As a Book Reviewer, I received a free copy of Beth: Legacy of Love by Jeffrey Young and this is my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor any review.
Beth: Legacy of Love is a unique story as it is the novelization of the true story of two teenage girls who lived in Florida in the 1970s. Beth Davis and Marjorie Williams are the main characters. They are best friends who take different paths and their friendship becomes very strained. There are quite a few other characters, and even a couple other plot lines, but everything connects.
The story tells of the struggles of teenagers, not just in the 70s, but even now, as they face the struggles of dealing with peer pressure, troubles within families, the temptations of sex and drugs, drinking alcohol, and physical abuse.
There is also an element of spirituality and Christianity in the book. It is not preachy or overbearing. As a matter of fact, I was actually disappointed in the way it was presented, as I found the character of Beth, as a Christian, to be misleading. The other characters saw her as a “goody two shoes”, yet she judged people by their appearances and joked with her friends about some of their sinful behaviors. I’m well aware that Christians aren’t perfect and I don’t expect story characters to be perfect either. I do, however, expect story characters to be consistent with the story line, and Beth’s friends opinion of her being “so good” wasn’t really shown in the story through her character.
Beth: Legacy of Love certainly had some good lessons in its pages, but it lacked depth in the characters and I was never fully engaged with the story or the characters because the story was told by a narrator. I never had the opportunity to really get inside any of the character’s heads.
I continued reading because I wanted to see how all of the different plots ended and mostly because I wanted to see if there were any real growth and changes in any of the characters from the beginning to the end. I was pleasantly surprised to see the growth and change in two of the adult characters in the story. This was unexpected.
I also continued reading because I was a teenager in the 70s. However, I didn’t live in Florida and so I never really connected with a lot of what was happening in this story because my environment was very different and my parents were quite different than any of the parents in this story.
I do encourage teenagers who are struggling with being teenagers and the awkwardness and frustrations of life as a teen to read Beth: Legacy of Love by Jeffrey Young. I believe you can find examples of what you are dealing with as well as see some possible solutions to your struggles within this story. There are also some clear examples of choices you don’t want to make. I also encourage parents of teens to read Beth: Legacy of Love by Jeffrey Young as it may enable you to help your teenager to successfully navigate the waters of their teenage years.
I give Beth: A Legacy of Love 3 stars.