I got the coolest surprise in the mail last week - an advanced copy of Learning, the second book in the Bailey Flanigan series by Karen Kingsbury. I had the privilege of review the first book, Leaving in March, but I didn't know that I was going to be doing the same with Learning. I knew it was a possibility, but when she didn't contact me, I assumed I hadn't been chosen again. So I was stoked to find it in the mailbox! I love love LOVE being on "Team KK." What an honor, and it's so much fun!
Author: Karen Kingsbury
Summary: Learning is the second book in the Bailey Flanigan series. It takes us with Bailey and Cody as they experience many new changes, choices, up and downs. We're also still checking in on the Baxters, thank goodness - I would miss them so much if we didn't!
Thoughts: (this is the review I submitted to Karen)
Oh my goodness!
Learning took me on an ride! I went from feeling happy to sad, to very, very frustrated and then back to happy all within a few pages. And I loved every minute of it!
Picking up right where Leaving left off, Learning takes us with Bailey as she faces a whole new set of trials and opportunities. I feel like we get to see a new side of Bailey in Learning, as she discovers a new side of life in NYC and on Broadway. It's exciting, terrifying, wonderful and challenging, and I felt like I was experiencing it all right along with her.
Cody Coleman is also experiencing new things, and it was awesome to watch the way God worked through him. I love how I can feel such a sense of pride for a book character. He's just such a great guy! After reading Learning, I am even more certain that I will always be on Team Cody!
Another great guy that I have grown to love dearly is Landon Blake. I am so glad we still get to check in on him and his wonderful family, and I can't wait to see what's next for the Baxters!
The faith we've always seen from our fictional friends is tested and stretched once again in Learning, and you'll be praying, as they are, that it will be refined and grow even stronger. The best part is, yours just might too!
Now that I've finished Learning, here comes the hard part: waiting til October
Favorite things: Visiting with old friends! Seriously, Karen has such an incredible gift for making her characters feel like real people that I know and love. I don't know how to describe it - she does the best job of that too!
Least favorite: Oh good grief, I was so angry/frustrated/irritated while I read this book! Certain characters were just NOT doing what I wanted!
The Cover Story: See that handsome guy on the cover? That's Cody Coleman aka Guy Who is Definitely in my Top 10 - make that Top 5 - Fictional Crushes/Loves. :D The "model" is Solomon Rexius of the band Caleb and Sol. I love how Karen uses people she knows and cares about for so many of her covers. Sol won a Cody Coleman contest a while back, and I am so glad! He is exactly how I imagined Cody - tall and athletic, with a great smile and gorgeous eyes. What a cutie! *blush*. Best part is, he seems like a fantastic guy in real life too! He couldn't be more perfect for such a wonderful character.
My favorite quote: Well, I started to write them down, but had to rush through it to have time to review before the deadline, so I didn't keep it up. My favorite that I wrote down was from Bob Keller, the husband of the couple Bailey is living with in NYC. He said it in a prayer...
"For it is only in our nervousness and inability that we find the strength to succeed in You."
I love it, and can totally relate! As I said with Leaving, you just HAVE to go out and buy this book! I absolutely CANNOT wait until Longing comes out - I'm desperate to know where Cody and Bailey go next!