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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Zondervan Blog Tour - Leaving by Karen Kingsbury

About the book:
From Karen Kingsbury's website . . .
The Bailey Flanigan series begins with Bailey leaving Bloomington for the adventure of a lifetime. She has won an audition for the ensemble of a Broadway musical in New York City.

Bailey is determined to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but is she really ready to leave family and friends for the loneliness of the city? And what of Cody? His disappearance has her worried about their future and praying that their love can survive.

In order to be closer to his mother in jail, Cody takes a coaching job in a small community outside Indianapolis. New friends, distance, and circumstances expose cracks in his relationship with Bailey Flanigan.

Love, loneliness, big opportunities, and even bigger decisions highlight the first book in the new Bailey Flanigan series that features members of the popular Baxter family and finally completes the Bailey Flanigan/Cody Coleman story.

My Rating: 3 Stars

My Review:
It's always hard for me to write a review that is more critical, and less than glowing. I am a fan of Karen Kingsbury's work, and I love everything I've read by her, but for some reason I don't have a lot of interest in the Above the Line series and the Bailey Flanigan series. I know that some people are really loving this series, but the acting/movie/paparazzi storyline is not interesting to me. Often times while reading this book, I'd think, "And why is this important to the story? There's no real substance here." Then there were some scenes between Bailey and Brandon, and I thought, "This seems very familiar to the Dayne and Katy storyline. This is like a repeat of something I've already read." Though Karen is a talented writer, and I love how she weaves in the messages of faith, I just can't get into this. I don't even feel the need to read the rest of the books in this series. I hate to say that, but it's true. As much as I wish I did, I just don't really feel a connection.

I did enjoy Ashley and Landon's story being included, but was frustrated that there was not more resolution on that part of the story. I guess that's how to get people to buy the next book in the series, but I'm thinking maybe I can just read a "spoiler review" to find out what happens.

I do like that the end of the book seemed to pick up a bit, and by the last chapter, Karen had caught a hold of my heart like she always does. I wasn't really surprised to find myself in tears. Karen has a great talent for getting the tears to fall from my eyes! As I closed the last chapter, I was left with the feeling that I need to embrace the teenage years more with my daughters. This time is going to go by so quickly, and I want to make the most of the time we have left, before they're "leaving."

**Thank you to Zondervan for providing this free book to me, in exchange for my honest review.**

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