Books reviewed prior on this site prior to March 2019 were provided to me, at no charge, by the publisher, or by the author, in exchange for an honest review. I have received no further compensation for these reviews. Reviews beginning March 2019 come from a variety of sources: advanced copies, library loans, and my own purchases. All reviews are my honest opinions.

October 26, 2018

No One Ever Asked {Katie Ganshert}

no one ever asked katie ganshert
When an impoverished school district loses its accreditation and the affluent community of Crystal Ridge has no choice but to open their school doors, the lives of three very different women converge: 

Camille Gray--the wife of an executive, mother of three, long-standing PTA chairwoman and champion fundraiser--faced with a shocking discovery that threatens to tear her picture-perfect world apart at the seams. Jen Covington, the career nurse whose long, painful journey to motherhood finally resulted in adoption but she is struggling with a happily-ever-after so much harder than she anticipated. Twenty-two-year-old Anaya Jones--the first woman in her family to graduate college and a brand new teacher at Crystal Ridge's top elementary school, unprepared for the powder-keg situation she's stepped into. 

Tensions rise within and without, culminating in an unforeseen event that impacts them all. This story explores the implicit biases impacting American society, and asks the ultimate question: What does it mean to be human? Why are we so quick to put labels on each other and categorize people as "this" or "that", when such complexity exists in each person?

My Thoughts:
I have heard so many amazing things about this book, but even I was not prepared for just how good it is. This one grabbed both my heart and my mind and make me start thinking about my life in a way I never have before - or maybe never wanted to before.

This story merges the lives of three women living very different lives until the decision of a school board throws them all together. Unfortunately, my life probably most closely resembles that of Camille Gray, and the further I got into this book, the more I wanted to change this.

Camille and her family live in their own happily ever after, oblivious to the lives of those around them - especially the black people. Although they believe they are non-judgemental and open to everyone, they quickly learn that is not the case. On more than one occasion Camille found herself terrified about the way her family began to integrate with the new kids in school.

Jen and her husband have grown up in a mostly white world, and feel they have made strides in expanding their culture when they adopt a black child into their family. Jen quickly realizes she knows nothing about the culture or the world she must now raise her daughter in, but I appreciated how she went out of her way to learn what she needed to do to make sure her daughter has the best life possible.

And Anaya, a black teacher suddenly thrown into the midst of a white school district, doing her best to prove herself and care for her family. I loved this character and her willingness to put herself out there to better the lives of those around her - no matter their skin color or background. I thought she grew more than anyone throughout this book and I loved seeing her life evolve based on the choices she made.

I thought this was an amazing book with a great story and the ability to make you examine your life in a different way. I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone. Pick up a copy today and make sure your library has it on their shelves as well.

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Find this Book: Goodreads | Christianbook | Amazon

October 23, 2018

I'm Back {And So Excited}

I'm back!! It has been almost a year since I took a hiatus from this book blog, and I can honestly say it was great for me. I had gotten myself so bogged down into book reviews that I could not enjoy any of the books anymore.

In this past year, I have browsed the library, transitioned to all ebook reading, and found my way back. I've read all the genres and realized my love is for Christian fiction, and Christian fiction is what I want to read.

I'm back with a new name - Karen Reads. I'm also on Instagram at karenreads and on Facebook under the same name.

What will be different? Other than the name, you will see fewer reviews. I cannot allow myself to get overscheduled like I was. My goal this time around is four to six books per month. That allows me sufficient time to spend time with my family, binge some Netflix, and read non-review books as well.

I am excited to be back, and I hope the Christian fiction book community welcomes me back with open arms.