Do You Believe? – Travis Thrasher

Do You Believe? by Travis Thrasher
Published by Howard Books on March 10, 2015
Genres: Fiction, Christian, Novelization
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three-half-stars

From the creators of the blockbuster film God’s Not Dead comes a novel based on their follow-up film Do You Believe?—an inspiring, heart-stirring, and faith-affirming story about how God works in the lives of those who believe.

When Pastor Matthew Wesley encounters a homeless man on a city street in the middle of the night, he can't imagine the series of life-changing events that will result from that brief moment. But as the stories and desperate circumstances of several people—including a couple struggling to make ends meet, a soldier trying to rejoin society, a pregnant and homeless teenager, and an elderly couple still grieving the loss of their only child—intertwine and come together during one climactic night, they all must work together to overcome their struggles before all is lost.

Evocative and moving, this sweeping narrative challenges you to confront the question: Do you really believe in the power of the cross, and if so, what are you going to do about it?

The guy who does collaborations. That’s become Travis Thrasher’s subtitle over the past few years, whether it’s working with other individuals to tell their story or taking a story from screen to page. Thrasher has proven to be the industry’s go-to guy on the matter, and with good reason.

Thrasher has this ability to make a storyline his own in terms of style while still staying true to the collaborator’s content. This especially shows through in his novelizations. Most novelizations are stale and rote, like it was half-heartedly adapted as just another thing to put a sales tag on. You can tell that Thrasher invests himself personally in every tale he tells, even if it’s not his own originations.

Do You Believe? follows multiple storylines that ultimately converge at the novel’s climax after teasing the reader throughout the movie. Because of the constant perspective shifts, it took me a while to get into the rhythm of the story and see what was happening. The premise of the story is simply this: God works in the lives of those who believe. You see that played out throughout the story: a couple struggling to make ends meet, a pregnant and homeless teen, an elderly couple grieving the loss of a child, a soldier trying to adjust to normal life, a reformed criminal, a scared criminal, and more.

Released by the same people as God’s Not Dead, Do You Believe? is a strong follow-up film and novelization that shifts from the reality of God to the power of God and his presence in tough times. There’s simply so much going on in this book that it’s hard to talk about for fear of spoiling anything.

In the end, the book leaves you with one question hanging in the air as a challenge: Do you believe? And more importantly, what are you going to do about it?

three-half-stars

About Travis Thrasher

Travis Thrasher

Bestselling author Travis Thrasher has written over 50 books, spanning genres in fiction, nonfiction and children’s literature. His inspirational stories have included collaborations with filmmakers, musicians, athletes, celebrities and pastors.

With the childhood goal of pursuing a writing career starting in third grade, Thrasher worked for 13 years at Tyndale House Publishers after graduating college. His experience working with as Author Relations Manager allowed him to understand the writing life as well as training him to work with a variety of personalities. This experience has proven to be invaluable with varied writing projects in the decade he’s been a full-time writer.

His novels are as diverse as the people he’s worked with, ranging from love stories to supernatural thrillers. Publishers Weekly said “Sara and Ethan are two of the most real and sensitive lovers to grace the genre” when reviewing his first novel, The Promise Remains. They also stated “Thrasher demonstrates a considerable talent for the horror genre” in a review for Isolation years later. His readers have enjoyed the unpredictability of his novels, whether it’s due to a unique style such as second person or a twist they never saw coming.

Thrasher’s storytelling ability has also allowed him to work with others on their books, from musicians like country musician Scotty McCreery and Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain to the Robertsons of Duck Dynasty. He has also penned novels based on songs such as Paper Angels with Jimmy Wayne and novelizations for films including Do You Believe? and God’s Not Dead 2. Upcoming projects continue to expand his talents, with projects including The Black Auxiliary about the lives of the 17 American black athletes who competed in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, and Baby Don’t Hurt Me about comedian Chris Kattan’s life and time on Saturday Night Live.

Travis lives with his wife and three young daughters in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area.

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