My mom, sister and I went to see the movie Soul Surfer on Sunday and as soon as it was over, we went to Barnes & Noble to pick up a copy of Bethany’s book (upon which the movie is based) called (originally!) Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board. It was a really fast read — my mom read it in just a few hours, and I started in yesterday, spent about an hour reading, and finished it with another hour or so tonight.
It’s clear that this book is aimed primarily at younger audiences, but nonetheless I thought it was pretty inspiring (despite the fact that Bethany says several times she doesn’t want to be seen as an inspiration but a vessel to guide people to Christ, which is inspiring in its own right!). Very briefly does she detail the actual attack, noting that she doesn’t like to talk about it and that it actually happened so quickly and unexpectedly (she didn’t even see the shark coming) that she doesn’t really remember that much of it. I can’t say I blame her! Instead, she focuses on what motivated her to get back in the water: her family and her faith — not to mention love and passion for what she does!
One thing I love is that she talks about her faith throughout the book, but I found it to be totally non-judgmental or preachy. She just explained why it was so important to her, and stressed that she wouldn’t push her faith on anyone else, that it’s a personal decision. You’ve gotta respect a teenager who is willing to do that!
I don’t really have too much to say about this book except I thought it was a pretty inspiring read. She seems like a really cool kid (who’s now 21, so not a kid anymore!) with a great head on her shoulders and a great heart. I would be really interested to read a book she wrote now, now that it’s been eight years since the attack happened. It would be really intriguing to see how her perspective has or hasn’t changed since she was 13 years old (I can only imagine it would be even more positive!). That was one complaint I read from others online, that the book wasn’t in-depth enough, and while I can understand the fact that they wanted more, not every story like this one needs to be that deep. Besides, she was 14 or 15 when she wrote it — give the girl a break!
Also, if you’re interested, Bethany’s mom also wrote a book and it comes out on July 15th of this year. It’s called Raising A Soul Surfer: One Family’s Epic Tale. I know I’ll be preordering it!