Convicted is a spiritual story about how Jameel McGee and Andrew Collins found (or maybe rediscovered) God and learned to forgive. The book’s chapters alternate between Jameel’s point of view and Andrew’s. It’s obvious where the book leads since the cover and even the extended title basically tell you what the book is about. I don’t think I’m really going to give anything away with my review, but just in case, don’t read anymore if you don’t want any spoilers.
In the first part of the book, Jameel tends to blame his circumstances. He reiterates that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time on several occasions. For example, Jameel’s first brush with the law is when he goes for a ride with some friends. It turns out that the friends had stolen the car so when they get busted, he gets busted along with them. It’s not until he rediscovers God in prison and learns to let go of his hatred that Jameel starts to see that it’s not just all chance. Yes, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but he put himself into that place. His dad told him not to get into the car with his friends, but he wanted to go anyway. When he got a ride with Will, which led to his second arrest, he admits that Will was taking a while to get going and he could have walked to the store and back in the time it took for Will to actually drive him to the store. Jameel learns not to blame external factors for all of his circumstances, but at the end of the book, he is still somewhat of a victim.
As for Andrew, he only found religion after he was arrested. There were times when Andrew felt guilty about the things he had done, but never guilty enough to confess or to stop. If he hadn’t been caught, I doubt that he would have stopped.
The writing was okay – a bit stilted at times. I’m glad that both Jameel and Andrew are friends now and that they have a nice ending but I didn’t particularly like the book. Jameel seems too naive and trusting and Andrew was just a jerk for most of the book. The book was short and an easy read, but it read more as a promotional story for a church.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books.