Rapture Practice

“A hilarious first-of-its-kind story that will surely inspire more.”
—★ starred review, Kirkus Reviews

“…effervescent and moving, evocative and tender…”
The New York Times

“With a sure hand and fearless gaze, Aaron Hartzler takes aim at life’s biggies—God, sex, family, and rock ‘n’ roll. Whether you’re laughing, gasping or crying, (and at times I was doing all three) you’ll always be in awe of Hartzler’s open-hearted and clear-headed treatment of his extraordinary life. Rapture Practice is a triumph.
—Maria Semple, NY Times bestselling author of Where’d You Go Bernadette?

“Rapture Practice opened my eyes—and my mind—to a segment of society I’ve never quite understood. Wherever you weigh in on the religion scale, this book will speak to you.
Ellen Hopkins, NY Times bestselling author of Crank and Tilt.

About the book

Rapture PracticeAaron Hartzler grew up in a home where he was taught that at any moment Jesus might come down in the twinkling of an eye, and scoop his whole family up to Heaven. As a kid, Aaron was thrilled by the idea that each day might be his last one on planet Earth. He couldn’t wait to blastoff and join Jesus in the sky!

But as he turns sixteen, Aaron finds himself more attached to his earthly life and curious about all the things his family forsakes for the Lord. He begins to realize he doesn’t want the Rapture to happen just yet–not before he sees his first movie, stars in the school play, or has his first kiss. Eventually Aaron makes the plunge from conflicted do-gooder to full-fledged teen rebel.

Whether he’s sneaking out, making out, or playing hymns with a hangover, Aaron learns a few lessons that can’t be found in the Bible. He discovers that the best friends aren’t always the ones your mom and dad approve of, that the girl of your dreams can just as easily be the boy of your dreams, and that the tricky part about believing is that no one can do it for you.

In this funny and heartfelt coming-of-age memoir, debut author Aaron Hartzler recalls his teenage journey to find the person he is without hurting the family that loves him. It’s a story about losing your faith, finding your place, and learning your very own truth—which is always stranger than fiction.