Monday, July 24, 2017

Loved It! My Review of 'Just Look Up' - by Courtney Walsh

I absolutely loved this book!  The two main characters, Lane Kelley and Ryan Brooks, were wonderful.  They felt real and relatable.  She was bullied growing up as she was overweight and shy and then betrayed by her family.  She left Harbor Pointe for the big city, determined to make it at an interior design firm and prove she doesn't need anyone and that she has worth.  Just when a big promotion is within her grasp, she gets a call that one of her brothers has been in a horrific accident and she needs to come home.  He's her favorite brother, the one who was always there for her, so she goes home and has to endure the comments and misunderstandings about her choices.  In a way she comes home as a new woman, with a great figure and wonderful job, and yet she feels like she slips right back into the awkward person she was as a teenager.  She can't wait to leave because of that and because she needs to stay focused on her work but the one bright spot is an old family friend, Ryan.

Ryan grew up trying to escape his abusive home life with an alcoholic father by spending all of his free time with the Kelley family.  He has a hopeful, laid-back attitude and a more light-hearted look at life.  He's always liked Lane, but she's very different than he remembers.  She's turned into a workaholic and he's determined to show her how wonderful it can be to relax.  He also needs help with a renovation project that will hopefully boost tourism and hopes she can find the time to help him out.  He's keeping a secret that he worries will cause the end of his relationship with the Kelley family and especially Lane.

The writing is terrific and the plot wonderful.  The witty banter is great!  I loved the setting, the characters and especially the love story.  All of the characters, even the supporting ones, are interesting.  The romance is sweet.  What's not to love about a guy who fell for the girl when she was overweight and awkward? There's talk about faith and God as Ryan is a practicing Christian and Lane keeps herself distant from God.  I wished they would have had a clear conversation about where Lane stood as their relationship developed.  I could understand how she wanted to protect herself from heartbreak by keeping people and God at arm's length.  Ryan struggled with doing the right thing, especially where his father was concerned.  I was a little frustrated with him for a while.  It was also interesting seeing the woman as a workaholic instead of the man.  I liked how it was shown that you can't get your worth from your work or from things you do, but because God says you have worth.  I also liked the title's double meaning of look up from your cell phone (as Lane definitely needed to do) and also look up to God.  I really hope this turns into a series as I'd love to revisit some of the characters and especially Harbor Pointe.  I highly recommend this book!

I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers.

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