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Reviewed by Janelle Fila for Readers' Favorite
In Life is Beautiful: How a Lost Girl Became a True, Confident Child of God by Sarah M. Johnson, Sarah is looking forward to her family's trip to Guatemala to reconnect with her family and get away from the troubles in her life. She recently dropped out of school (after not attending most of her classes due to an issue with alcohol and excessive partying) and wanted this trip to be a discovery for her so she could figure out what to do next with her life. She had a sort of boyfriend who she connected with because of his love for God, something that was important to Sarah, but at the same time she (and her family) felt he was a bad influence on her. They encouraged her to end her toxic relationship. All Sarah really had was a strong faith in a higher power, and though she didn't quite understand it or know what she wanted to do with it, she felt connected to God in a way she found hard to describe.
Then a horrendous plane crash landed Sarah in the jungles of Guatemala. Her father and brother died in the crash, along with several of their guides and new friends. Her mother was severely burned and in the hospital for months in an induced coma as she experienced several painful surgeries. At nineteen, Sarah's life was completely turned upside down. She turned to alcohol to help her cope with her loss and subsequent depression.
This story is an excellently written tale about a woman's strength and passion to survive. It starts an open dialogue about depression and alcoholism and what one person did to stop that circle of pain and anger. It is a very inspiring tale and a very interesting read for anyone who has ever experienced loss, been depressed, or turned to an outside source for momentary comfort. Excellent story, very well written, it was a joy to read!