Dying to die, called to live: Review of “Life, In Spite of Me” by Kristen Anderson with Tricia Goyer

I will think of Kristen Anderson every time I hear a train whistle or cross a set of tracks.

She was 17 the day she decided to die. Kristen laid down on a set of railroad tracks, in front of an oncoming train, and waited. What she describes in her book, Life, In Spite of Me, is horrifying and shocking. When I hear a train whistle, I think of the moments she describes and shudder. Amazingly, Kristen didn’t die that night. But she did lose both of her legs.

What follows in the book is her journey from the depths of wanting to die through the despair of wondering why she was still alive to the decision to follow Christ that gives her renewed purpose and an extraordinary outlook on life.

Kristen’s story is honest and raw. The details are difficult to read sometimes, but your heart will break for this young woman’s experiences. She is courageous to tell her story so openly.

She is also a picture of hope and redemption, living proof that God is in control and has a plan, even when we can’t see it or don’t follow it.

This was a quick and compelling read, peppered with vivid language and details that place the reader at the accident scene, in hospital rooms and in the middle of Kristen’s personal struggles to cope with her suicide attempt and the physical and mental recoveries from it.

I won’t soon forget Kristen’s story. If you’re looking for a light holiday read, save this one till after the New Year, but definitely put it on your “want to read” list.


Want a sneak peek? Click here for the first chapter.


In exchange for this review, I received a complimentary digital copy of Life, In Spite of Me from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group as part of the Blogging for Books program.

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