Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Blogging for Books: Life, in Spite of Me

Life, in Spite of Me by Kristen Anderson

(from Amazon) She wanted to die. God had other plans.
Overwhelmed by wave after wave of emotional trauma, Kristen Anderson no longer wanted to live. One January night, determined to end her pain once and for all, the seventeen-year-old lay across train tracks not far from her home and waited to die.

Instead of peace, she found herself immersed in a whole new nightmare.

Before the engineer could bring the train to a stop, thirty-three freight cars passed over her at fifty-five miles per hour. After the train stopped and Kristen realized she was still alive, she looked around—and saw her legs ten feet away.

Surviving her suicide attempt but losing her legs launched Kristen into an even deeper battle with depression and suicidal thoughts, as well as unrelenting physical pain—all from the seat of a wheelchair. But in the midst of her darkest days, Kristen discovered the way to real life and a purpose for living.

My Thoughts:

Wow!  I have discovered I really love reading memoirs - true life accounts of how someone is surviving in this life.  And talk about a survivor!  At age 17, Kristen didn't want to survive; she wanted to die.  She made a split-second decision to lay across the train tracks and end her life.  In her memories of that night, she remembers the train trying to suck her up into it but something supernaturally pushed her down on that track and kept her from dying.  She didn't know God at that time in her life, but through her struggles and recovery, she met him and realized it was his hand on her that night.  I get goosebumps just thinking of that now.

This book is very real.  Kristen does not gloss over any of her feelings or over any of her realities.  She was a severely depressed teenager who was misdiagnosed and not taken seriously by several doctors.  She offers great insight into what teenage depression looks like and how it can end, if parents and doctors don't take it seriously. 

But there is light at the end of the tunnel.  Kristen also shows how God can take a broken life - physically, mentally and spiritually - and transform it for his glory.  Kristen's full-time job now is talking to teenagers struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts, taking them seriously and showing them a better way in life.

Life, in Spite of Me is honest, gritty and inspiring.  I thought it was wonderful!

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

I received an electronic copy of this book free with the Blogging for Book program.  All opinions are my own.


  1. I love memoirs too! That's a heck of a recommendation, so I'm going to read this one!

  2. Wow, what a story. It's wonderful that she is able to help others after all that she went through.

    I've been loving memoirs lately too. There are some amazing stories out there.


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