Saturday, May 27, 2017

Love Story - by Karen Kingsbury: Book Review

Title: Love Story
No. Pages: 368
Publisher: Howard Books
Publishing Date: 6.06.2017

Although the book's back-cover promises the story between John and Elizabeth Baxter, this only takes up a rather small part of the novel. Cole Paul, a grandson of the Baxter's has to write a heritage project for school, and this is what starts it all. This story line ramifies and other sub-plots are created. About four love stories are touched upon in this book, but not in depth. For those familiar with the Baxters and their friends, this is like a get-together. 

What takes a larger part of the novel is the story between Cody Coleman and Andi Ellison. I was a bit more interested in their story than in John and Elizabeth's.
Besides these two love stories, the novels touches on the lives of two other couples. One is Ashley and Landon Blake, one of the Baxter's daughters and her husband. Cole, the one writing the heritage project for school, is their oldest son. The other couple is Brandon and Bailey Paul, friends of the Baxter's. Bailey is Andi Ellison's best friend.

For those not familiar with the Baxters and their friends, it may seem overwhelming, what with all the character names. But take heart - they are all presented at the beginning of the book. I haven't read the other Baxter family books in the previous series, but I was given enough details throughout the novel to figure everything out. This novel can read as a stand alone, a good starting point for who wants to read the next books in the series. *raises hand*

It read surprisingly quick. It is a Christian novel, so keep that in mind. The focus is on the plot, mostly, not something necessarily deep in the sense of literature class. There was the potential for more depth (PTSD, out of wedlock talk, past mistakes and consequences), but all the characters seemed to be calm and accepting, and in the know. Maybe it's just me coming to this novel without a background on the characters.

What irked me at one point was all the tears. These characters have no trouble kissing their spouse/ significant other and showing emotion through tears. But I liked the strong relationship this gave the characters, especially the married couples. Another thing that I thought unnecessary were all the isolated sentences to draw attention on them, making sure you, the reader, understand that they are important. Let the sentences live in a paragraph.

One aspect that surprised me in a good way was the openness with which the author showed the characters' faith and their connection to God. It makes them more endearing. I even liked the way they hear from God, "as if He spoke audibly", but this has the potential to be misunderstood, especially for someone not used to the "Christian lingo".

For fans of Karen Kingsbury, this will be a sweet and darling read. For those who don't normally read this genre, nothing to lose. For those who like Christian book series, this is for you.

I received a free e-book copy from the publisher via Net Galley. All thoughts expressed here are my own.

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