Monday, April 28, 2014

A Broken Kind of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert

A Broken Kind of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert has written a novel that heartbreakingly reads like real life.  Though very beautiful fashion model Ivy never felt love from her father or by her drug addicted mother.  Her father had never acted like a father in her life.  He was married Marilyn who had always tried to show Ivy the love that she deserved even though Ivy was the product of her husband's infidelity.  Marilyn had even raised Ivy from the time that her mother could no longer do so because of her drug use.  Ivy had learned over the course of her life never to trust that the men who from the age of 14 told her that they loved her really did not love her but only wanted something from her.  Upon the death of her father though Marilyn has the chance to teach Ivy that she is loved.  Marilyn is a clothing designer of bridal dresses.  Her nephew Davis is a photographer who refuses to take pictures because he has promised himself that since the blindness of his sister, Sarah, is his fault he will not use a camera again.  Marilyn wants to use both Ivy who at age 25 is getting too old to get the good jobs and Davis who refuses to forgive himself to both commit to a project of having a bridal show that would benefit a blind school for Sarah. Ivy's agent says that this is her only chance for work right now and Davis agrees to do this one thing for Sarah.  Marilyn has her work cut out for herself--showing Ivy that she is worth loving and that she loves her as if she were her daughter and showing Davis her nephew that depriving the world of a great photographer is not going to make him feel less guilty or bring back Sarah's sight.  

Ivy comes into her hometown feeling like this is the end of her modeling career.  Davis is wondering if God will forgive him for going back on his promise never to pick up a camera again.  Will Ivy learn that though the world may always take advantage of her for her beauty that God loves her for herself?  Will Davis learn that God has already forgiven him and that he needs to accept his guilt in the matter and forgive himself?  Read this book to find out.

I liked this book.  Finally a Christian love story where the main love interest is the love of God for his people and the desire of God to have good for His people.   I received this book from Waterbrook Press for this review.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Lost and Found by Sarah Jakes

Lost and Found by Sarah Jakes is the insightful real life of Sarah's teenage years.  Sarah grew up under the watchful and loving eyes of her pastor parents the well known, TD and Serita Jakes.  She grew up knowing that she was loved and though much was expected from her she received the needed foundation in order to do all that was expected of her.  Her mother though very busy with the life of a pastor's family also was in charge of homeschooling all 5 of her children.  She is one of the blessed teens who had all she wanted or needed both physically and emotionally.  Sarah when she reached her teen was allowed a bit more freedom and during church services joined the rest of her peers in their own portion of the sanctuary.  Sarah enjoyed her teen times of learning how to grow up in the world right until at age 13 she found herself pregnant.  She was afraid to tell her parents not because of punishment but rather because she was ashamed and didn't wish to disappoint her parents.  What would they think?  What would the congregation think?  What would this do to the reputation of her parents and her family?  All very important questions that any teen would question.  Sarah's parents however surprised her--oh they were disappointed all right but they also stood behind her and helped her face her new life.  Sarah was surprised all right but she still felt that she had both disappointed them, the congregation and most of all God.  How could she ever make up for all that she had done?  One of her life lesson is on page 223 of the book: "Grace is not the absence of the struggle; it is the presence of protection."

This book reveals how Sarah grew from the little girl totally cared for by her parents into the lost teenager making horrible decisions and into the strong adult that she is today.  This book is very true to life.  Sarah is more honest and open with her mistakes and her fumbling through the growing up time of her teen years than most authors would be in an autobiography.  This book should be in most high school libraries so that girls can see that no matter the bad errors in judgment that they make that a good life can still be established and they can make it.  That mistakes can be lived with and that life goes on.  That God will forgive anything if we have the good sense to ask.  Most of the mistakes that girls make while growing up are mistakes that harm themselves but most female teens are looking at instead at how it affects the way that people think of them.  We females spend too much time worrying about what others think of us and too little on how this affects our self.  A good read.  Pick it up.

This book was provided by Bethany House for this review.