Ooh, I'm so excited about this post! This past week, I had the unique privilege of reviewing an advanced copy of Karen Kingsbury's new book, Leaving! It releases in stores on March 22, but Karen wanted some of her readers to review it and spread the word, to get people even more excited. I couldn't believe it when I was chosen!
Author: Karen Kingsbury
Summary: Leaving is the first story in the new Bailey Flanigan series. It follows Bailey as she starts the journey of life on her own, away from her home and family. It also continues the stories of the other members of the Flanigan family and the beloved Baxters.
Thoughts: (this is the review I submitted to Karen)
Favorite things: Every single thing about it. I loved the story and how involved I felt in it. I loved the new things my favorite character encounters, even when they were sad, because of how they relied on God through everything.
Least Favorite: There were some twists that I didn't expect and some things that happened that I'm not super happy about right now, but I know it'll work out by the end of the series. There are always loose ends at the end of the first book, but I know she'll get her happily-ever-after. It definitely made me anxious for the next book, Learning, which comes out in June. I wish I didn't have to wait so long!
The cover story: The cover of Leaving is one of my favorites. Karen's daughter, Kelsey, who is the inspiration behind Bailey Flanigan, is the cover model. Isn't she absolutely gorgeous?! The cover really is perfect for the story. It shows Bailey standing in Times Square, where she moves to pursue her dream of being on Broadway. I like that it's kind of blurred in the background, but she's clear. It kind of gives the sense that, even in all the craziness that is NYC, Bailey is completely at peace because she knows she is where God wants her. I love the look in her stunning blue eyes; a look of wonder and the promise of endless possibilities.
My favorite quote: There are always so many great quotes in Karen's books. I'm always stopping to re-read the lines that really hit me, and there are so many. The way that Karen views the world is beautiful, and her words never fail to speak to my heart and soul. I don't have a favorite quote from Leaving, but my favorite quote of all time comes from Take Three, in her Above the Line series, which is right before the Bailey Flanigan series.
"Life is too short for half-hearted connections and meaningless run throughs."