These are the ramblings of a wanna-be writer and enamored reader. They promise to be raw, enthusiastic and probably repetitive and ramble-y. But they are a true representation of my word-filled mind trying desperately to sort out the feelings and thoughts that consume me as I read. Enjoy?

Sunday, March 13, 2011


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!

If you really know me, you know how much I love Karen's books. There is just something about them that, as I said in my last post, touches me in a way that nothing else can. The characters feel like friends and their stories as real as my own. I have a shelf in my room for her books only, and it's finally full...I don't know what I'll do now! :) I also have a KK tote-bag and coffee mug (It's my favorite too. That's a big deal). My goal is to own everything KK that I can. I can't get enough! I know, I'm kind of a geek.

Book: Leaving

Author: Karen Kingsbury

Pages: 322

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)

With every new book that follows the Baxters and the Flanigans, I am amazed at how much more I grow to love them and how involved I get in their fictional lives. There is an aspect of every story that I can relate to, but none more than Bailey Flanigan's. I will be 18 next month, and while I don't have plans to leave home just yet, I know it is coming one day. Leaving definitely hit home and made me think of all the lasts I am experiencing right now, and all the firsts that are just around the corner.

I was expecting yet another wonderful book from Karen, of course, but I was still blown away. Each page held something new to stop and think about and learn from. It had me laughing at something Devin said one minute, and sobbing the next. At times, I even found myself talking to the characters, begging them to do what I wanted. Now, some people might think I'm crazy, but I think it's just a testament to Karen's incredible, God-given gift.

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."

Casting Call: Being the super nerd/HUGE Karen Kingsbury fan that I am, I do have a list of people that I would want to play every single Baxter and most of the Flanigans and other friends, but I'm resisting the urge to share it because I just know there will be a movie or tv series one day and they'll need some help with casting the perfect person, and it'll be me to the rescue! Plus, I can't narrow down my ideas so there's about a billion...

My final say: Another gem by Karen Kingsbury that will be cherished and re-read over and over. I highly recommend that you go out and buy it on March 22!

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