Monday, May 2, 2011
I would like to start off by sharing that I am a big fan of Karen Kingsbury 'Red Gloves Collection' of books for the Christmas season but really never kept up with reading her other novels/series, so when I saw an opportunity through Zondervan to review Leaving by Kingsbury I gladly signed on. This latest book had all the depth, detail, and emotion of the other books I have read. I was impressed by this book in its believability with the story of love, fame, stubborn pride, growing up and ultimately moving on to the next chapter of life for the young people of this story. Several things struck me about this book, such as how characters of this story while not perfect are wonderful examples of Christian life, steadfast in their faith and using every opportunity to shine brightly for the Lord in the paths that He has led them. The young lead of these stories Baily Flanigan is a gifted, beautiful young girl that excels in all she does and gives her all to her passion of acting more specifically following the dream of performing on Broadway. Yet instead of being starry eyed, hungry for the fame and fortune that comes with performance and possibly a life as an actress with one successful film already on her resume she is grounded, and humble. Bailey is simply following her dreams, doing what God created her to do and hopes to be a shining light for Him. She is truly an interesting young role model to introduce young men and women to.
There's so much that I liked about this book and about the concept but I must confess it just wasn't the right read for me. It wasn't one of those books that I just couldn't put down; in fact I had to remind myself to take the time to read through it. Reasons for this I think include the fact that most of the characters have come from other book series by Ms Kingsbury. So while this was book one of the Bailey Flanigan series there wasn't much character building or early attempt to make a new connection for those just joining in. Things just seemed to pick up quickly from the other series so right away I didn't feel drawn in. Second it's not my season of life. I'm not on the brink of leaving my family to start my career and life. I am also not a parent of a young adult about to do so. There's also a lot going on and it got a bit overwhelming jumping from several character perspectives and just one or two too many story lines for me to want to dive into.
I received a copy of this book from Zondervan blogs for the purpose of this review.