7 by Jen Hatmaker

Leah Courtney

Having read Radical by David Platt and other similar titles about the state of the modern church and the lives of modern believers, I was very intrigued by the title of this book: 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess.  I'm not sure exactly what I expected, but what I read was thought-provoking and convicting.

Author Jen Hatmaker chooses seven areas of life over the course of seven months in which to drastically simplify living, choosing only seven things in that category each month.  Food, clothes, spending, media, waste, and stress- in those seven areas she chooses seven things each month- seven foods, seven articles of clothing, etc.  The book itself is a documentation of her journey through simplicity as she explores what she learns through the seven months and how her experiment affects her walk with Christ.

The premise of the book was quite interesting.  The style of writing was easy to read- a journal of sorts with a summary thrown in at the end of each month, along with occasional writings of friends or Jen's husband who participated in this journey with her. I will admit that I really didn't like the book at times.  When I examined my feelings honestly, however, most of those times were because I was perhaps convicted during the reading.  In this, I believe Jen did exactly what she set out to do.  Two days after finishing the book, I'm still processing.  There are still some things I'm not sure I agree with.  There are some things I think we definitely need to do better or differently.

In the end, the book was well-written and certainly accomplished the goal of making me think, of challenging my perceptions and the way I live.  And, in that, I think it was very successful.

I easily give this one a 4.5 stars.   (I'm a little stingy with my five stars.)  It is appropriate for any age, and in fact, I think I would gladly give it to my almost teens to read.  They are in a good place in life to be challenged with these ideas.  (Before they are old and set in their ways like me!)

I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley for review purposes.  All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Leah Courtney / Author & Editor

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