Rapture Practice

Rapture Practice

A Memoir

Book - 2013 | First edition
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Grand Central Pub
Sometimes salvation is found in the strangest places: a true story.

Aaron Hartzler grew up in a home where he was taught that at any moment the Rapture could happen. That Jesus might come down in the twinkling of an eye and scoop Aaron and his family up to heaven. As a kid, Aaron was thrilled by the idea that every moment of every day might be his last one on planet Earth.

But as Aaron turns sixteen, he finds himself more attached to his earthly life and curious about all the things his family forsakes for the Lord. He begins to realize he doesn't want the Rapture to happen just yet--not before he sees his first movie, stars in the school play, or has his first kiss. Eventually Aaron makes the plunge from conflicted do-gooder to full-fledged teen rebel.

Whether he's sneaking out, making out, or playing hymns with a hangover, Aaron learns a few lessons that can't be found in the Bible. He discovers that the best friends aren't always the ones your mom and dad approve of, and the tricky part about believing is that no one can do it for you.

In this funny and heartfelt coming-of-age memoir, debut author Aaron Hartzler recalls his teenage journey to find the person he is without losing the family that loves him. It's a story about losing your faith and finding your place and your own truth--which is always stranger than fiction.

Baker & Taylor
Describes the author's coming of age in a fervently religious household that believed Jesus' return to Earth to take the faithful to heaven was imminent, recounting how his growing doubts, earthly ties, and the sacrifices required by his faith prompted his transformation from conflicted do-gooder to full-fledged teen rebel.

& Taylor

A true story describes the author's coming of age in a fervently religious household that believed Jesus' return to Earth to take the faithful to heaven was imminent, recounting how his growing doubts, earthly ties and the sacrifices required by his faith prompted his transformation from conflicted do-gooder to full-fledged teen rebel. 35,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Co., 2013
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316094658
Branch Call Number: TEEN 277.3083 HARTZLER
Characteristics: 390 pages ; 22 cm


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Mar 29, 2018

When I saw the title Rapture Practice on the shelf at the library, I eagerly read the cover and checked it out. I’m a Christian, and thought this would be a really good story to share with people since it appears to be a man’s journey from the world to God.
The beginning was good. I know a lot of people say that his parents were borderline abusive with all their rules but I don’t agree. Even as a teenager, i believe that parents who can discipline without anger are few and far between. I expected Aaron’s life to take a slow turn away from the Lord, and that’s what happened at first. What I didn’t expect was the frequent descriptions of his sexual relations with several girls, and boys (in a way). The story just keeps getting worse and worse, and for someone who gets sick reading a near walk through of making love, suffice it to say I didn’t enjoy it. About a third of the way through I gave up and skipped to the end to read his scene of redemption. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t exist. At least in this book, we just hear the story of how Aaron’s Hartzler left God for a life of sex and drinking. I can’t speak for the sequel, although I do not plan on reading it. I’m sorry to have to say this, but I highly do not recommend this book, either for Christians or not. There’s virtually no point to the story, and it’s highly inappropriate.

JCLPeggyH Oct 07, 2015

This is the memoir of Aaron Hartzler, a writer and actor currently living in Los Angeles. The story covers his growing up years right here in the Kansas City metro.

Aaron was raised in an extremely conservative Christian home as the son of a preacher. As a child, he was thrilled by the idea of the Rapture, a highly anticipated event in which Jesus will return to Earth to gather his believers and take them directly into heaven. Aaron would jump as high as he could into the air while singing, hoping that he could catapult himself directly into heaven. But as he entered his teen years, Aaron decided that he wasn't ready to leave Earth just yet, there were too many things he wanted to do first. He wanted to go to a movie theater, an activity that was considered sinful in his home. He wanted to tast beer. He wanted to kiss someone. Growing up is never easy. Growing up as Aaron Hartzler is hilariously funny, heartbreakingly sad and never dull. A highly recommended read for grades 9 and up.

And I can't wait for his newly released title, What We Saw arriving on the library's shelves any day now!

Jul 16, 2014

I thought this book of a boy growing up in a very strict Christan household was very interesting. Aaron 's parents did not allow TV , movies , and most not Christan music. Aaron begins to rebel from his life.I liked how his showed the hardships of his life but he did not completely make his parents out to be bad people. they believed what they believed and he did not. it was really hard to like the dad sometimes.

m2 Jul 28, 2013

Wonderfully, beautifully written memoir that I read in 2 sittings. I woke myself up early one morning to finish it! I agree with Chris Rocks' review -- you end up with respect and even love for his folks despite their (seemingly) abusive demands. A complex nuanced read; you want to read the next installment -- NOW!

JCLChrisK Jun 13, 2013

I think the most impressive thing about this memoir is the way Hartzler is able to communicate both the frustration and sense of oppression he felt growing up in his ultra-conservative household and the love and respect he felt--and continues to feel--for his parents. He struggled with the lack of freedom and choice he felt, particularly the freedom to discover himself and choose who he wanted to be, until--after rebellions large and small--ultimately coming to the conclusion that he couldn't both be himself and live the way his parents wanted him to. Yet he never mocks or dismisses his parents' values and life choices as he writes about them, as he was finally able to find the acceptance for them that he wanted from them. By the end of this book we feel the same ambiguous, conflicted yet positive mix of emotions for them that he does, an impressive writing feat. Oh, and it makes for an engaging, entertaining story.


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