Thursday, June 29, 2017

Just Look Up by Courtney Walsh

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I think this is the first book I have ever ready by Courtney and I hope it isn't the last. I really enjoyed this book. Yes, it had the predictable romance in it, but there was something else in here, something that I think a lot of use could relate to if we are willing.

Look at the title for instance. On first glance, if you think about why that title, you would assume, because the book is Christian fiction, that it would mean looking up to Jesus. Well, in all actuality, the main characters in this book don't seem to have a real close, walking relationship with Jesus. There isn't a lot of prayer mentioned, which could be the biggest downfall of the book to me. But still the main character, Lane, by the end has uttered at least one desperate prayer and I have to believe God is working in her life in some way. Again, I think we can all relate, at least I can, to the desperate prayers being shot heavenward as one sentence snippets. But when I read the author's note at the end of the book, I don't think that was the purpose of the title at all. She talked about being in New York and watching people and realizing they were all glued to their phones looking down. And she just wanted to tell them to look up, to look around, to take in the sights.

And that is how Lane was too, for most of the book. Her phone was her lifeline, her job, her security, her identity. She was wrapped up in it and wasn't looking up and around. How many of us can relate?

Lane has some real identity issues. Work was her security, hence the solid connection to her phone. She had grown up feeling like a misfit, feeling like very few people really cared for her, including her parents. She was overweight and people called her Pudge. She was serious, not the fun loving thrill-seeking girl. Her brother would come home early on Friday nights just to hang out with her because he knew she would be home alone. So she left her small town and didn't look back until an accident brought her home and face to face with all these people. I'm not going to tell you how it ends, you can probably already figure it out.

But the bigger issue is where do we put our identity? Do we shut people out because we have been hurt and betrayed and are unwilling to take a risk on people again? Do we put too much emphasis on our productive identity and not on our social relationships? Is it time to untether from our phones and look up and around and see the blessings all around us?

I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading more by Courtney Walsh. I received this book from Tyndale and was not required to write a positive review.

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