Mistaken Identity: Two Families, One Survivor, Unwavering Hope

Mistaken Identity: Two Families, One Survivor, Unwavering Hope


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Mistaken Identity: Two Families, One Survivor, Unwavering Hope 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 106 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
A very emotional and inspiring read, although there were times I was sidetracked by the religious references. I understand that both families used their faith to get them through this devastating time, but I didn't realize that was going to be the basis of the story when I started.

That said, though, this is a really good story. I recommend reading it along with Jacquelyn Mitchard's ALL WE KNOW OF HEAVEN, which, although not drawn specifically from this story, shares several similarities and is a wonderful book.
AliceFlorez More than 1 year ago
I'm in tenth grade and doing a book review for class. I read the book Mistaken Identity by Mark Tabb along with the Van Ryn and Creak family. It is a true story about some students and a staff member from Taylor University in upland Indiana who get in to a van crash. The van the students and the staff member were in end up getting into a very bad crash on I-69 in Michigan. After the crash, the cops came to the spot and there were bodies thrown all over the place, no one was by the van. The injuries were so bad people were unrecognizable. When they started finding the students, a girl in named Laura Van Ryn was rushed to the hospital. Her parents were called and they rushed to meet her there. But something happened that led to mass confusion and heart break for two families. Courage is one of the main themes of the book. Not just the courage of the people in the accident but the courage of the families involved. Each family went through traumatic circumstances that changed their lives forever. One of the main questions I had at the end was, how? How could this actually happen? It made me wonder has this ever happened before but was never figured out? I really liked this book, it was a very sad book and I could not believe the events that took place. I give this book a 5 star rating. If you like the books that get right in to it and is very sad and you feel like you are there with them then I recommend this book to you. If you do not like books that are like that then I do not recommend this book to you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read this book more tham once and stil cry every time....its so good and ispirational!!!!!! I would LOVE to meet these families.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its amazing how these families delt with this tragidy! U would think someone would be pointing fingers at someone but they were all so understanding! I wish i could have the faith that these people have. They love god so much they won't even think badly of him for taing away thier daughters! I love this story its heartbreaking and amazing that it really happened. I recommend reading this one it really touch ur heart! (Make sure u have a tissue ready if u cry when reading, i balled!
Nicki Blevins More than 1 year ago
I was so happy when this book came out and I immediately went and bought it. This story while heart wrenching, also fascinated me in a way I cannot describe. A very fast read and well worth the money.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why did the Ceracks not want to view the body that had been identified at the scene as Whitney? These girls looked SO MUCH ALIKE! As a mother, I would HAVE to see for myself and KNOW it was my daughter. I would want to hold her hand one last time, stroke her hair, hug her, tell her I loved her, see her image just one more time. If that had happened, the Van Ryns would not have endured five weeks of hell sitting with a girl who was not their daughter, praying for her recovery when their daughter was already gone. It was finally Whitney's comments as she woke up that led to the suspicion that she was not Laura and finding out her true identity.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is well written and mesmerizing. It was a straight through read for me the first time, just to understand the facts. Now I am reading it again to fully understand what these two families, and their friends, have endured. It was not my intent to read a book about forgiveness, but rather curious after having seen the two families on Oprah. But, I can say this book has had an impact on my life I did not expect; I am changed for the better. For the first time in my life I have been asked to forgive someone and with the wisdom gained from reading this book, I was able to do so.
gr8math More than 1 year ago
These two families went through/are still going through the worst tragedy a family can go through. Yet through the good, bad, and ugly their faith was first and formost on their minds. They are a great example to those of us who may struggle w/ chronic illnesses, physical disablitis, financial or family problems that whiie our problems are nothing compared to theirs...we need to have faith through whatever we face - the good and the bad!!
luvtoreadJT More than 1 year ago
this book gives you every kind of feeling you could ever feel it has happy hurt sad mad glad confused ect... it's a true story that makes you feel.... thankful for what you have..,...it makes you feel glad that maybe your community would act just as loving and kind hearted as theirs did.....AWESOME BOOK .....ENJOY
April-inCT More than 1 year ago
The families involved in this heart-breaking story will amaze you with the depth of their faith. Beautiful story. Realistic in its "happy-ending" as the survivor is upfront and honest in her struggles and emotions.
MomsChoiceAwards More than 1 year ago
Mistaken Identity: Two Families, One Survivor, Unwavering Hope is a recipient of the prestigious Mom's Choice Award. The Mom's Choice Awards honors excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. An esteemed panel of judges includes education, media and other experts as well as parents, children, librarians, performing artists, producers, medical and business professionals, authors, scientists and others. A sampling of the panel members includes: Dr. Twila C. Liggett, ten-time Emmy-winner, professor and founder of PBS's Reading Rainbow; Julie Aigner-Clark, Creator of Baby Einstein and The Safe Side Project; Jodee Blanco, New York Times best-selling Author; LeAnn Thieman, motivational speaker and coauthor of seven Chicken Soup For The Soul books; and Tara Paterson, Certified Parent Coach and founder of the Mom's Choice Awards. Parents and educators look for the Mom's Choice Awards seal in selecting quality materials and products for children and families.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was amazed how their faith and love truly helped them all survive this horrible event. It makes me want to get back in touch with God. A very positive read for such a sad story.
christian_girl711 More than 1 year ago
Mistaken Identity is the most uplifting and most touching story ive ever read. ive never read anything like it. it really made me see just how blessed i am for all the wonderful things i have. i try not to take anything for granted and to be thankful for the joys i have in my life. after reading this story im even more thankful than ever. thank you for sharing your story with me.
MCCARRUTH More than 1 year ago
The novel Mistaken Identity is the true story of Laura Van Ryn and Whitney Cerak. Laura and Whitney were both in a car accident on April 26, 2006. There were five lives lost in the tragic accident, including a girl identified as Whitney Cerak. There was also a young woman rushed to hospital, with severe head injuries, who was identified as Laura Van Ryn. Throughout a five week period the Van Ryns took care of the girl identified as Laura, but the more time they spent taking care of her the more different Laura became. Laura became more aware of her surroundings and began to talk and write; so the therapist asked Laura to write her name and she wrote Whitney.
This novel was so interesting once I started I couldn¿t put it down. There was never a dull moment throughout the whole story. I thought it was crazy how you can get two girls, which really don¿t even look alike, mixed up. I wish the book would have had the scene where the girls were identified because it¿s just kind of confusing that they can mix people up. I think that I also enjoyed this novel so much because I share the same beliefs as the Van Ryns and the Ceraks and I was just amazed at their faith in God.
The whole story of these two families is just amazing! Their faith in God is so strong it¿s unbelievable. I honestly think that I couldn¿t be that strong in that situation. They never questioned God they just knew that this was happening for a reason. I was inspired to never lose hope and to always trust God because no matter what happens if you trust Him you will make it through.
LindseyS More than 1 year ago
This was an amazing, inspirational book that showed the incredible faith of two families,the Cerak¿s, and the Van Ryn¿s. It was a true story about two girls involved in an awful car wreck. Throughout the entire book, it talks about the families of these two precious girls and what all they went through. It gave specific detail of the wreck and how one of the teenage girls, Laura Van Ryn, died. While the other, Whitney Cerak, was in a coma. During months of intense rehabilitation, the Cerak family took each day more and more as a blessing, and they grew stronger in their faith even through the hard times. It showed how both families dealt with this situation, and throughout the entire time, they counted on God. After months of grief, they soon find out there was a mistaken identity between the girls.
I absolutely loved Mistaken Identity for many reasons. I loved how it was so real, and I felt like I could relate with the two girls. I thought it was so neat how the book quoted the family, friends, and boyfriends of the girls. Even though it was sad to hear what they would say, it made me count my blessings even more each day. What I also liked about this book was the depth of faith in each family. It gave me a better understanding on life, and it just made me think. It gave specific details of stories about the families, and I enjoyed reading this book because it was a true story.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. However, the one thing I did not like about the book was that it was very sad and made me cry. During some of the book, I had to stop reading it because it was so emotional. On the other hand, most of the time I couldn¿t lie this book down because it was so intense and just amazing. Even though it was extremely sad and depressing, it still gave me a desire to live my life everyday like it¿s my last. This was by far my favorite book I have ever read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I first came across this book while watching Oprah; I was hooked before I even opened to the first page. Two girls, who¿s identity¿s had been switched? One family grieving for the loss of their youngest daughter, when she¿s actually alive in a hospital only miles away? And another family, spending only every waking minute caring for, and loving the girl they believe to be their daughter, only to find out the girl in the bed isn¿t who they think she is. This story began on a seemingly normal April day, a van full of nine students and staff from Taylor University, were heading back to school from a mission trip. And in seconds everything changed. A truck hits this innocent blue van along I-69, resulting in one of the most violent accidents imaginable. With four people already pronounced dead at the scene, a young woman first identified as Laura Van Ryn is airlifted to a nearby hospital. For five weeks this young girl is cared for by her family, who never leave her side. Meanwhile, The Cerak family is informed of their daughter, Whitney¿s, tragic death. As any family just told of their child¿s death would be, they begin grieving, praying this isn¿t true. Through this book, I see how both the Cerak family and the Van Ryn family, rely on their faith in God. Faith and prayer become huge themes, and are very important to these families, especially while they are going through this unimaginably difficult time. I liked the message this book brought, how both these families believe in something more powerful then they are. Though I did have some dislikes; in some places the writing was a little choppy and I couldn¿t quite follow what was happening. You should read this novel because it shows how one family¿s loss is another¿s gift. Overall I give the novel Mistaken Identity four stars, though it is quite tragic, it also shows us that death is not the end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book from cover to cover in a day. I never read books that fast, but I could not put this book down. You just want to keep reading it. It is an absolutely inspiring, faith filled and true story that I will never forget.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent book that will keep your attention. As much as I hate this ever happened, I am glad it had to happen to two Christian families. At least they were able to share their love and faith in Christ. Another thing that captured me about this book was all the 'what if's' I thought about. What if they only had viewed the body when it happened. What if Whitney had also died before the 5-week period was up? Would they ever discovered the mistake?
Guest More than 1 year ago
could not put the book down.. I never read..
Guest More than 1 year ago
OMG!! i just was sitting here watching tv and this story popped up..and i was like OMG!! as i sat here and watched I just kept saying.. 'I couldnt even imagine' I never heard anything about this story on the news or what have you but after watching this on TV im certainly going to buy this book..although i know the story..i still would love to support...that was absolutly ironic..and like I said before.. 'I couldn't even Imagine'
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read the non-fiction book Mistaken Identity by Don and Susie Van Ryn, Newell, Colleen and Whitney Cerak and Mark Tabb. The book is about two families¿ struggle when they discover that, after a car accident that killed five people and left one in intensive care, the girl in intensive care was not the girl they believed she was. This book has a very religious theme, because they refer constantly to their prayers. The religious theme is one of the reasons why I did not particularly like this book. I did not like this book very much. One reason I did not like this book was the religious theme. I did not expect how very religious this book was on almost every other page they inserted a prayer. Although the prayers did make the book a lot more personal because the reader got to see their own thoughts as the events were unfolding, ¿Oh, Laurie, that was a phone call I never wanted to have. I can¿t explain my feelings-dread, fear, anxiety¿¿ (27). This quote was taken from Susie Van Ryn¿s prayer journal, which she wrote in after she received the call from the hospital. Having her own words that she had written as this was taking place helps the reading understand the exact emotions and thoughts running through her mind. Although, there are more reasons I did not love this book. A Second reason is the set up of the book. I did not like the set up because it made the story harder to follow it would go from the Van Ryns at the hospital to the Ceraks getting a phone call from the corners office, in a matter of a page. It was also confusing how the book starts off five weeks after the accident on page one and by page twelve it is the day of the accident. Thirdly I did not like the book because it completely skips over the accident. It never talks about what exactly happened all it tells you is that it involved a truck. Even though I did not strongly like the book I do have a few points that I absolutely love. One of those parts is how the included eight pages of pictures of the girls. It was very helpful to me because I had a hard time remember which girl was which. The pictures greatly helped me in comparing the two girls to see how they could have been mistaken for each other. One aspect I especially liked was how the emotions were explained so well that the reader begins to feel as if they are going through this tragic event. This book could not have reminded me of anything because you wish that these events never happen also because these events are very rare. This book was a very good read, but is very hard to follow and explain if you wished to recommend the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a fantastic book! I will read for several hours and even when I become sleepy I try to force myself in the late hours to stay awake through another chapter. I'm so captivated by it and can't put it down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was such a touching story. I am glad to see that a tradegy like this could bring two families so close. I could not put this book down. I read it in like 2 days. I have told so many people about this book. I truely enjoyed it
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was excellent. I am so proud of both of the families. The love that they have for each other is profound throughout the book. The love they have for our lord and savior is what allowed them to get through such a tragedy. This book is astounshing that such a mistake could be made and everyone comes through it better people. I throughly enjoyed this book. These families are truly blessed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this was one of the best books i have read in a long time. I couldn't put it down. I read it in one day. Please go out and get this book. This will change your life.