Saturday, July 19, 2014

Review | Shades of Blue by Karen Kingsbury

Title: Shades of Blue
Author: Karen Kingsbury
Length: 337 Pages
Released: October 2009


Brad Cutler, twenty-eight, is a rising star at his New York ad agency, about to marry the girl of his dreams. Anyone would agree he has it all … a great career, a beautiful and loving fiancée, and a fairy tale life ahead of him—when memories of a high school girlfriend begin to torment him. Lost innocence and one very difficult choice flood his conscience, and he is no longer sure what the future will bring except for this: He must find his old love and make amends. Haunted by the past and confused about the future, he turns to God seeking forgiveness and redemption.

This is my first Karen Kingsbury book, and it might well be my last. I'm usually not a negative person, though you might not know it to read some of my reviews. This book was downright unbelievable in many regards. I am a Christian, and I do believe in the basic premise she was promoting in the book. Several things irked me (spoilers ahead)...

1. The characters are flat - Brad is Mr. Wonderful, handsome, charming, successful; Laura is Ms. Reese Witherspoon lookalike, Christian Bible study princess; Emma is Ms. gorgeous, alluring, untouchable, teacher lady; Gavin is low-key Mr. super-Christian who will go out of his way to befriend the lonely teacher lady; Mom and Pop James are rich doting parents who totally support the young princess and spared no expense on her wedding

2. The story's not realistic - Brad and Emma grow up together, date in high school, become sexually active soon after he graduates high school, she ends up pregnant; things get weird b/t them; he takes her an abortion clinic and even pays for the procedure. Her mom dies soon after; he shows up for funeral then leaves her life for 9 years. Why does he return? Because he's about to get married and now he's feeling guilty and needs to apologize in person; Brad returns; Emma who pretty much gave up on God is swept up again by Brad but this time she finds her way back to God and peace. Did I mention, her miraculous heart-healing took place in the space of 3 days? Let me run that by you again - 9 years of running from her pain; 3 days - boom, heart on the way to healing. I'm not saying a miracle couldn't happen, but I highly doubt having the guy who abandoned her so soon after 2 traumatic life experiences would send her sailing down the river of peace. And another thing, Laura's supposed to be Ms. SuperChristian and all we get to see her do is pine over Brad, attend Bible study, and go to a play. Maybe I'm just used to books where the heroine actually does something. For that matter, all we see Brad do is pine after Laura, hold Emma, apologize, and cry. Oy, where's Dee Henderson when you need her?

3. Did we ever find out the name of Randy James's company?

4. Preaching to the choir - I almost feel sorry for anyone who is not a Christian who happens to pick up the book and think that Christians might actually be like this. We're not! Promise. This is equivalent to using a fire hose to blow out a birthday candle.

5. I'm having doubts the author has ever stepped foot in an elementary school. Each time we see these darling children, they're quietly doing their work that "teacher" asked them to. Not saying kids can't be good, but every time?

Get it from a library if you must read it. Some will actually like it, obviously, judging by the reviews. But you might just regret dropping money on it.

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