Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Bare Naked Truth, by Bekah Hamrick Martin

I have to tell you that it is something of an honor to have the opportunity to read and review a copy of The Bare Naked Truth by Bekah Hamrick Martin. I also confess to being scared out of my mind to accept it for review. Why these conflicting emotions?!?! Because I know Bekah. Well, I know her online and through other people, chiefly my husband Jonathan (who introduced us). She was "Jonathan's friend who is going to write a book someday."

Guess what? Today's the day! This is that friend's book!

Any of you regular book reviewers out there know that it's a scary, scary thing to accept a book for review from someone you know more personally. The burning question in your mind is, "WHAT IF I DON'T LIKE IT!??!?!"

My entire body was tense as I cracked open the pages of The Bare Naked Truth and began reading, praying to God (literally, actually) that I would like it. Subtitled Dating, Waiting, and God's Purity Plan, I knew I was going to have a strong opinion about it and I desperately hoped it would be a good one. Also, as anyone that knows me in real life can tell you, I'm rather reserved when talking about the subjects which are dealt with in this book. I never use the word "naked." I do not talk about such "things" generally speaking. I avoid the subject(s?). I don't know Bekah well enough to know how she was going to handle it. Needless to say, I had some reservations.

Happily, having now read it,  I can tell you that I have zero reservations about this book. I enjoyed the read. I think Bekah knocked this subject out of the ballpark and wrote something not only relevant to today's teen girls, but entirely correct. She doesn't mince words in giving advice and pointing teens to scripture (hence the title of the book). She addresses areas of concern or interest to teen girls with humor and wisdom. She appeals to a teen's ability to ration and think deep thoughts (hurray!) and makes the reader feel as if she is standing at the ready to give them a hug to help them through the rocky moments of puberty.

Bekah takes a look at the following subjects that teens are having to think through more often than (I think) we adults realize:

  • Why "gaining experience" isn't as valued as society makes us think it is
  • The myth of "safe sex" outside the confines of marriage
  • Masturbation
  • Who or what fulfills and completes our emotional needs
  • What if you've been taken advantage of or have made some not-so-great decision? What does God think of you then?
  • Much, much more

What makes this book on these topics more approachable than others like it? Primarily the difference between this book and others Bekah's writing voice. I once heard her say that she really enjoys the writing of Erma Bombeck. You can tell. She has a wicked (in a good way) sense of humor. It is here that I confess to you that I laughed out loud (literally) all through the book. She relates to her readers by sharing stories from her own life with self-deprecating humor which allows the reader to get a little closer to the message and to relax.

The subjects which she addresses in The Bare Naked Truth are not necessarily easy for us to sit down and have a forthright conversation about. It takes some amount of courage to discuss these subjects even amongst friends, let alone with teens who we are supposed to be teaching and influencing. Again, Bekah's manner in addressing the reader makes the reader relax. Relaxing and laughing about this topic makes it an easier pill to swallow.

Her observations about teens are spot on, from all I can tell. Her advice, as I mentioned, is Biblical and appropriate. She doesn't mince words or try to play "cool" when what is needed is the bare naked truth. She has handled the subject masterfully in my opinion and I'm not just saying that because I know her. It is well done! And I have no hesitations in recommending it to others.

Many thanks to Zondervan for shooting a copy of this title my direction in exchange for my honest thoughts. I honestly think this book is fantastic! (And I'm so relieved!)

Check out Bekah's website if you have a moment and take a peek around.


Shonya said...

SOLD! :)

Jennifer said...

I read it and loved it as well. Over my teen years I have read many, many "purity books," and this one is at the top of the list in my opinion.

Sky said...

You made me excited to read this! Thank you for reviewing it!

Barbara H. said...

I know exactly what you mean. I recently read and reviewed a book from someone I know personally, and you know I'm generally not afraid to say so when I have a criticism of a book, but that can be very delicate when you know the author. Thankfully I didn't have any major objections, and I am glad you didn't either! :-) I can't think of anyone in my acquaintance who could use a book on this topic just now, but I will try to keep it in mind.

Lisa notes... said...

I understand your angst about reading a friend's book. You so want it to be good. And I'm glad this one DID turn out good! That's been my experience so far too. Thanks for this review. I'm glad to hear of good resources out there for young girls (and parents).

Susanne said...

I so get your anxiety about reviewing a book by someone you know even if you only know them online. Nerve wracking!

This sounds really good. Do you think it would be beneficial for female youth leaders to use?

Carrie said...

@Susanne - YES!

BerlinerinPoet said...

I know teens. I think I could stand to take a look at this one.
It would be SO scary to look at the book of someone you know. Good thing it was a good one.

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