Eyes Wide Open by Ted Dekker
Genre: Psychological Thriller
"Who am I?
My name is Christy Snow.
I'm seventeen and I'm about to die.
"I'm buried in a coffin under tons of concrete. No one knows where I am. My heart sounds like a monster with clobber feet, running straight toward me. I'm lying on my back, soaked with sweat from the hair on my head to the soles of my feet. My hands and feet won't stop shaking. Some will say that I'm not really here. Some will say I'm delusional. Some will say that I don't even exist. But who are they? I'm the one buried in a grave.
"My name is Christy Snow. I'm seventeen. I'm about to die."
Ted Dekker does at least one thing well: capturing his reader's attention. Just by the short synopsis on the back of the novel, I wanted to dive into this mystery and get to know Christy better. Throughout the book, I was often as confused by the twists in the novel and the idea of reality as the characters. But since I have read many Dekker books, I was somewhat able to figure out what would happen to the characters. I often felt sympathy and pity for the two lost people in this book, and saw myself in Christy, which made the words that much more real.
Dekker explored some excellent themes in this novel: beauty, identity, and reality. He does a good job of putting reader on her head by forcing her to question her views of reality, truth, and the like. He did get a little preachy at the end, and I'm not sure everything Dekker said through one of his characters was true, so be careful when you read it. Even if you know an author is a follower of Christ, you still have to measure everything they say against Scripture.
I also didn't feel satisfied with the ending. Certain things didn't seem to be cleared up well or at all, and that always bothers me. I love how Dekker connects his books to his others, which seem unrelated at the first reading, but the way he did it in this novel at the end seems like a too-easy solution and somewhat superficial.
Dekker always plays with the line between the material reality around us and the supernatural, which is great, since that's such an important facet of the believer's life, and is one reason why I like his writing so much, but it can be confusing for the reader at times. In Eyes Wide Open I had a hard time deciphering why/how things happened and what made them happen. But perhaps Dekker wants to leave us wondering.
I give this novel a 3 out of 5 and recommend it for 16 year olds and up.
What I learned: I am perfect in Christ. The most important reality is in that which we can't see with our physical eyes.
For more information on Dekker and to peek at his other books, visit his website here. He's also pretty active on facebook.