Born Again
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Born Again

3.27 (210 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

What happens when a Bible Quiz Champion takes on Darwin? Mel, a faith-filled Pentecostal, has the chance to escape Slow Rapids, Indiana, by attending academic summer camp. The only catch? She has to read forbidden tomes like The Origin of Species . So she forges the permission slip, promising God she'll bring him a lost soul in exchange. Mel conscientiously uses her Biblical expertise to argue Darwin's theories, but meanwhile begins to realize that her parents, her pastor, and her church aren't what she thought. She zealously battles demons every day--lascivious heathens at school, the Frederick's of Hollywood catalog, her backsliding brother and sister. But now, suddenly, she must also conquer the doubts of her own heart.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 312 pages
  • 132.1 x 195.6 x 20.3mm | 317.52g
  • United States
  • English
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 0156031450
  • 9780156031455

Back cover copy

I had the Bible strapped to my ankle like a dangerous weapon. I could slay Darwin with scripture, I knew. As I read, I could prove everything he said wrong. I would be a Warrior for Christ."

Mel is a Bible Quiz Champion who zealously battles demons every day: She posts flyers condemning teen sex, attacks a lustful sinner making out on her bus, and denounces the Frederick s of Hollywood catalog even as she secretly cuts her underwear to mimic its thongs.
Now Mel has a deal with God: She'll bring Him her best friend's soul if He ll forgive her for reading On the Origin of Species for academic camp. But as Mel carefully tries to take down Darwin, she begins to realize that her parents, her pastor, and her church aren t what she thought. And, suddenly, she must conquer the doubts of her own heart.

"In this beautifully written novel, Kelly Kerney takes both her heroine and her readers on a complicated journey from faith to doubt. A wonderfully accomplished and timely debut." Margot Livesey
"An amazing investigation of evangelical America's family values, full of exacting truths and provocative characters. This blue-collar tale of life's many travails by a golden-voiced young author leaves an indelible impression on both the heart and the mind." --William O'Rourke

KELLY KERNEY received a BA from Bowdoin College and an MFA from the University of Notre Dame, where she was awarded the Nicholas Sparks postgraduate fellowship. Raised in a Pentecostal church, she is twenty-six years old and lives in Richmond, Virginia.
"
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Review quote

"Like yin and yang, zealotry and doubt ainmate this intriguing debut. Mel is a terrific character: curious, smart, and funny."
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About Kelly Kerney

KELLY KERNEY received a BA from Bowdoin College and an MFA from the University of Notre Dame, where she was awarded the Nicholas Sparks postgraduate fellowship. Raised in a Pentecostal church, she is twenty-six years old and lives in Richmond, Virginia.
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Rating details

210 ratings
3.27 out of 5 stars
5 10% (22)
4 29% (60)
3 44% (92)
2 12% (25)
1 5% (11)

Our customer reviews

Starting this book, I wasn\'t sure what to expect. It deals with religion, so I thought it might be preachy. It talks about Darwin, so I was expecting some strong opinions on the subject--everyone has them. BORN AGAIN is Kelly Kerney\'s first novel, so I had no expectations as to the writing. In the quote on the back cover, Mel (the main character) talks about using the Bible to prove Darwin wrong. I, personally, am not a religious person and believe Darwin had the right idea, so I wasn\'t sure I\'d be able to enjoy this book. Wow, was I ever wrong. This book deals wonderfully with the admittedly heavy topics of both Darwinian science and religion (Mel belongs to an Evangelical Pentecostal family), without being at all preachy. Kerney isn\'t trying to convince the reader of anything; she is only showing one girl\'s search for the truth, and in that she raises some thought-provoking questions about science, religion, and life. When the novel begins, Mel is an enthusiastic, religious, and smart teenager. She not only wants to do what\'s right in her own life, she wants to save everyone else, too. She believes every word from Pastor Lyle\'s mouth as if it came from God himself (which she believes it does). She would never dream of going against what the church and her parents teach her...Right? When Mel receives a scholarship to academic summer camp, with that comes a reading list. She isn\'t sure that Pastor Lyle would approve of some of the books on it, like WUTHERING HEIGHTS, but they\'re not on the \"blasphemy list,\" so she reads most of the books. And then she comes to Charles Darwin\'s THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES. She knows that her family and church would certainly not approve of her reading this. Secretly, she borrows a copy from her best friend, Beth, and starts to read. At first, Mel is determined to use the Bible to prove Darwin wrong. She\'s sure it can be done. However, as she reads, what Darwin says begins to make sense. This, coupled with some discoveries about the past of her own family, has her doubting some of what she\'s been told. If what her parents have told her about their own lives is a lie, then who knows what else is a lie? Mel also finds that Darwin and God don\'t have to be mutually exclusive. This is an idea that has never occurred to her; this is not what she has been taught. Mel\'s beliefs are being challenged, and now she has to figure out exactly what she believes before she can defend or disprove anything. BORN AGAIN is a fascinating and brilliantly written look inside the Christian fundamentalism that is so prevalent in America today. It is a thought-provoking story about one girl, but it addresses so much more than just what Mel is dealing with. The front cover blurb on the book says that BORN AGAIN is \"enough to make an atheist pray--that this is not America\'s future,\" speaking of the Christian fundamentalism addressed in the book. It\'s true; these people are so sure of their beliefs and so extreme that it is a little scary at times. As Christian fundamentalism seems to become ever more popular in America, this book is a must-read. *Gold Star Award Winner!show more
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