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The Yada Yada Prayer Group PDF, ePub eBook

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The Yada Yada Prayer Group

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The Yada Yada Prayer Group PDF, ePub eBook What do an ex-con, a former drug addict, a real estate broker, a college student, and a married mother of two have in common? Nothing, or so I thought. Who would have imagined that God would make a prayer group as mismatched as ours the closest of friends? I almost didn't even go to the Chicago Women's Conference--after all, being thrown together with five hundred strangers What do an ex-con, a former drug addict, a real estate broker, a college student, and a married mother of two have in common? Nothing, or so I thought. Who would have imagined that God would make a prayer group as mismatched as ours the closest of friends? I almost didn't even go to the Chicago Women's Conference--after all, being thrown together with five hundred strangers wasn't exactly my "comfort zone." But something happened that weekend to make us realize we had to hang together, and the "Yada Yada Prayer Group" was born! When I faced the biggest crisis of my life, God used my newfound Sisters to show me what it means to be just a sinner saved by grace.

30 review for The Yada Yada Prayer Group

  1. 4 out of 5

    Oshun Jones

    After reading 25% into this book I am not intrigued or impressed. The herione is interesting but the writing style is very immature. At one point the herione is coming home from the womens conference and the writer writes 'Should I ring the doorbell or use my key'? A whole paragraph to describe a lady entering her own home is trite enough. My initial impression, unlike most reviews, is that the writer is determined to be preachy. I feel as if I am in a sermon on one page and then in a boring jour After reading 25% into this book I am not intrigued or impressed. The herione is interesting but the writing style is very immature. At one point the herione is coming home from the womens conference and the writer writes 'Should I ring the doorbell or use my key'? A whole paragraph to describe a lady entering her own home is trite enough. My initial impression, unlike most reviews, is that the writer is determined to be preachy. I feel as if I am in a sermon on one page and then in a boring journal on the next page. I expect writers to eloquently describe feelings and situations and not just write words on a paper. The premise of the book is interesting, but there are too many characters to introduce in the study group. Four or Five would have been more maneagable. By the time she had gone through 4 introductions, I was bored with the new names, etc. Maybe the book will get better. I doubt it though. Since I like the premise but the writing technique is quite irritating. It seems very predictable and I glaze over most of the pages. A shorter book with less fluff would have been better at getting across the point.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sophie

    This book is wonderful. All the characters in the book are like real people with real problems. This book teaches how wonderful prayer is, as well as the importance of supporting friends and choosing uplifting friends. The book teaches how we can ALWAYS turn to Heavenly Father in prayer and he will be there. He loves us. Heavenly Father hears us every time we pray. Prayers is such an amazing thing. I know that Heavenly Father listens to me every single time I talk to him through prayer. I would This book is wonderful. All the characters in the book are like real people with real problems. This book teaches how wonderful prayer is, as well as the importance of supporting friends and choosing uplifting friends. The book teaches how we can ALWAYS turn to Heavenly Father in prayer and he will be there. He loves us. Heavenly Father hears us every time we pray. Prayers is such an amazing thing. I know that Heavenly Father listens to me every single time I talk to him through prayer. I would without a doubt recommend this book. There was one thing about the book I didn't like. The women in this prayer group had small problems along with many serious trials. The women prayed for themselves and they prayed for the women in their prayer group facing difficult things. All the serious trials and problems turned out fine, their prayers were answered just how the women wanted them to be answered. But sometimes our prayers AREN'T answered EXACTLY how we want them to be answered. Heavenly Father know what is best for us. He has a plan for us. We just have to have faith in him and know that this is how it is supposed to be. With faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, everything is going to be OK. This concept was not portrayed in the novel. * * * * * * * Read a great talk about prayer here: http://lds.org/general-conference/201... I love when J. Devn Cornish says, "I am led to believe that our Heavenly Father loves us so much that the things that are important to us become important to Him, just because He loves us. Prayer is one of the most precious gifts of God to man."

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    This was a re-read and just as good on a third (I think) reading as the first. I’d love to say I identify with Avis, but the truth is that I’m closer to Jodi, with her insecurities and frustrations, the constant competition between the things she does/thinks/says and how she’d like to behave. There are plenty of moments when I chuckled aloud at some situations or lines that characters said. There were also plenty of moments when I paused to think about some of the issues that Jodi was challenged This was a re-read and just as good on a third (I think) reading as the first. I’d love to say I identify with Avis, but the truth is that I’m closer to Jodi, with her insecurities and frustrations, the constant competition between the things she does/thinks/says and how she’d like to behave. There are plenty of moments when I chuckled aloud at some situations or lines that characters said. There were also plenty of moments when I paused to think about some of the issues that Jodi was challenged by and to consider what my response would have been or how I might have acted differently to her. I’ve read three or four of this series, but am keen to read the whole series this time through.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Guy

    There aren't many books I don't finish, that said, this is one of the books that almost made it to that pile. I enjoy Christian fiction from time to time, when written by a good author. There is nothing wrong with faith in my reading. However this book took faith to the point of being obnoxious. The group of women meet at a Women's Conference in Chicago. The premise is awesome except these women come across as sanctimonious, holier than thou, grinning Jesus freaks. Jodi Baxter is one of the most u There aren't many books I don't finish, that said, this is one of the books that almost made it to that pile. I enjoy Christian fiction from time to time, when written by a good author. There is nothing wrong with faith in my reading. However this book took faith to the point of being obnoxious. The group of women meet at a Women's Conference in Chicago. The premise is awesome except these women come across as sanctimonious, holier than thou, grinning Jesus freaks. Jodi Baxter is one of the most unlikable heroines I've ever encountered. My hatred for Bella Swan is now at an end. This book made me want to read TWILIGHT! Yeah, that's how bad this character is. She won't let her husband have beer, because her father was an alcoholic. (And OMG what would their teenage children think!!!) But having wine is acceptable? WTF! The thing that really got me was how stereotypical Neta made the characters. The former drug addict who lost custody of her children? You guessed it! African American. That really pissed me off. The ex-con? You see where I'm coming from? I kept reading in hopes that it would get better. That Jodi would become less obnoxious. I also have to admit all the "Praise Jesus," stuff bugged me. Then there is the car accident at the end of the book. Tossed in so Jodi can have some more drama! Puhleese! The last 40 pages just didn't feel right and giving it a happy ending was a cop out! This book is part of a series that I definitely won't be reading anymore of.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    Well... Where do I begin? My problem with this book is the main character, Jodi. I disliked her so much that by page 282 I told my husband, "Why does she even have to be in the book?" I was tired fo her goody two shoe, "I'm white so I must be alright" act and her judgmental ways! And then... she is part of a horrible crime and all the Black women who she judges so harshly are there to pray for her and clean for her and treat her like a freaking princess... why? What has she done to deserve this Well... Where do I begin? My problem with this book is the main character, Jodi. I disliked her so much that by page 282 I told my husband, "Why does she even have to be in the book?" I was tired fo her goody two shoe, "I'm white so I must be alright" act and her judgmental ways! And then... she is part of a horrible crime and all the Black women who she judges so harshly are there to pray for her and clean for her and treat her like a freaking princess... why? What has she done to deserve this from them? Ughhhhh! This woman just ruined this book for me. I loved Avis, Noni, Florida, Hoshi, and even Adele and Stu... but Jodi? If she is the voice for the rest of these books I am taking them off of my list immediately. If I didn't like the other characters so much, the rating for this book would be even lower, but that's not fair. The writing style is good and the book is good. But the stars asked how I feel about the book and all I can do is be honest. I loved the concept, but I hated the main character.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rissa

    Yada yada It was supposed to be cute and corky, a group of women all with different beliefs and morals getting together and ending up really believeing in God, and yada yada but it was slow and the characters names were weird and I couldnt keep them straight in my mind. There were also alot of characters to follow and none of them really stuck out. I always am intrigued by books set in my city, the great Chicago so although it had that Home bound aspect it still didnt pull me in.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I must admit I did not finish this book, so it possible that my rating here is unfair. On the other hand, if I feel the need to abandon a book, I think I do have some right to say it's not good. I hate abandoning books (and if the book is mediocre I will still muscle through it), but I hate wasting my time on a bad book and having a perpetual scowl while reading it that is likely to leave me wrinkles even more. I read about half way through this book, and felt uncomfortable the entire time! I do I must admit I did not finish this book, so it possible that my rating here is unfair. On the other hand, if I feel the need to abandon a book, I think I do have some right to say it's not good. I hate abandoning books (and if the book is mediocre I will still muscle through it), but I hate wasting my time on a bad book and having a perpetual scowl while reading it that is likely to leave me wrinkles even more. I read about half way through this book, and felt uncomfortable the entire time! I do enjoy Christian fiction from time to time, but this book read like a giant stereotyped cliche. I was uncomfortable with with the stereotypes and patronizing behavior about African Americans and Latinos. For example, the Latino family has a daughter named Esmeralda, but the main character and the white cop call her Emerald; they don't bother to try and ask if that's correct, or to repeat the name slowly for help with pronunciation, and no one bothers to correct them. I'm white and hearing impaired, but even I know that Emerald and Esmeralda are not the same! Maybe I am sensitive, but that section came across as flippant to me. I was also irritated by the sanctimonious and and self-important attitude of the main character, such as her negative attitude towards her husband having a beer with the guys while watching sports, but being okay with wine because "that's different," and also acting like being gone for 2 days should cause her family to throw her a welcome home party. That seemed odd for a woman who has been married for 20 years and with teenaged children. The plot line of the book was also odd; it read like a combination of a lengthy dull journal and a snap shot of a Christian conference without any underlying plot. The only plot I could find was "offer a sacrifice of praise to Jesus, renew your prayer life, and totally trust in him, then all will work out fine." The theology of the book concerned me, because it came across as a "name it a claim it" kind of Gospel, hinting that faith can conquer all, and if you just have faith and believe, then God will do as you ask and give you happy endings on this earth. Again, I did not finish the book, so it is possible that last part may not be true, but as the plot was otherwise boring, the main character unpleasant, and the stereotypes uncomfortable, it wasn't worth it for me to find out for sure.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Pattyrflg

    Jodi Baxter, life long Christian, attends the Chicago Christian Womens Conference with her boss and fellow church member, Avis. Her first surprise is an unexpected roommate, Florida a recovering addict who is 5 years sober. Her second surprise is the boisterous way some of the women at the conference praise the Lord. Her third surprise is the multi-national prayer group she is assigned to. The ladies decide to continue the prayer group requests via email, but circumstances finally make them deci Jodi Baxter, life long Christian, attends the Chicago Christian Womens Conference with her boss and fellow church member, Avis. Her first surprise is an unexpected roommate, Florida a recovering addict who is 5 years sober. Her second surprise is the boisterous way some of the women at the conference praise the Lord. Her third surprise is the multi-national prayer group she is assigned to. The ladies decide to continue the prayer group requests via email, but circumstances finally make them decide to meet every other Sunday. Jodi admires the way some of the ladies so openly offer praise to Jesus, but she is definitely uncomfortable doing it herself. A tragedy in her own life helps her recognize what she has in common with the diverse members of this prayer group. They all share the forgiveness and marvelous grace of a loving God. Not a great literary work, but thought provoking. Do I truly praise and thank the Lord for all He has done for me?--Most of the time. Do I get like Jodi and let the busyness of the day crowd in on me and not take time to go to the Lord in prayer?--unfortunately YES. The one aspect of the book that was disturbing to me was the idea that if we praise the Lord enough and pray sincerely enough He will answer our prayers the way we have asked--all difficulties and situations will be tied up in a nice ribbon. It just doesn't work that way. This is the first in a series of books and I will read the next book in the series just to see where it leads.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    I can't even rate this - it would be like rating a coloring book (although I do have some favorites of those and there is such a thing as a good one and everyone knows a bad one when they see one ) . Reads too much like it was purposely written for a nascent Christian chick-lit market and released before it had been revised enough. Many female Christian readers drawn to this might enjoy Fannie Flagg - I think her books respect the reader more, especially in the way they employ humor and the way I can't even rate this - it would be like rating a coloring book (although I do have some favorites of those and there is such a thing as a good one and everyone knows a bad one when they see one ) . Reads too much like it was purposely written for a nascent Christian chick-lit market and released before it had been revised enough. Many female Christian readers drawn to this might enjoy Fannie Flagg - I think her books respect the reader more, especially in the way they employ humor and the way she develops the reader's relationship w her characters. Yada Yada feels like a book that the author needed to write to get her sea legs .

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bobbi

    WOW- this was an amazing book about a diverse group of women, both young and old, from completely different backgrounds and religions (and one that has not accepted Christ yet) who fall into place together in a prayer group at conference. The women want to stay in touch after the conference and create the "Yada Yada Prayer Group". Jodi Baxter, one of the main characters, is so easy to relate to in her thinking about religion and her relationship with God. Her notions are challenged toward the en WOW- this was an amazing book about a diverse group of women, both young and old, from completely different backgrounds and religions (and one that has not accepted Christ yet) who fall into place together in a prayer group at conference. The women want to stay in touch after the conference and create the "Yada Yada Prayer Group". Jodi Baxter, one of the main characters, is so easy to relate to in her thinking about religion and her relationship with God. Her notions are challenged toward the end of the book when a tragic event occurs that shakes the entire "Yada Yada" group. I plan on reading more in this series of books.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jasmin

    The book is all about a set of ladies with diversed personalities and backgrounds, who happened (or God-willed) to be in a prayer group. It's all about each lady's personal story, how they came to know Jesus, and how their lives became intertwined despite the cultural differences,spiritual beliefs, but binded by one factor- the love of Jesus, in which they are saved! I was so engrossed in reading the book for the stories here hit home! I remember my own prayer group and how each person's life st The book is all about a set of ladies with diversed personalities and backgrounds, who happened (or God-willed) to be in a prayer group. It's all about each lady's personal story, how they came to know Jesus, and how their lives became intertwined despite the cultural differences,spiritual beliefs, but binded by one factor- the love of Jesus, in which they are saved! I was so engrossed in reading the book for the stories here hit home! I remember my own prayer group and how each person's life story in my group touched my own life!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    It took me a bit to get into this book... I kept reading it hoping I'd start to really identify with the main character, but, overall, I only connected via bits and pieces. The main character, Jodi, is your all-American suburb-mom who has mostly lived a fairly sheltered life. A good girl by her own account, she's done the things she was supposed to do and when she was supposed to do them. She has her ideas on how a proper Christian should look, act, and think. It's a big shock to her system when It took me a bit to get into this book... I kept reading it hoping I'd start to really identify with the main character, but, overall, I only connected via bits and pieces. The main character, Jodi, is your all-American suburb-mom who has mostly lived a fairly sheltered life. A good girl by her own account, she's done the things she was supposed to do and when she was supposed to do them. She has her ideas on how a proper Christian should look, act, and think. It's a big shock to her system when she gets assigned to a prayer group that really is diverse (for all her talk of wanting diversity, she hasn't ever really experienced it before). This first book is just an introduction to the characters with a focus on Jodi and how she must learn that she is no different from the other "sinners" in the group - perhaps she's even a bit "worse" in that she doesn't really see herself as a sinner. I will say that one of my favorite parts in the book was where Jodi and Denny confront their son, Josh, about a teen rave... they ask him if he was aware that there were going to be drugs at the dance. He responds that he wasn't aware but that he's not shocked. This information stuns Jodi. Josh goes on to tell her that drugs are available... if someone wanted them. Again, Jodi does not handle this well. Josh goes on to ask if she trusts him at all... that the reason he does not take drugs or drink alcohol is because it's his decision not to do so, not because it's their rules that he doesn't. Denny steps in at that moment and tells Josh that his point is well made but that as parents they have to do whatever they can to also make sure that he's as protected as possible and that one of the ways they protect them is by not knowingly allowing him to attend parties or be in situations where these things are present. I really liked Josh's point (and as a parent, I understood where Denny was coming from too)... if children are just doing things because that is the rule of the house, then the rules means nothing to them and when the times comes that they no longer have to abide by the rule, what happens then? I did finish it in just a few days, and I do plan to read the next one in the series.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Wade WDM

    The run down: Jodi, a middle aged white woman joins an acquaintance from her church, a middle aged black woman, for a women's church conference. They get matched up with several other women (a couple of white ladies, a Japanese woman, a Chinese woman, a Latina and the rest black women) as part of a prayer group. It evolves into an actual thing and Jodi questions how she worships and when she does it. The good: I like how Jodi questioned her faith and how she expresses it. The bad: pretty much the The run down: Jodi, a middle aged white woman joins an acquaintance from her church, a middle aged black woman, for a women's church conference. They get matched up with several other women (a couple of white ladies, a Japanese woman, a Chinese woman, a Latina and the rest black women) as part of a prayer group. It evolves into an actual thing and Jodi questions how she worships and when she does it. The good: I like how Jodi questioned her faith and how she expresses it. The bad: pretty much the rest of the book. The biggest problem I had with this book, besides Jodi being soooo annoying (the beer vs wine thing), were Neta Jackson's stereotypical descriptions of the other women. The women were not original. And I found it pretty offensive that she tried to write the dialects of the women. "Oh, Guuuurrrrlll!" "Oh no you didn't" "head waggling". Okay, the head waggling was less of dialect than a gesture. I just, wow, I could not get passed that. I actually checked to see if Neta Jackson was black or white (you know, black black - that's how Jackson described one of the women in the group, not African black but black black). I just have this feeling that Jackson has little to no experience with people other than other white women. And what experience she does have isn't genuine to her. She sees the facade or the Hollywood stereotype of women of color. I can't finish this book. I just struggle too much with Jodi and her relationships with her family and her church people. Too annoying.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    I enjoyed it! I surprised myself by choosing this book, because I tend to avoid most chick lit. However, I had just attended a Christian women's conference, so the book's premise piqued my interest. This is the first in a series about a multicultural women's prayer group, whose members didn't choose one other, but end up leaning on each other and becoming friends. It took me a chapter or three to get used to the main character's voice. She was likeable but frustratingly oblivious. And portions o I enjoyed it! I surprised myself by choosing this book, because I tend to avoid most chick lit. However, I had just attended a Christian women's conference, so the book's premise piqued my interest. This is the first in a series about a multicultural women's prayer group, whose members didn't choose one other, but end up leaning on each other and becoming friends. It took me a chapter or three to get used to the main character's voice. She was likeable but frustratingly oblivious. And portions of the dialogue bothered me because the author used dialect for select characters, which kind of came across as stereotyping. But I kept reading and grew to care about the characters. The few writing quirks stopped bothering me, and I found myself thinking about the characters even when I wasn't reading. I really liked the concept of a group of grown-up women being there for each other. I also found the ending unpredictable yet satisfying. Overall, I really liked this book and plan to read more of the series.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

    One of the first "rules" of writing is to create a flawed main character. It makes them more believable and the reader can relate. The main character in this novel though has the opposite problem; she is too flawed to be believable. Where are the positive character traits? What made her husband fall in love with her? Why do her children still speak to her? The rest of the characters were also one-dimensional and stereotypical. Which, is OK for the first book in the series. You know that you will One of the first "rules" of writing is to create a flawed main character. It makes them more believable and the reader can relate. The main character in this novel though has the opposite problem; she is too flawed to be believable. Where are the positive character traits? What made her husband fall in love with her? Why do her children still speak to her? The rest of the characters were also one-dimensional and stereotypical. Which, is OK for the first book in the series. You know that you will find out more about them as you read the rest of the series. The problem is I don't like our main character enough to spend more time in her head. Someone else mentioned the part where she goes to the door and is trying to decide between ringing the bell or using her key. That was odd to me too. I listened to this on audio while doing outside chores or I would never have made it through. This is a popular series and I am in the minority I know but it was not my cuppa tea as they say.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Fischer

    I LOVED this book! I love how a group of women with very little in common other than their common faith was able to come together and create meaningful friendships. I'll admit that at first I was a little skeptical of reading this book. I expected the characters to come across as being perfect and at first some of them did. I appreciated the way the storyline evolved though. As I got to "know" the characters better I started to feel like I have something in common with the main character, Jodi B I LOVED this book! I love how a group of women with very little in common other than their common faith was able to come together and create meaningful friendships. I'll admit that at first I was a little skeptical of reading this book. I expected the characters to come across as being perfect and at first some of them did. I appreciated the way the storyline evolved though. As I got to "know" the characters better I started to feel like I have something in common with the main character, Jodi Baxter. I enjoyed the way that Jodi's faith grew and evolved throughout the book. There aren't very many books that move me to the point of tears, but this book is one that did. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    I was unprepared for how much I would like this book. I picked it up thinking, "This will be predictable and a bit boring, but I am ready for something uplifting." Well it was not boring or predictable, and it certainly was uplifting. The book is about 12 strangers who get thrown into a prayer group at a conference. They decide to keep the prayer group going through the internet and eventually biweekly meetings. Their meetings are beautiful, filled with scripture, emotion, hope and understanding I was unprepared for how much I would like this book. I picked it up thinking, "This will be predictable and a bit boring, but I am ready for something uplifting." Well it was not boring or predictable, and it certainly was uplifting. The book is about 12 strangers who get thrown into a prayer group at a conference. They decide to keep the prayer group going through the internet and eventually biweekly meetings. Their meetings are beautiful, filled with scripture, emotion, hope and understanding. The members of the group are rich and interesting. Though I don't always agree with the main character, I can usually identify with her. And I could not have predicted the trials she would face while learning what it means to be a "sinner redeemed by grace."

  18. 4 out of 5

    Josie E.

    The Yada Yada Prayer Group is one of my favorite christian books, It connects with our daily lives so much and I think a lot of people would be able to dig into their faith with this book. It is about a girl named Jodi who meets a few other girls at a prayer conference and ends up connecting with them in ways she thought weren't possible. After the conference they decide to keep connected with each other through email and then take it to the next step they meet with each other every other sunday The Yada Yada Prayer Group is one of my favorite christian books, It connects with our daily lives so much and I think a lot of people would be able to dig into their faith with this book. It is about a girl named Jodi who meets a few other girls at a prayer conference and ends up connecting with them in ways she thought weren't possible. After the conference they decide to keep connected with each other through email and then take it to the next step they meet with each other every other sunday to update each other over coffee & tea. Then something major happens to Jodi and she has to depend on her friends for about everything.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Kidwell

    The Yada Prayer group is a delightful story, about a group of Christian women most of whom meet at a Christian convention, they decide to continue their little group on through contact and through email. When they face trouble the group is their for one another. This diverse group consists of an exchange student, a middle class Mother, a woman from Hondoruas, an ex drug addict just to name a few, and the story unfolds around these women, we learn to love these characters. I would recomend this b The Yada Prayer group is a delightful story, about a group of Christian women most of whom meet at a Christian convention, they decide to continue their little group on through contact and through email. When they face trouble the group is their for one another. This diverse group consists of an exchange student, a middle class Mother, a woman from Hondoruas, an ex drug addict just to name a few, and the story unfolds around these women, we learn to love these characters. I would recomend this book, the Christian fiction answer to the Yaya Sisterhood, to any of the fellow Christians who want to read a delightful story, with a Christian twist.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    I really wanted to like this book, but I didn't find it realistic at times. There were no cell phones, a family of 4 people shared one email account (really?! Does that ever happen?) and the way the main character freaked out when her husband had A (as in ONE) beer really turned me off. I did like the idea of the wide variety of women getting together to pray and how they made it a regular occurrence, which would be nice to have as a support group. This was the first in a series, but I have no d I really wanted to like this book, but I didn't find it realistic at times. There were no cell phones, a family of 4 people shared one email account (really?! Does that ever happen?) and the way the main character freaked out when her husband had A (as in ONE) beer really turned me off. I did like the idea of the wide variety of women getting together to pray and how they made it a regular occurrence, which would be nice to have as a support group. This was the first in a series, but I have no desire to read the others.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Lock

    I really didn't like this book at first. The main character, Jodi, bugged me to no end. She seemed racist, judgmental and like she was a goody goody. Luckily I kept reading and gave the book a chance. That's the point, she is SUPPOSED to come across that way. Because she is like a lot of Christians in America nowadays. Someone who has the head knowledge of Christ but not the heart knowledge. Her character is totally redeemed at the end. I loved this book. Maybe because I felt like I could relate I really didn't like this book at first. The main character, Jodi, bugged me to no end. She seemed racist, judgmental and like she was a goody goody. Luckily I kept reading and gave the book a chance. That's the point, she is SUPPOSED to come across that way. Because she is like a lot of Christians in America nowadays. Someone who has the head knowledge of Christ but not the heart knowledge. Her character is totally redeemed at the end. I loved this book. Maybe because I felt like I could relate.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Harman

    A great book. I didn't know what to expect from a book with a pink cover. But it was a great read about your average Christian woman who is dealing with the daily struggles of raising a family. She fins strength in her prayer group formed at a woman's conference. The women form relationships and come to realize how important this prayer group is to their spiritual growth. This book showed me the importance of prayer.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Karol

    Great book! Spiritually uplifting -- made me cry in some places and LOL in others. I enjoyed the lasting friendships that developed between a very diverse group of women who were thrust together "by chance" at a conference. The author shows that you can love and learn from people of all backgrounds if you open your heart.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    It took me a while to get into this book but at the end I felt that I had been ministered too and reminded of the power or prayer.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Pam

    Great book about accepting others where they are and praying for change.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? No, a train wreck is more fitting. For you, Yada Yada Prayer Group, are all the things I hate about Christian fiction assembled into one convenient and terrible book. How do I despise thee? Let me count the ways. 1. The main character Jodi is so unlikeable. She is whiny, anxious, indecisive, self-centered, judgmental, controlling, insecure, and fairly racist (in the actual sense not just as a handy insult). She’s not just flawed to be realistic; she’s so f Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? No, a train wreck is more fitting. For you, Yada Yada Prayer Group, are all the things I hate about Christian fiction assembled into one convenient and terrible book. How do I despise thee? Let me count the ways. 1. The main character Jodi is so unlikeable. She is whiny, anxious, indecisive, self-centered, judgmental, controlling, insecure, and fairly racist (in the actual sense not just as a handy insult). She’s not just flawed to be realistic; she’s so flawed that I find zero redeeming qualities about her. For instance—and this is personally the most irritating of her problems—she flips out that her husband had a single beer watching sports with his colleagues. The reason given is because her father was an alcoholic—which admittedly makes some sense—BUT she herself has wine because “people don’t go out and get drunk on WINE….and, and, who do cops pull over for DUIs? Beer drinkers!” (pg 95). Ok, I thought, perhaps Jackson is just doing that thing where she starts off as unlikeable hypocrite and is setting it up for a redemption story. Which yes, is exactly what happens (more on that in a moment). Except that the fuel for her redemption is not a growing awareness of her negative, neurotic personality or any of her superior attitudes, but fear of going to jail for the literal crime she's committed. At the story's climax, when she speaks of "confronting her demons," she isn’t referring to any of those horrible character traits—just her fears of having a tarnished reputation. Which in my mind is not really redeemption at all. Case in point: to return to our previous example about her hypocritical attitude about beer: at the end of the book, she has realized she is a sinner and needs forgiveness. Her husband exclaims that yes, he had been drinking too much on that fateful day to spite her and she deigns to forgive him because she’s so spiritual now. But not once does she change her attitude about his drinking (being way too controlling of him) OR hers (being a flat out hypocrite). 2. The other Yada Yadas are so stereotyped they are practically caricatures: a misunderstood ex-con, a black former druggie who lost her kids and is fighting to get them back with a deadbeat husband, a rich white lady who dabbles in social work helps get the kid back, a big black lady who dislikes white people, a Jewish lady with a bakery, a Hispanic maid, a timid Asian college kid. This in a book that is supposed to be about diversity. 3. And yet strangely that diversity is forgotten when it comes to religious expression. Either you're a Pentecostal holy roller who is “wild in worship” or you're faking it. Indeed, it's not an exaggeration to say that one of the things Jodi is “saved from” is worshipping like a (stereo)typical white woman. This was highly offensive to me, someone who worships within a high church, liturgical context. It felt as if I was under attack because the author has no room in her “diverse” novel for anyone who isn't a non-demonational Charismatic. Pentecostal or fake, that's all there is. 4. Finally, the writing and the plotting are both sub-par, which I find all too common in mainstream Christian fiction. Before the aforementioned saw-it-a-mile-away redemption story, the first 200 pages are either really boring journal entries chronicling how Jodi nags her husband and/or kids peppered with stream of consciousness holier-than-thou observations, or.... emails. Literal emails with jokey addresses and everything. In a last final insult to all that is good in literature, Jodi's vehicular manslaughter case is THROWN OUT because they PRAYED. Isn't life just magical?! Stop. Just....stop. That is not how prayer works. Prayer is not a magic LITERAL get out of jail free card. Prayer is how true Christians receive the strength to endure tragedy and loss and pain, not AVOID them. So not only is this a bad book, it's bad as a CHRISTIAN book too.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Laure

    Sometimes I avoid Christian fiction because I am held back by my personal bias that their plots are superficial or formulaic; i.e. too much romance, problems solved too easily. But I also crave hope and strength from the books I read. I certainly don’t want a “gray” book, which offers only hopeless tragedy or no answers to life’s problems! The Yada Yada Prayer Group by Neta Jackson (Integrity Publishers, 2003) may have a bright neon-colored cover but what lies between the pages is not a “light” r Sometimes I avoid Christian fiction because I am held back by my personal bias that their plots are superficial or formulaic; i.e. too much romance, problems solved too easily. But I also crave hope and strength from the books I read. I certainly don’t want a “gray” book, which offers only hopeless tragedy or no answers to life’s problems! The Yada Yada Prayer Group by Neta Jackson (Integrity Publishers, 2003) may have a bright neon-colored cover but what lies between the pages is not a “light” read. The main character, suburban elementary school teacher Jodi Baxter, encounters real-life issues and problems when she gets assigned to a “random” prayer group at an urban Christian Women’s Conference. Her reluctance and naiveté are not enough to keep her from becoming sucked into the vortex of the lives of eleven other women who are culturally diverse, but in need of the genuine caring of one another. In Jodi’s own words: “We were a drawer of mismatched socks if ever there was one --I wasn’t sure we even liked each other. But we were Prayer Group Twenty-Six and we had the chance… to give God a sacrifice of praise and love a young woman who was fresh out of prison.” What results is an amazing journey of true heart connections. As the reader I related to many of the book’s characters; even those who were so different from me. The author describes two women in the prayer group: Avis (the classy principal of the elementary school): “she had a kind of authority -- not bossy, just firm, confident -- that gathered up the loose ends and knotted them so they wouldn’t fray any further.” (p. 27) and Florida (5 years saved, 5 years sober) : “Our lives were about as different as two people’s could be, but I liked her. Really like her. I could only imagine everything she’d been through, but she was so upbeat. So close to God. Where did that come from?” (p. 84) Jodi’s spiritual journey drew me right in. Her connection with God and the prayer group women keep her from drowning when faced with a horrific personal crisis. I truly learned from this story: to pray more in faith, to leave assumptions of others at the door, to persevere in friendship when others are in trouble. I don’t know how autobiographical this story is, but the dedication page may indicate that author Neta Jackson learned some of these lessons herself: “To my sisters in the women’s Bible study…who loved me anyway and stretched my faith.” If the story and the characters grab hold of you, six more Yada Yada Prayer Group books await. My friend Heidi, a die-hard non-fiction reader, succumbed to the book series’ appeal and is currently reading book #4. Learn more about the author: http://daveneta.com/index.htm. I had the fun experience of hearing back from Neta Jackson by email, thanking me for my positive blog post about the Yada Yada Prayer Group series. She has written another wonderful series - the first title is Where Do I Go? Check out other book reviews on my blog: www.pineneedlesandpapertrails.com

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dani

    I thought that the story of a multiculti women's prayer group would be just too precious for words. Surely it would be filled with scenes of everyone holding hands, singing "Kumbaya", and ignoring racial differences, right? Well, there is some of that in this book, but it also touched my heart more than I expected it to. The story is told in first person from the point of view of a middle-class white Christian woman (the opposite of what I am), yet I truly identified with her and where she is in I thought that the story of a multiculti women's prayer group would be just too precious for words. Surely it would be filled with scenes of everyone holding hands, singing "Kumbaya", and ignoring racial differences, right? Well, there is some of that in this book, but it also touched my heart more than I expected it to. The story is told in first person from the point of view of a middle-class white Christian woman (the opposite of what I am), yet I truly identified with her and where she is in her Christian walk. Jodi Baxter isn't the perfect heroine that I've encountered in some Christian fiction. She worries about fitting in with the other ladies at the conference, makes assumptions about people who do things differently than what she was taught in her church growing up, and wishes that she could worship unashamedly like some of the other women in her prayer group. Jodi's struggles with finding time to read the Bible and pray without distraction parallel my own. Jackson did her research when writing this book. Her portrayal of the black characters and the black church experience was so spot-on that I had to stop in the middle of the book to check the internet and see if she was black or white! There were plenty of references to popular gospel artists, and she captured the flavor of a women's conference perfectly. Unfortunately, the one Jewish character in the book (Ruth) bordered on caricature. Ruth's speech pattern sounded like something from a New York Jew in a 1960s movie. The copy I read has discussion questions in the back that would be useful for a prayer group, but the book doesn't feel like it was constructed just to be an object lesson. The story was engaging without being preachy, and it wrapped up nicely while still leaving room for more stories. I will definitely be picking up the next book in the series.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ciara

    The problem, as I see it, with this book is the same as it is with a lot of Christian art: it is cliche. It is also boring. God is amazing and he does amazing things... but when you write a fictional novel in an attempt to capture the emotional power of his miracles, it doesn't translate the same. Because it is contrived for emotional effect. A perfect example in this book is when one of the characters realizes that she'd previously met another one, years earlier, at a difficult time in her life The problem, as I see it, with this book is the same as it is with a lot of Christian art: it is cliche. It is also boring. God is amazing and he does amazing things... but when you write a fictional novel in an attempt to capture the emotional power of his miracles, it doesn't translate the same. Because it is contrived for emotional effect. A perfect example in this book is when one of the characters realizes that she'd previously met another one, years earlier, at a difficult time in her life, and somehow impacted her life toward change. Now... this is the kind of thing that would be pretty amazing in the real world, and the kind of small miracle that God works about often. BUT, this isn't the real world, it is a novel. It's not a real miracle, it's a plot device. Which sucks all the power and emotion out of it. Although some heavy topics come up throughout the book (and particularly at the end), the bulk of the text is just the day-to-day life of the average, middle-aged, white Christian woman. Sure, I can relate to that, but I have no desire to read about it because I already live it! It's just too familiar and too common to hold interest. My final complaint is that the other characters felt very stereotypical: the black woman with a vendetta against all white people. The black gospel-singing church lady. The timid Japanese exchange student. The Mexican maid. The misunderstood ex-con. Yes, these steretypes exist for a reason, but no, they don't make complex or interesting characters. My understanding is that this book is the first part of a series (which makes sense given the rather abrupt and unresolved ending to the story) but I;m not particularly compelled to pick up the sequel.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Phyllis Wheeler

    This award-winning novel is about the power of prayer. It’s the start of a seven-book series about a multi-cultural prayer group in Chicago that started at a women’s prayer conference. The characters come from a wide variety of backgrounds–Jodi, the protagonist, is a typical white middle-class woman with a husband and two kids; Florida is an African-American former drug addict trying to get her child out of foster care; another owns a nail salon; and so on. They are learning and teaching each ot This award-winning novel is about the power of prayer. It’s the start of a seven-book series about a multi-cultural prayer group in Chicago that started at a women’s prayer conference. The characters come from a wide variety of backgrounds–Jodi, the protagonist, is a typical white middle-class woman with a husband and two kids; Florida is an African-American former drug addict trying to get her child out of foster care; another owns a nail salon; and so on. They are learning and teaching each other about the power of prayer, and in that, this is a powerful novel. Jodi must face her pride head on after she causes a terrible accident, but I won’t spoil the rest of it for you. What does “yada yada” mean? Even after reading the book I am not sure. I think that may be the point–it’s a fervent and worshipful prayer group for everybody and every issue. This book has inspired many women to read more of the series and to develop yada yada prayer groups of their own, based on directions at the back of this first book. (There are also some nice recipes from many of the characters.) The book is well told. Neta Jackson has great command of the tools of the novelist and uses them well. However, I did get a little overwhelmed at the sheer number of main characters–twelve. A smaller number would work better for me. But the premise needs a large number, and I expect the individual personalities to become clearer in the next six books of the series. I’m looking forward to reading more in this series, and I invite you to do that too.

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