To the Moon and Back

Author: Karen Kingsbury
Publisher: Howard Books
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source:  Alison at Simon & Schuster


Goodreads:  From #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury comes a brand-new love story in the Baxter Family collection about two people who long ago shared a childhood tragedy—two people desperate to find each other and the connection they once shared…and just maybe a chance at love.

Brady Bradshaw was a child when the Oklahoma City bombing took his mother from him. Every year, Brady visits the site on the anniversary to remember her. A decade ago on that day, he met Jenna Phillips, who was also a child when her parents were killed in the attack. Brady and Jenna shared a deep heart connection and a single beautiful day together at the memorial. But after that, Brady never saw Jenna again. Every year when he returns, he leaves a note for her in hopes that he might find her again.

This year, Ashley Baxter Blake and her sister Kari Ryan take a spring break trip with their families that includes a visit to the site to see the memorial’s famous Survivor Tree. While there, Ashley spots a young man, alone and troubled. A chance moment leads Ashley to help the young man find the girl he can’t forget—Jenna Phillips.

Ashley’s family is skeptical, but in the end everyone comes together to support Ashley’s efforts to find the girl and bring them together. But will it work? And is a shared heartache enough reason to fall in love?

Deeply emotional and beautifully romantic, To the Moon and Back is an unlikely love story about healing, redemption, and hope that springs from the ashes of a tragedy.

Ope’s Opinion: This book had a lot of the Baxter family in it, but really the main part of the story was focused on Brady Bradshaw and the Oklahoma bombing.  It is a story of survival and God’s part in healing those who survive.

It is in the Christian fiction genre, and the whole book is centered on God.  If you are looking for a book to drawl your focus closer to God, this book is one you should read.

I would have rated this book higher, but the characters felt a little cardboard and stereotyped to me.

The ending wrapped everything up in a nice neat bow.

Fifteen Minutes

Author: Karen Kingsbury            15 minutes
Publisher: Howard Books
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source:  Purchased



Goodreads:  Overnight, Zack is the nation’s most popular contestant, a country singer with the looks and voice of a young Elvis. As his star rises, Zack is asked to compromise and quiet his beliefs, and also something more. Just as America is falling in love with Zack, just as he’s on the verge of winning it all, his choices lead him to the brink of personal disaster.

At the same time, Reese Weatherly, a therapeutic horse instructor, is no longer sure about her relationship with Zack, or the wedding they had dreamed about. While Zack advances from one round of the competition to the next, an offer comes to Reese–one that will take her to a home halfway around the world.

Then Chandra Olson–reigning diva pop star and one of the Fifteen Minutes judges–intervenes. Chandra has suffered so much public pain and private agony since her days as a Fifteen Minutes contestant. Now she wants just one thing: meaning.

Can Chandra’s private losses help Zack find his way, or will his fifteen minutes of fame cause him to lose the life he once loved? Fifteen Minutesis a story of character, compromise, and the cost of having it all. A story that raises the question: Who are the real winners?

Ope’s Opinion: If you enjoy Karen’s Kingsbury’s writing, you will enjoy this book.  

Her portrayal of fame did not feel realistic to me. I did like her characters and wanted them to succeed.   The story was very negative.  The ending was left open for a possible sequel.

If you enjoy Christian fiction, you may like Denise Hunter, Rachel Hauck, Melody Carlson and Susan May Warren.

Rating:  3 – I like this book enough to suggest it to a friend or two.


Shades of Blue

Author: Karen Kingsbury          Shades of blue
Publisher:  Zondervan
Pages: 333
Genre:  Christian Fiction
Source:  Purchased

Goodreads:  Brad Cutler, twenty-eight, is a rising star at his New York ad agency, about to marry the girl of his dreams. Anyone would agree he has it all – a great career, a beautiful and loving fiance, and a fairy tale life ahead of him when memories of a high school girlfriend begin to torment him. Lost innocence and one very difficult choice flood his conscience, and he is no longer sure what the future will bring except for this: He must find his old love and make amends. Haunted by the past and confused about the future, he turns to God seeking forgiveness and redemption.

Ope’s Opinion:  This was an awesome story!  Take out all the preaching and the judgement that  I felt and I would have given this book five chairs.  If I knew someone who had an abortion and was looking for answers from God, I would tell them to read Francine Rivers book – An Atonement Child.  It was a much better book at letting you know how forgiving God is.

Emma seemed to be a real person with questions about God.  Brad was not perfect either. I liked that.  Laura on the other hand seemed like she was beautiful, perfect, and always forgiving.  Sorry that is just not very realistic.  If she got upset with Brad – it just didn’t come across very well in the book.

If you love Christian fiction and are looking for more great reads – go look and see what Francine Rivers is writing.

Rating:  Three Chairs – I like the book enough to suggest it to a friend or two.
3 chairs