Survive the Day: Thriving In the Midst of Life’s Storms

Reviewed by:

G. Connor Salter, Professional Writing alumnus from Taylor University, Upland, IN.


Survive the Day: Thriving In the Midst of Life’s Storms


Ben Young


David C. Cook

Publication Date:

September 1, 2020




208 pages


Eventually, we will go through a crisis. Tough times are inevitable. The real question is how we will respond to those crises. Ben Young argues that it’s possible to survive these crises, and even discover the necessary tools in the midst of those times to thrive and become a better person afterward. In Survive the Day, he shares the principles that readers need to accomplish this feat.

Young uses the story of his divorce journey to provide insights about surviving the day, and the insights are quite good. He particularly notes the need to understand God’s grace, which freed him up to stop worrying about whether he was in control of everything. Obviously this isn’t a particularly new idea, and Young doesn’t talk about his life with enough detail to make it feel new or profound. He tells his story in a very general way, giving a few poignant details (his encounters with therapists, the feeling to wanting to cry when he’d cried every day for three years straight) but not describing much beyond that. Since the content is fairly basic, this presents a problem. The ideas that Young describes aren’t new, and he doesn’t give any particularly new angle to the subject. Had this been a book about surviving the day that focused on how men like Young (professional pastors and professors who go through crises) can survive the day, it might have been unique. Tez Brooks achieves that in his book The Single Dad Detour, coming from a similar situation as Young, and that book works quite well. Instead, Young talks about how anyone can survive the day, giving principles that could apply equally to anyone, and which readers could find in any one of dozens of similar self-help books. Alternatively, Young could have talked about his personal journey with more detail, which would have given the book details no one could find in another book (i.e. his own story). Telling about how he personally learned about these ideas would have given the content a personal angle, grounded them in a particular story so they felt new. The book wouldn’t necessarily need to become a memoir to do this; Lisa Wittle combines self-help with personal touches in her book Jesus of Over Everything, capturing what it felt like to be the daughter of a pastor who made big mistakes and relating that to larger ideas. But since Young doesn’t give a clear outline of what his post-divorce journey looked like, there’s no sense of personality to his story.

All told then, Survive the Day gives good content but is too generic. Readers can easily find better-written and more personal books on the topic.


Rating (1 to 5 stars)

2.5 stars

Suggested Audience

People (preferably but not necessarily Christians) looking for principles about how to overcome difficult circumstances.

Christian Impact

The author refers to Scripture routinely, not in a very systematic way but in a way that makes it clear he’s building on Biblical principles.

Survive the Day: Thriving in the Midst of LIfe's Storms

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