Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Broken Kind of Beautiful - Katie Ganshert

Ivy Clark, at only 24-years-old, is desperately trying to hold on to a modeling career where she's constantly competing with younger "fresher" models.  Eager to take anything that might spark new life into the only realm she's comfortable within, she agrees to take a job modeling wedding dresses for her stepmother in Greenbrier, North Carolina.  Thrown together with a man she's known since childhood, she uses the weapons and armor she's grown accustomed to throw him off balance and maintain her distance.  Yet, somehow, the two of them manage to bring things to the surface that each thought they'd buried and moved past.  Can Ivy ever see past her outer beauty to the beauty God has created within her? Can Davis accept God's forgiveness and see past his guilt?

Once again, Katie Ganshert has written a deeply impacting novel that weaves characters and their stories together in such a way that you care about them, you root for them, and you feel their pain throughout their journey, and she leaves you wanting to continue with the characters' lives to see what happens next.  This novel is not neat, clean, and happy.  There is real pain.  There is real struggle.  But there is also real growth, vulnerability, and healing.  I ached for Ivy, for all she'd been through, and her need to see past what the modeling industry saw when they looked at her - both as the fresh young girl she'd been, and at the 24-year-old model past her "prime."  I love books where I don't feel invested in just one character, but where all of the characters - main and secondary - come to life for me, and this book does that well.  Marilyn, Ivy's stepmother, is a minor character and yet her endeavors to be a real mother to Ivy and all of the hurt and grief that has brought her are vividly portrayed in just short, yet heartfelt glimpses into their past together.  Davis and Sarah, with their own past tragedies, manage to also work through some major issues alongside Ivy's.

I give this book 4 stars, bordering on 5.  There is so much to be taken from this book as life lessons for anyone, that I can see myself reading it again just to glean more perspective on the characters' journeys.
As with any Katie Ganshert book, thus far, I wish that there would be more stories with these characters!

You can find A Broken Kind of Beautiful HERE.
You can find the author's website HERE.
You can connect with the author on Facebook HERE.
You can read an excerpt from the book HERE.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.

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