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Authentic Beauty: The Shaping of a Set-Apart Young Woman

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  2,063 ratings  ·  69 reviews
Inside Every Young Woman is a Princess…In Search of her Prince

In a culture that mocks our longing for tender romance, in a world where fairy tales never seem to come true — do we dare hope for more? For every young woman asking that question, this book is an invitation. With refreshing candor and vulnerability, bestselling author Leslie Ludy reveals how, starting today, yo
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 15th 2007 by Multnomah (first published 2003)
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I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua HarrisBoy Meets Girl by Joshua HarrisPassion and Purity by Elisabeth ElliotBefore You Meet Prince Charming by Sarah MallyWhen God Writes Your Love Story by Eric Ludy
Best Christian Purity Books
6th out of 98 books — 121 voters
Edna in the Desert by Maddy LedermanDo Hard Things by Alex  HarrisI Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua HarrisBoy Meets Girl by Joshua HarrisRedeeming Love by Francine Rivers
YA Female Christian
8th out of 85 books — 53 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Heather N
May 24, 2008 Heather N rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Christian girls, or any girls who are sick and tired of the way this world expects us to live.
This is indubitably the most life-changing purity-related book I have ever encountered! It's so much more than about sexual purity, though; it's about purity and devotion in your relationship with Christ. This absolutely transformed the way I think about my relationship with Jesus, and totally challenged the way I approach Him! I HIGHLY recommend this book to all Christian girls who are, or want to be, serious about their faith. I for one want to be counted one of the few rare lilies in this gen ...more
I didn't like this one because it assumes several things about how women think and what they want. I really hate sweeping generalizations based on gender or anything else for that matter.

As little kids, we read fairy tales, we grow up upon them. Once read, the wish and hope strikes us to long for a prince to save us from our castle, to find our glass slippers and fall in love forever. In this book "Authentic Beauty", Leslie Ludy, the author speaks of her growing up as one of us girls, always wanting someone to fall in love with and have her own fairytale with. And as she grows up, she keeps looking but does not find the love that we consider love. She finds a r
Absolutely changed my life . There are many books out there about physical purity, and how to attain it and control yourself, and blah blah blah... but I was never able to fully commit and change my life until I read this amazing book by Leslie Ludy. When I first picked it up to read it after a friend lent it to me, I could not put it down . Her story was so similar to my own that I had to keep reading to see how she was able to transform her life like I so desperately wanted to transform ...more
I love the way Leslie List writes, because her language and her personal stories in the book are easy to relate to and relevent too. The whole book helped me as a whole, to focus my mind on God and get closer to him, I also loved how her husband, Eric added bits to it, and helped from a man's perspective. The only bad aspect of it was maybe that for me it focused a lot on marriage and future husband rather than personal growth in God ; I also recently read her other book The Lost Art of True Bea ...more
Some great Truths I realised about my Prince (Jesus, My Lord):

'Many of us know a lot about our Prince. But knowing about Him and knowing Him are two very different things. Do we know our Prince? Has He become the Lover of our soul, the essence of our very existence, the center of our entire being, and the One we would give up everything, including our very life, to follow?' Pg. 56

'Wasn't He far more important to me than being considered normal? Even if it meant that I never had friends again an
I'm sure this book has a good message for young, unmarried women trying to find a new path in life. For a mid-thirties married woman, this book really didn't offer anything of interest. I stopped reading halfway through. I found it quite repetitive and a bit self-loathing on the part of the author.
Feb 08, 2011 Anila marked it as not-with-a-ten-foot-pole
That summary set off so many feminist buzzers in my head- I can't even begin to quantify them. No, thank you; this one is not for me.
Then again, I'm hardly the target audience.
Amber Stokes
This book is full of authentic, beautiful truths, and so much to take in that it's almost overwhelming! One of my dear blogging friends, Amanda, put it so well when she said that the author and her husband leave the reader "blessedly convicted" through their writing. So true! I certainly felt convicted seeing how short I fall of truly living every moment fully for the Lord. How often I allow myself to get distracted, even while knowing how important it is to passionately guard my time with the L ...more
Kayla Woodhouse
I would give it a five star; but there was some "conversational" examples given that were seriously crossing the line--it didn't need to have so much detail. My copy is severely marked in, half because of the message, have because I edited some sections that needed to have some "stuff" cut back. Though I wouldn't NOT recommend this book to anyone, I wouldn't recommend it without warning. Then again, I've grown up in a very conservative home, so I know not everyone gets iffy about some things as ...more
Ludy gave helpful advice for young girls but her writing was poor. She was too descriptive over unimportant stories. It would range from her friends to a day dream. Which I understand she was trying to be creative in her writing but she just made me bored. I had to take a break during this book because of it. Each point she makes ends up being 2-6 pages long. I did like her constant theme of Song of Songs 2:2 and she did give give good teachings. I would give this book to a lost middle school gi ...more
This book gives very practical advice on building your life around the Lord as a woman. It shows the deterioration of femininity in our society and gives a beautiful glimpse of the majestic femininity that God created, the kind no longer valued by society today.
The author very openly and authentically shares her testimony. She shares her sins and shortcomings and she shares the overwhelming fulfillment found in the Lord. This books sends a message of hope to girls in our society today who feel
This book is a wonderful start for any girl who wants to step away from the past and move forward in beautiful intimacy with her Savoir. Leslie Ludy teaches that our security shouldn't be built around our relationships with guys and living up to the world's expectations, but our relationship with our Lord and how He sees us. The pages are full of florid descriptions, anecdotal illustration, and a bit of repetition, which may bother some, but the message is life-changing (and her writing style gr ...more
I liked this book. I read it in a couple of days. It had some helpful scriptures and helpful books on other set apart women in the back. It inspired me to focus on getting to know Jesus as my Lord and patiently wait for my future husband to come to me. I believe it only had this affect on me because I was already desiring to change my lifestyle. If I had not sought out this book and already desired to form an intimate relationship with Christ, I would've looked at this book as total BS.

I like t
Throughout the book, Leslie points to our Heavenly Prince. She reminds readers that He is the One our hearts should long for and run after. Leslie is very good about not just telling us that needs to happen, but she gives insight into how to make it happen. She shares examples of what she has done to get to know her Prince. In Chapter 11, she talks about “developing a quiet mind,” “cultivating a heart of worship,” and “learning the art of Biblical meditation.” We cannot know our Prince intimatel ...more
Emily Good
This was an amazing read, and easily makes it onto my favourites list! I had already read a book called 'Romance God's Way' co-authored by Leslie Ludy along with her husband, Eric, and so I knew that this was bound to be a good read too. And my guess proved to be more than correct!

Leslie Ludy critiques common issues facing many young women today - particularly in the areas of relationships. She urges us to focus more on our Prince - our heavenly Father - and being "set-apart" for Him than on sim
When I first read this book, I was seriously impacted. I cried through so many chapters because of how I easily related to nearly every little thing Leslie Ludy said about us typical teenage girls: I wanted a guy to make me feel special, but often compromised my morals in order to reach that goal, only to be left hurt in the end. I wanted to be completely set-apart for my Lord Jesus Christ, and so I began to read the Bible each day and pray. I was so excited about my profound relationship with C ...more
Annika Bee
It took me a long time to actually finish this because I wasn't always consistently reading it and life gets busy. But I am glad that I finally finished it!

I didn't find the language of calling Jesus your "Heavenly Prince" too strange or weird. However, it may not be what everyone is used to hearing or imagining.

I also loved the inserted Manhood sections written by Leslie's husband Eric Ludy. I think the sections gave a needed man's perspective on shaping men into "warrior poets". He expressed
There were some parts of this book that I wasn't too wild about, but there were other sections that I REALLY liked. She has some very practical things about deepening your relationship with Jesus.

I would definitely recommend parental guidance on this if you're a teen. The author tells of some pretty graphic incidents from when she attended public school. I kind of wish she hadn't put them all in the book, just because I think it would appeal to a wider audience without it, and I would feel more
Grace Lee
When my friend lent me this book I hadn't come to the realization that a set-apart young girl is basically an abstaining young girl. This disorganized book teaches you how to become "lily white" and push everything out of you life that doesn't involve Jesus. Being an atheist, I'm am defiantly not the young audience member she was trying to educate. I believe that high school is about finding yourself. Not living in isolation because your actions aren't related to your "Prince." I thought that he ...more
This amazing book made me think of the words President Ezra Taft Benson said:

“Now, brethren, do not expect perfection in your choice of a mate. Do not be so particular that you overlook her most important qualities of having a strong testimony, living the principles of the gospel, loving home, wanting to be a mother in Zion, and supporting you in your priesthood responsibilities.

Of course, she should be attractive to you....

And one good yardstick as to whether a person might be the right one for
Nov 28, 2009 Stephany rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to follow God more deeply and intimately
This book changed my life.

Written by Leslie Ludy, this book talks about becoming a set-apart woman of God. To stop following the world and start following God. It comes across as a little extreme at times (for example, Leslie quit school and became home-schooled to further set herself apart from the world) but the message is clear: we need to start desiring more out of our relationship with God. He is there and ready to become an amazing journey of love with us and yet we don't seek the fullest
A thought-provoking book for any woman who has bought into the Hollywood notion of beauty and sexuality. It's a breath of fresh air for young woman and those who've made relationship mistakes. Leslie gives opportunities to find healing and shows us that women should expect more, to let Him write our love stories. The book is not without flaws - plural subject, single verb used throughout. Overuse of the word Prince and not enough Scripture evidence for my liking. Overall, that should not deter y ...more
Feb 20, 2012 Kristy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: all the single ladies
Awesome, awesome, awesome. Every single young woman should read this! I've always been a fan of Leslie Ludy's books and this is no exception. Leslie really had a unique way of changing your perception of singleness. Rather than focus on our lack of a love life, Leslie asks us to focus on the most important love relationship ever...the one between you and God. It's not a common thread of thought in today's society, but it's one that should be. God is what makes us whole, not a romantic relationsh ...more
I have read a few books by Leslie Ludy and her wisdom and perspective have been a huge encouragement to my Christian faith. Authentic Beauty is one of her books that have been on my list to read, and it lived up to my high expectations. Each chapter brought insight and encouragement to walk out my faith as a young woman in today's culture. It challenged me to pursue a relationship with Christ on a deeper level and utilized great examples, analogies, and explanations. I was inspired after reading ...more
Another heartfelt, poignant book by Leslie Ludy. Though her books are each on a little different topic, they all come down to one important point: having a very personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Authentic Beauty definitely gives some things to really think about, some beautiful clips of Eric and Leslie’s love story, and also hope! I found it pretty simple to read, not dragging on or going over my head. Another book to push me toward being that set-apart woman! I’m excited to read more by ...more
Hannah McIntosh
This book was amazing! It challenged me to strive for a truly intimate relationship with Jesus, and to "clean the sanctuary" of my heart, saving every ounce of myself for Him. Leslie Ludy gives sound Scriptural basis for everything she says, and practical advice for cultivating this intimate relationship with our heavenly Prince. I want to read this book again soon!

I highly recommend this book to every young lady out there who is trying to follow Jesus! It's challenging, but necessary and encour
There was a lot of good advice and heartfelt points in this book. I thought Leslie Ludy did a good job of explaining things and making a plee to the hearts of young women. While I did enjoy this book and thought it had some great ideas inside, I wasn't as hooked because I found some parts of it a little boring. I would still recommend to young adults though, it had a good message.

*Taken from my book reviews blog:
Mary Rose Relente
Whenever you feel desires nothings in this world can satisfy or insecurities that drag you down, this book will really help you be shaped into a set-apart woman for God. Leslie and Eric Ludy have enlightened me through this book enough to pursue even more a life of reckless abandon for the Lord. And also how true intimacy starts from God to your significant other. This will leave you hungry and thirsty, not for the love of the opposite sex, but for the extravagant love of God and entirely for wh ...more
Another fantastic must-read from Leslie Ludy!! This book (along with Leslie's Set-Apart Femininity God's Sacred Intent for Every Young Woman) is changing my walk with God, the way I view the world, and the way I see myself. And I am so excited!!
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  • Before You Meet Prince Charming: A Guide to Radiant Purity
  • When God Writes Your Love Story: The Ultimate Approach to Guy/Girl Relationships
  • And the Bride Wore White: Seven Secrets to Sexual Purity
  • For Young Women Only: What You Need to Know About How Guys Think
  • Praying for Your Future Husband: Preparing Your Heart for His
  • Preparing To Be a Help Meet
  • Lies Young Women Believe: And the Truth that Sets Them Free, Companion Guide
  • What He Must Be: If He Wants to Marry My Daughter
  • Let Me Be a Woman
  • Lady in Waiting: Becoming God's Best While Waiting for Mr. Right
  • Emotional Purity: An Affair of the Heart
  • Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild
  • Every Young Woman's Battle: Guarding Your Mind, Heart, and Body in a Sex-Saturated World (The Every Man Series)
  • It’s (Not That) Complicated: How to Relate to Guys in a Healthy, Sane, and Biblical Way
  • Sister Freaks: Stories of Women Who Gave Up Everything for God
  • Start Here: Doing Hard Things Right Where You Are
  • Joyfully at Home: A Book for Young Ladies on Vision and Hope
  • Raising Maidens of Virtue: A Study of Feminine Loveliness for Mothers and Daughters
Leslie Ludy is the bestselling author of Set-Apart Femininity, When God Writes Your Love Story, Authentic Beauty, and more than a dozen other books she has coauthored with her husband, Eric. She reaches thousands of young women each year and is passionate about helping them discover Christ's design for their lives. Leslie and Eric live with their three children in Colorado.
More about Leslie Ludy...
Set-Apart Femininity: God's Sacred Intent for Every Young Woman Sacred Singleness The Lost Art of True Beauty Authentic Beauty, Going Deeper: A Study Guide for the Set-Apart Young Woman Answering the Guy Questions: The Set-Apart Girl's Guide to Relating to the Opposite Sex

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“Stop trying to fit [Christ] into your life; instead, build your life around [Him].” 78 likes
“When we are passionately in love with our Prince, we put Him above all else--not just in theory, but also practically, in every moment of our day-to-day lives. We do not live for the applause of heaven. Our longings are not for people's approval but only for more and more of Him. We are marked by an effortless, unshakable strength that is found in the presence of our perfect Lover.” 39 likes
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