A Unique Twist on the Passion Story

Awakening - New Catholic YA Novel

Awakening - New Catholic YA NovelAwakening by Claudia Cangilla McAdam

Awakening is one of those books that is hard to set aside. You just can’t help but continue to flip the pages, anxious to find out happens next. I found myself wanting to read just one more chapter after one more chapter. Even after I finished the book, my mind couldn’t put it aside, thinking about this powerful and imaginative story long after I devoured it.

In a “Wizard of Oz” type of moment, American teen Ronni mysteriously awakens in 33 AD finding herself in Jerusalem during Passover as Jesus and his followers come to town. She watches helplessly, knowing the horrors that are about to transpire. Can she stop it from happening? Should she?

This compelling story is such a unique and moving way to view the Easter story that will appeal to teens. The author seamlessly adds entertaining, modern items that teens will relate to – tenuous friendships, unrequited crushes, complicated relationships with parents – with the Passion story, creating a hard to put down novel.

I love the many elements highlighting the time period, the historical details of Jewish and Roman culture, and experiencing firsthand what the disciples might have felt. I even learned some things that I hadn’t known about the Passion Story. Just when you think you know what will happen, some unique twists are thrown in to keep you wanting more, all while keeping to the facts of this Holy event. Awakening is a truly wonderful book to help deepen your faith this Easter.


Fear drives me forward as I rush down a rocky path in Jerusalem, trying to sort things out even as dusk makes it harder to hurry. Am I really an American girl, cast back to the time of Jesus? Or a delusional Jewish teen, plagued with visions of a place called America, thousands of years in the future? I don’t know anymore. But I do know that something awful is about to happen to my Jesus: they’re going to arrest him tonight, and kill him. No one believes me; they think I’m crazy. So it’s up to me to save him, hurrying down this dark path toward Gethsemane, toward the turning point of all history, the attempt to kill Jesus . . . toward the uncertainty of whether I can actually manage to change the future.

Author: Leslea Wahl

Leslea Wahl is an award-winning author of Catholic teen adventurous mysteries. She lives in beautiful Colorado with her family. Leslea believes one way to encourage teens in their faith is through positive messages and Catholic values, embedded in great stories. She is excited to share her reviews of some incredible Catholic books, all of which have received the Catholic Writer's Guild Seal of Approval. Find her online at LesleaWahl.com