ideas and ideals fed to me by my parents, my community, and my church. For Jacob, it's his brother's death in a car crash. Jacob was raised in the Church--his dad is a pastor--and a big chunk of his identity is tied to his religion. And with the loss of his brother, Jacob begins to doubt a lot of what he learned in Church. For the first time in his life, he must more deeply examine his place in the world.
Very often, it is tragedy that sparks a young person's journey of self-discovery. And Stacey, drawing from her own experiences as a pastor's kid, elegantly and respectfully tracks Jacob's pursuit of self, peace, and God.
Krista Vossen worked with the absolutely brilliant Eiko Ojala on the cover art.
For more information and to buy the book, click here.
"Kade’s contemplation of life and the afterlife is unflinching, and Jace’s journey through his grief is messy, raw, and, above all, real. Spot-on dialogue and an authentic voice keep this story fresh." - Kirkus Reviews
“Kade’s writing effectively conveys loss; readers can feel the trauma of losing not only a family member but also a sense of belonging.” - School Library Journal
"In a striking meditation on grief, blame, fate, and losing one's faith, Kade exposes the layers of Jacob's loss...At the heart of Kade's reflective story is a philosophical tug of war between right and wrong, knowing the difference, and the relief that can be found in making a choice even when there are no clear answers." - Publishers Weekly