COMING HOME by Karen Kingsbury . . . why did I do this to myself? With each new spin-off series from the original Redemption Series, my review ratingsCOMING HOME by Karen Kingsbury . . . why did I do this to myself? With each new spin-off series from the original Redemption Series, my review ratings have either gone down or stagnated. I constantly brought up the fact that so much back story was filtered into each of the subsequent books, that I felt I was only getting half a book each time I bought one. So, why did I think COMING HOME would be any different?
I cringed out loud as I read the first twelve chapters of the book. Not only was it a complete review of each family member and the lives we had already read about. But, each loving couple’s dialogue was so sickening sweet it felt so far removed from the normal. Now, that is not to say that I don’t still adore my husband after 32 years of marriage. But, I can guarantee each time we talk to each other, or brush up against each other while working in the kitchen, we don’t stop to say how much we love each other, how are lives were completely changed by each other, how we could never be who we are without each other. Now, we do feel that way, but to say it over and over again like the characters in this book, just made the first dozen chapters difficult to get through.
I also have read so many of Karen Kingsbury books, I have learned to read her “tell” the sign that something big is going to happen. Therefore I was not surprised with the tragedy that ensued. Now, to Ms. Kingsbury’s credit, I read the rest of the book in three hours because of being drawn into the drama and the action. It was heart wrenching. But, like many others of Karen Kingsbury followers, I think I will take a much need rest from her books. I have to decide if it is worth going back and reading UNLOCKED and the Above the Line series. Somehow I feel I already have the gist of it. ...more
I have just finished, LOVING, the final installment in the Bailey Flanigan series. I am glad I stuck it out (even though I skipped UNLOCKED, and the AI have just finished, LOVING, the final installment in the Bailey Flanigan series. I am glad I stuck it out (even though I skipped UNLOCKED, and the Above the Line series) just to say I completed the series. But, like many other reviewers, my thoughts are not completely positive.
My two biggest problems with this series are, One- the constant back story that I had to constantly skim through to get to the new story. And Two – Bailey & Brandon was just a rehashing of Katie & Dayne. I also began to lose a connection to Bailey because I could not relate to her near perfect life. This girl would be every parents dream, and maybe Kelsey Kingsbury really is this perfect, humble, always make the right decision, never makes a bad choice person, but I feel her faultlessness made it difficult for me to relate, as it would with most girls her age. I also had a hard time believing the flawlessness of Brandon. Now granted, I didn’t read UNLOCKED where Brandon & Bailey were introduced–and by hints of his history was far from a stand-up guy–but to say a young adult of his age and his background would think kissing was too big a step to take in the early stages of their relationship seems a bit antiquated to me. And again, maybe Kyle Kopecky was just that perfect. But, I think Ms. Kingsbury could have easily written a more realistic picture if she wasn’t so close to the perfection of her own family. Now, I am not saying I would’ve enjoyed the book more if she ended up with Cody, and I do like that Ms. Kingsbury gave some closure to his story, I just didn’t like having to read about all the trappings, struggles, and dilemmas of a Hollywood lifestyle when I already read about them in Katy & Dayne’s struggle.
I know this sounds like a lot of bashing, and maybe since I live in the real world I am just a little bit more realistic, but I definitely felt these were major flaws in the series. But, Karen Kingsbury is a best-selling author with an incredible following. And at one time, I would’ve put her at the top of my list of favorite authors. I even got a chance to meet her at a convention I attended. I just feel her earlier stand alone novels like WHEN JOY CAME TO STAY, A THOUSAND TOMORROWS, and A MOMENT OF WEAKNESS, held my interest more because they had more realistic storylines. ...more
LONGING, book three in the Bailey Flannigan series from Karen Kingsbury had better pacing then the previous two.
I felt LONGING had a little more oomphLONGING, book three in the Bailey Flannigan series from Karen Kingsbury had better pacing then the previous two.
I felt LONGING had a little more oomph to it. A little more tragic then the previous installments, I felt the triangle between Bailey, Brandon, and Cody eased some. But, as in all fiction romance, there is still a door cracked open to spin things a completely different way.
I would agree with several of the reviewers, that Bailey’s story could’ve easily been told in two books, but come on readers, publishing is a money making venture, and with loyal readers willing to buy four books why would they choose to produce less. But, like other readers, getting through the series is now a quest. I’m not sure if I want Bailey to end up with Brandon or Cody, I just know I will be glad to just have an answer.
I do feel Bailey has been colored with a bit too much perfection, as well as Brandon, while Cody has the highs and lows of a roller coaster. And, his continued pining over Bailey at times doesn’t fit Cody’s survivalist personality. I think the character Kingsbury created early on is stronger emotionally then she is giving him credit for.
So, off I go to read LOVING. I hope I will finally have a conclusion to Bailey’s story. ...more
The end of an era. SUNSET, the last book in a three series, fourteen book sequel, was good, but not the awe inspiring conclusion I expected. This goesThe end of an era. SUNSET, the last book in a three series, fourteen book sequel, was good, but not the awe inspiring conclusion I expected. This goes to show more is not always better.
It goes without say that the Baxter family as a whole was the key characters in this final installment. Every individual family member’s story came to some sort of predictable conclusion. Once again, there was a lot of reviewing, for the consideration of first time readers. But, for those of us that have read the whole series, I found myself breezing over large sections of reflection.
I was sad to see John Baxter move on, even though it was realistic that a man of his age would find someone new to love. I also didn’t like the reintroduction of Angela Manning. It felt forced and a bit unbelievable. In a previous volume, Angela met Kari face-to-face, but in this book, she didn’t recognize her. I would think, even if Angela was in self-destruct mode, she would not forget the wife of the man she had an affair with.
All that to say, on a whole, this series was very enjoyable. I made this reading journey part of my New Year’s resolution since I had started reading the series when it was first released, continued to buy each volume, but stopped reading them because of other commitments. I had put Karen Kingsbury at the top of the Christian fiction writer’s pedestal for years because I felt she was a ground breaking author who wrote about Christian characters that were flawed and far from perfect. But, since the introduction of the Redemption Series in 2002, so many other Christian authors have burst onto the scene with great storytelling skills. Authors like: Irene Hannon, Candace Colvert, Richard Mabry, Lynette Eason, Ronie Kendig, and the list goes on.
Anyone who says Christian fiction doesn’t have the same intensity as secular fiction hasn’t exposed themselves to some of these newer, edgier, authors. ...more
SOMEDAY by Karen Kingsbury, the third in the Sunrise series allowed us a glimpse at Dayne and Katy, a Hollywood couple the paparazzi are determined toSOMEDAY by Karen Kingsbury, the third in the Sunrise series allowed us a glimpse at Dayne and Katy, a Hollywood couple the paparazzi are determined to break up. While SOMEDAY also touched on Luke’s troubled marriage, Ashley’s heartache from the death of her infant daughter, the loss of the CKT (Christian Kids Theater), and the growing relationship between John Baxter and Elaine, Dayne and Katy were the main focus.
The ups and downs of Dayne and Katy’s relationship/marriage were pretty predictable. At times, I felt Katy’s character was a little off the mark. Katy I feel is a person who loves with all she is. And at times, she seemed to give up too easily on Dayne. I appreciated the growth we saw in Dayne, and his desire to get right with the Lord.
I don’t know what to think about Luke. Before the 911 scenario he was such a passionate, straight arrow type of person. Since then, he just seems to jump off the deep end whenever life gets tough. I found myself not liking him when he was portrayed as a husband not wanting to deal with the everyday family trials. He acts like he is trapped by his circumstances instead of embracing family life.
SUMMER, book two in the third Baxter saga was definitely filled with emotion, and a little disillusionment.
The joy of two Baxter sisters expecting wiSUMMER, book two in the third Baxter saga was definitely filled with emotion, and a little disillusionment.
The joy of two Baxter sisters expecting within weeks of each other is quickly doused when we find out Ashley’s pregnancy could be a difficult one. This storyline had a lot of emotion packed into it. But, what I found disappointing with SUMMER was the storyline surrounding Dayne and Katy Matthews.
Fresh off of the highly anticipated wedding of Katy and Dayne in SUNRISE, Kingsbury barely lets them get feet out of the Bahamas sand of their honeymoon before she is setting them up for disaster. Up to this point, even though we traveled through highs and lows with Katy and Dayne, I felt Kinsgbury had painted them to be a little stronger and deeper than the characters that continue on in SUMMER. Immediately, their marriage is put to the test as they star in both a love story and a reality show. And just as quick it seems Katy and Dayne forget the struggles and hard times they have overcome and the strength of their love for each other, and begin to allow seeds of doubt to be planted in their hearts and minds regarding each other’s faithfulness and commitment to their marriage. I found this about-face in their relationship to come out of leftfield. Now granted, I knew with them being a Hollywood couple this would eventually become part of their storyline. But within the first month of their marriage? Come on . . . give them more credit than that. Katy has been portrayed as solid and practical, and Dayne has just had a brush with death. I really feel Kingsbury kind of insulted the characters she had spent the last series fleshing out for the readers. The ending was bittersweet, and with Katy and Dayne walking such a fine line, I don’t know that I am looking forward to reading SOMEDAY. ...more
SUNRISE by Karen Kingsbury is the first in the SUNRISE series, but the eleventh book that follows the Baxter family. With each book, we get to trail aSUNRISE by Karen Kingsbury is the first in the SUNRISE series, but the eleventh book that follows the Baxter family. With each book, we get to trail along as the Baxter family continues to live and grow. SUNRISE follows Katy and Dayne as they solidify their relationship and look towards their happily-ever-after. But I can’t help but feel the next book in the series, SUMMER, is going to have the per verbal other shoe drop. Karen Kingsbury doesn’t usually allow her characters to be happy or free from tragedy for too long.
The only flaw to these books, is if you have read them from the beginning, you might get frustrated by all the rehashing Ms. Kingsbury does. It is obvious she is trying to let each new reader understand the ins and outs of each of the Baxter's. But the constant overviews get boring to the reader who already knows all the back story.
So, I will start SUMMER, holding my breath, wondering what new tragedy or drama the Baxter family has headed their way. ...more
FOREVER . . . finally! I loved the characters, I loved the drama, and I loved the storyline. But, I didn’t love the long drawn out series. Of course,FOREVER . . . finally! I loved the characters, I loved the drama, and I loved the storyline. But, I didn’t love the long drawn out series. Of course, we all knew how the series would end, but it truly became a quest to get to the end. One of the issues I had with this series is the constant rehashing of past circumstances and trials. I understand the need as a writer to want each book to be a standalone novel, but let’s face it . . . if the series is five strong, people need to read the whole series. The writer should not try to summarize past books. It frustrates the true fan that has read each book up to that point. But, who am I to correct or critique Karen Kingsbury. Her stories are inspiring and engaging, and even though I don’t like redundancy, I will continue on and read the Sunrise series and hope that I don’t have to do too much skimming to get past repetitive information....more