If there’s one book that’s had the biggest impact on my faith, personality, and general outlook on life (other than the default Christian answer, the Bible), it’s Donald Miller‘s Blue Like Jazz.
Now, I don’t read a lot of non-fiction. I don’t know why it doesn’t do much for me usually, but it just doesn’t. This book, though… it grabbed me and pulled me in. I first read this when it came out almost ten years ago, and though I’ve never gone back and reread the whole thing, there are STILL portions of Donald Miller’s prose that absolutely are stuck in my head in the best way possible.
I highly recommend this for everybody. Everybody. Whether you consider yourself a person of faith or not, you’ll find this fascinating. And if you do consider yourself a Christian, this will challenge and stretch and inspire you in ways you can’t even imagine… but in the end, it’ll be so very worth it. I think this book is even more relevant today with our nation’s social and political turmoil than it was even when it was first published. We are supposed to love, not hate, and Blue Like Jazz does a great job of reminding us of that. While this is not YA Lit specifically, I think this is a WONDERFUL read for teens, especially as you’re getting out of high school or are in college and forming your adult self.
There’s also a movie a based on this book. It’s fabulous. Donald Miller was fully involved in the making of the movie, so while it’s not just a movie of the book, it’s a movie inspired by the book that carries the same message from the author. The movie is not a substitute for reading the book. They work together. So read the book AND watch the movie, in whichever order you prefer.
My husband and I were honored to get invited to a special screening of the movie before it hit theaters, where we got to meet Donald Miller himself! It was awesome.
I’m going to let the book speak for itself by sharing some of my favorite passages below. ENJOY! :)