Wednesday, July 4, 2012

[Book Review] Redemption by Karen Kingsbury (with Gary Smalley)

Summary (from Goodreads):
When Kari Baxter Jacobs finds out that her husband is involved in an adulterous relationship and
wants a divorce, she decides she will love him and remain faithful to her marriage at all costs. This book shows how God can redeem seemingly hopeless relationships, and it illustrates one of Gary Smalley's key messages: Love is a decision.

I had this series lent out to me by a friend. So, this isn’t my normal paranormal YA type of book that I usually read, but I’m glad I got the chance to read them (or at this point since I’ve only read one, it). It lets me know that there’s yet another genre (Contemporary adult Christian fiction) out there that I enjoy reading. With that being said, here’s the review.

The book starts off with a man, Tim Jacobs having an affair with one of his students. His wife, Kari Baxter-Jacobs was completely unaware of this affair until she gets a mysterious call. Kari and Tim go on and on. He wants a divorce. She won’t give it to him. That’s just the beginning.

Characters: I really like the characters that were introduced in this book. Each one of the Baxter children had their own backstory, but at the same time, the authors didn’t give too much away. They must have known that they were writing a series and that each of the books that followed would follow each of the five Baxter children. There were also some characters that I started off hating, but by the end, they redeemed themselves. I really liked how the authors managed to do that. I’m usually the type of reader that if I didn’t like the character at the beginning, I won’t like them in the end. Just a last note to the characters; my favorite character is Ryan. I think that if this series were ever brought to the big screen someone really hot would have to play him. I mean, it’d only be doing the character justice.

Relationships:  There’s a lot of relationships in the book. A big part is the family’s relationship. Growing up in a house of seven, I can only imagine the kind of arguments and bickering that goes on. That doesn’t seem to change as the Baxter children grow up to adults. But as always, with age comes arguments. Some that seem unable to mend. But I’m pretty sure with four books to follow, these relationships will get fixed.

Romance: I really liked how the writers threw in the flashbacks to help show the readers what kind of romance Kari had with both men (love triangle!). It made me fall in love with one of the guys and wish the other one would just get out of the picture.  

Plot: I think if a book frustrates you, its proof it’s a really good book. For me my frustration was with Kari. I couldn’t understand why she would want to stay with a man who cheated on her and obviously wanted nothing to do with her. But I’ve never been married nor cheated on. Maybe it’s one of those “have to be there” situations. There was some backstory that I didn’t seem coming, but most of the shock came towards the end (those who have read it know what I’m talking about).

Creative way of writing:  I’ve never read any of Karen Kingsbury’s or Gary Smalley’s books before. So, I can’t what came from what author. But I can say that their collaboration was very well put together. Most of the time I even forgot that this was written by two people.  One thing that really stood out to me was the boldness of letter whenever God was speaking to the characters. It reminded me of the red letters in the Bible when Jesus speaks. The writer’s wrote in a way that kept Kari as the main character, but yet gave insight as to what a lot of the other characters were thinking and feeling.

Overall, I’m glad I was introduced to this series. I definitely wouldn’t have given it a second look if it had seen it at a bookstore, but maybe I’ll reconsider reading more from this genre now that I know I like it.

I want to take a shot to see if I can guess correct who will be the main character in the remaining books.
Redemption – Kari – well duh!
Remember – Ashley
Return – Luke
Rejoice – Brooke
Reunion – Erin
We’ll see if I’m correct or not as soon as I read them.

5 out of 5 stars for Redemption by Karen Kingsbury and Gary Smalley.

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