Do you have any book friends?
In other words, do you have fictional friends who inhabit books?
The best writers, in my mind, are those who create a world so real, characters so multi-dimensional, and writing so smooth that I can get lost inside the book. The characters’ senses become my senses, and my heart beats in time with theirs through joys, sorrows, and fears, sometimes aching, sometimes beating fast.
Those writers are the authors of fictional friends, those I feel I know nearly as well as I know myself. Revisiting them on the page or in my mind is like meeting up again with an old buddy, picking up right where we left off—comfortable and familiar.
Fiction can be a friend itself, especially, in my experience, when it shares my world view, encouraging me when I feel like I’m the only one. That’s one reason I choose to read a lot of Christian, and even specifically Catholic fiction.
I wish that when I were a teen, there were books that provided me with examples of what my lived faith could look like and helped me anticipate how to behave or respond in both everyday circumstances and in sticky situations. I’d h
ave welcomed books that showed me the consequences of poor decisions and the redemption that was always available. Books that delved into dating, friendship, grief, adventure, danger, forgiveness, and more.
That’s why I’m convinced that the novels written by Catholic Teen Books authors are important. Though I’m well beyond my teen years, I thoroughly enjoy reading these teen novels, and I love that I can share them with my children. I’m confident of the morality of the stories, the quality of the storytelling, and the ability to entertain and edify.
You might recall that old Hair Club for Men commercial in which the company’s founder said, “I’m not just the president, I’m also the client.” That’s how I feel about Catholic Teen Books novels. I’m not just an author, I’m a reader. And a mother. And a friend to so many of the marvelous characters these authors have created.
Could you use a faithful friend? Could your teen use a faithful friend? Book friends can’t replace our need for real-life friends, and they shouldn’t. But they fill a role—and sometimes a hole, in being companions, good examples, cautionary tales, or a comfortable escape.
Can I introduce you to my book friends?