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Archived Group Reads - 2018 > April Book of the Month - Just Look Up (Harbor Point #1) by Courtney Walsh

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message 1: by Loraine, CFD Momma (last edited Apr 01, 2018 12:48PM) (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2662 comments Mod
Just Look Up (Harbor Point, #1) by Courtney Walsh


After tirelessly climbing the ranks of her Chicago-based interior design firm, Lane Kelley is about to land her dream promotion when devastating news about her brother draws her back home--a quaint tourist town full of memories she'd just as soon forget. With her cell phone and laptop always within reach, Lane aims to check on her brother while staying focused on work--something her eclectic family doesn't understand.

Ryan Brooks never expected to settle down in Harbor Pointe, Michigan, but after his final tour of duty, it was the only place that felt like home. Now knee-deep in a renovation project that could boost tourism for the struggling town, he is thrilled to see Lane, the girl he secretly once loved, even if the circumstances of her homecoming aren't ideal.

Their reunion gets off to a rocky start, however, when Ryan can't find a trace of the girl he once knew in the woman she is today. As he slowly chips away at the walls Lane has built, secrets from his past collide with a terrible truth even he is reluctant to believe. Facing a crossroads that could define his future with Lane and jeopardize his relationship with the surrogate family he's found in the Kelleys, Ryan hopes Lane can see that maybe what really matters has been right in front of her all along--if only she'd just look up.


message 2: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2662 comments Mod
I have read a couple of Courtney Walsh's books: Paper Hearts by Courtney Walsh and Change of Heart (Paper Hearts #2) by Courtney Walsh , and I enjoyed both of them. So I am looking forward to reading this one. Who's joining me?


message 3: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new)

Staci | 1488 comments Mod
I've read Paper Hearts and enjoyed it.
Paper Hearts by Courtney Walsh

Looking forward to Just Look Up!


message 4: by Laura (new)

Laura | 26 comments I've also read Paper Hearts and A Change of Heart. I enjoyed them both. I'm looking forward to reading this book with everyone too.


message 5: by Charlene (new)

Charlene | 335 comments I'm in for this one ... I'm really looking forward to it :)


message 6: by Kate (new)

Kate (liahonagirl) | 372 comments This one's waiting for me to pick it up at the library tomorrow (the library is closed today for the Easter Monday holiday), and I'm looking forward to reading it! :)


message 7: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2662 comments Mod
I just finished it and IMHO it is the best of hers I have read. So much depth to the characters and so believable and realistic.


message 8: by Laura (new)

Laura | 26 comments Oh good! I haven't even had a chance to read the first page but I am really glad to hear you say that it's even better than the other two books!


message 9: by Jane (new)

Jane | 114 comments Woohoo!! I took the first step and pulled it off my shelf. Here's hoping I actually read it sometime in April! #moodyreader

In addition to Loraine's recommendation above, Hannah gave it five stars, so it's obviously a winning choice!!


message 10: by Laura (new)

Laura | 26 comments I am enjoying is so far. I do keep wondering where her dog is though. Lol.


message 11: by Laura (new)

Laura | 26 comments Never mind, I literally read two more pages and there was Otis. Good. I was missing the little guy.


message 12: by Kate (new)

Kate (liahonagirl) | 372 comments I wondered that a few times too, Laura! Just when I thought the author had forgotten Otis was with Lane in Harbor Pointe, he bounded back into the picture! *giggle*
I loved this book! I had set a 'goal' of 5 chapters at a time, especially before bedtime so I wouldn't be up too late . . . I, um . . . finished the last 15 chapters before bed last night . . . whoops? :D


message 13: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2662 comments Mod
Funny how a book grabs you and the time flies away! I'm often guilty of that.


message 14: by Laura (new)

Laura | 26 comments I just began chapter 21. I can totally understand why you gobbled up the remainder of book!


message 15: by Laura (new)

Laura | 26 comments I finished read this, too. It is may favorite Courtney Walsh book, now! I felt like it was really well written. Great pacing, loved the setting, and adored the witty banter:-)


message 16: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2662 comments Mod
This is my favorite Courtney Walsh book as well Laura!


message 17: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2662 comments Mod
We are halfway through this month so we can begin discussion. If you are going to discuss with a spoiler, please use the spoiler alert that is under the (some html is ok) at the top right of the posting box.

1. Lane struggled with her weight growing up. How has that affected her adult life? Is there a challenge or situation from your past that still has some kind of hold on you? What steps can you take to work toward leaving that behind for good?

2. Lane is filled with an overwhelming desire to prove something. She spends her days striving to achieve more --especially at work, but also in other parts of her life. Are there areas of your life that can consume you in a similar way if you let them? What gets sacrificed as a result?

3. Lindsay's betrayal hurts Lane deeply. Do you think Lane is justified in feeling betrayed by her family? In what ways do holding on to these grudges change her life? What would you have done in Lane's situation? Could you forgive Lindsay?

4. Both Ryan and Lane have difficulty forgiving people close to them. Do you find forgiveness difficult to give when it comes to certain people? How do you keep from becoming bitter?

5. Lane often feels misunderstood, out of place, and left out--even as an adult, even by her own family. Why do you think that is? Can you relate? How are you different from the people around you, and what can you do to celebrate those differences rather than allowing them to make you feel like an outsider?

6. Ryan credits the Kelleys with showing him unconditional love and a positive example of a real family. In what ways did different members of the family model that for him? How can you do the same for people God has put in your life?

7. When Lane finally gets everything she wants at work, it doesn't bring the satisfaction she thought it would. Why do you think that is? Describe a time in your life when you hoped and prayed for something; but when it finally happened, it was all you imagined it to be. What did you learn from the experience?

8. At first, Lane's relationship with God is a lot like her other relationships--quick and hurried and not very deep. How does that change over the course of the story, and how does that change impact her life? How can you guard against this kind of surface faith in your own life?

9. When Ryan's fears about his father causing the motorcycle accident turn out to be true, he is faced with an impossible decision. Does he do the right thing? Have you ever had to choose between love and obligation? How did you make that choice?

10. The morning of Lane's big presentation, her stress and anxiety come to a head and she collapses. Man women struggle with fear and worry, but the Bible says perfect love casts out fear. What does that mean to you? What are some habits you could develop to infuse your life with Scripture every time you start to give in to fear or worry?

Please feel free to answer any of the questions or post a question of your own.


message 18: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new)

Staci | 1488 comments Mod
1. Lane struggled with her weight growing up. How has that affected her adult life?

Lane is HYPER sensitive to her weight to the point it seems she won't allow herself to enjoy anything not on her list of acceptable foods to eat.

3. Lindsay's betrayal hurts Lane deeply. Do you think Lane is justified in feeling betrayed by her family? In what ways do holding on to these grudges change her life? What would you have done in Lane's situation? Could you forgive Lindsay?

It's a tough spot for the family. I'm sure they felt horrible for Lane yet wanted to support Lindsay. I do think forgiveness helped some of the tension leave Lane. I am not sure if I could have forgiven Lindsay. That would take a whole lot of prayer and obedience to God.

5. Lane often feels misunderstood, out of place, and left out--even as an adult, even by her own family. Why do you think that is? Can you relate? How are you different from the people around you, and what can you do to celebrate those differences rather than allowing them to make you feel like an outsider?

Lane feels like an outsider because she is the only one (as far as I could tell) that left Harbor Point. She is very focused on her careers and doesn't spend time with her family. Lane wanted to be successful at something. I think not being "successful" in keeping Jasper contributed some to this.

6. Ryan credits the Kelleys with showing him unconditional love and a positive example of a real family. In what ways did different members of the family model that for him? How can you do the same for people God has put in your life?

Wow! The Kelleys showed Ryan and Hailey the love of Christ in amazing fashion. Such a sweet story of how Mr. Kelley reacted when he first met Ryan.

9. When Ryan's fears about his father causing the motorcycle accident turn out to be true, he is faced with an impossible decision. Does he do the right thing? Have you ever had to choose between love and obligation? How did you make that choice?

Ryan made the right decision. It would be tough to do, but I think the guilt would have tugged at him if he hadn't.

My favorite parts were the banter with Ryan and Lane. He came across as so confident yet a little vulnerable too. I also LOVED when Mr. Brooks gave Ryan his one month chip - so proud!!


message 19: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2662 comments Mod
1. Lane struggled with her weight growing up. How has that affected her adult life?

I agree that Lane was very sensitive about her weight, but her family drove me crazy. First if any of my children had dubbed a sibling with the nickname "Pudge" that the others adopted that would have been stopped immediately. Then when she returned at a good weight, they all instantly said she was too thin and wanted to stuff food in her. I wasn't surprised that she didn't want to stick around them. No respect for her and not much encouragement either.


message 20: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2662 comments Mod
If you wanted to read this book but don't have it, it is on sale for 99 cents today on Amazon.


message 21: by Christine (new)

Christine | 423 comments I decided to join in this group read and I am enjoying it so far!


message 22: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2662 comments Mod
So glad to have you Christine!


message 23: by Laura (new)

Laura | 26 comments I'm glad you're enjoying it, Christine! I thought it was a good read. Beware though, I found it hard to put down once I reached somewhere around chapter 20;-)


message 24: by Jaycee (new)

Jaycee Weaver (jayceeweaver) | 3 comments I just started reading this, and I'm glad to see it's up for discussion! It's been on my TBR pile for several months now and I was so happy to pick it up last week for 99cents!


message 25: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2662 comments Mod
Yahoo Jaycee! Glad you found it.


message 26: by Christine (new)

Christine | 423 comments Wow, what a great book! You're absolutely right Laura. Around chapter 20, it pulled me in and I couldn't stop reading it!


message 27: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2662 comments Mod
This was definitely a book that was hard to put down Christine!


message 28: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2662 comments Mod
I loved the first meeting between Ryan and Mr. Kelley. So many store owners would have just turned around and called the police. But Mr. Kelley showed the love of Christ and was a model for what a father should be like. Ryan's life could have gone such a different direction if Mr. Kelley hadn't responded as he did.


message 29: by Jaycee (new)

Jaycee Weaver (jayceeweaver) | 3 comments It took me a little bit to get rolling, but then I couldn't put it down, either. Lane drove me crazy with her stubborn refusal to see things from any other perspective, but I understood how she felt and why. We've all experienced rejection and some kind of stigma growing up. Overcoming or learning to live beyond it is a big part of what defines who we are. And Ryan? Goodness, what a great book hero. I loved his steadfast, earnest devotion to breaking down her walls gently. He knew when to pursue, when to back off, and when to just be a friend. So good!


message 30: by Karol (new)

Karol This is my first group read, and I guess I certainly started with a winner! I loved this story, and that's saying a lot because I typically think of "romance" novels as not my thing. But, there were a lot of layers to this one. The theme of past hurts and the impact of forgiveness (or lack of forgiveness) was what made the story compelling for me.

My thoughts on a couple of the discussion questions:

2. Lane is filled with an overwhelming desire to prove something. She spends her days striving to achieve more --especially at work, but also in other parts of her life. Are there areas of your life that can consume you in a similar way if you let them? What gets sacrificed as a result?

I was the youngest of three children, and although I'm smart enough (I suppose) my brother and sister were in a whole different league. I got good grades in school, but I never rose to their level of "genius" and accomplishment. So when I launched my own career and throughout my life I've been pretty hard-driven. It is very difficult to get away from feeling like I need to prove something. Half the time, I'm not even sure of what I'm trying to prove, or who I'm trying to prove it to! Thank God I am finally learning how to ease up on myself a little, but it doesn't come naturally. What gets sacrificed when I drive myself so hard is mostly the enjoyment of life! And that is a very high price to pay.

6. Ryan credits the Kelleys with showing him unconditional love and a positive example of a real family. In what ways did different members of the family model that for him? How can you do the same for people God has put in your life?

I wish I was more sensitive here. There have been times I've reached out to people, but oftentimes I'm afraid I let preconceived notions get in the way of seeing where help is needed. Lately, I've been reaching out to someone in a mentoring program that I volunteered for. I find that the more I get to know the person I'm mentoring, the more compassion and understanding I gain. I guess the key has been just making a commitment to get involved somewhere and keep going with it - wherever it leads and for however long.


message 31: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2662 comments Mod
Wonderful responses Karol! So glad you joined us on this read and hope you will continue to do so.


message 32: by Katrina (new)

Katrina Lybbert | 131 comments I tried hard to finish this book before the end of the month so I could join in the discussion. But April was busier than I thought it would be. However, I am now at Chapter 34 and should finish in the next day or so. I am really enjoying the story. Ryan and Lane are perfect for each other.


message 33: by Karol (new)

Karol Loraine wrote: "Wonderful responses Karol! So glad you joined us on this read and hope you will continue to do so."

Thank you, Loraine.


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