Christianbook.com Ratings and Reviews

Customer Reviews for Bethany House Chasing Hope

Bethany House Chasing Hope

A talented runner fully committed to Olympic dreams, Sabrina Rice's future was shattered by a devastating diagnosis. One forfeited scholarship and several years later, she has new goals and dreams that have nothing to do with running-something that's become far too painful to think on. Until the day she sees Brandy Philip running across the community college campus, easily outpacing security. Sabrina immediately recognizes world-class speed, and it's all the more painful that it belongs to a teenage graffiti artist.

When a chance encounter brings the two young women together, Sabrina becomes Brandy's best hope for staying out of juvenile hall. Soon, Sabrina begins to feel an uncomfortable nudge that her new life is just about to be toppled . . . that God may be calling her to minister to this talented but troubled girl.

Average Customer Rating:
4.867 out of 5
4.9
 out of 
5
(15 Reviews) 15
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (15 reviews)
5 stars
13
4 stars
2
3 stars
0
2 stars
0
1 star
0
15 out of 15100%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Chasing Hope
Review 1 for Chasing Hope
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Engaging and Encouraging

Date:January 12, 2014
Customer Avatar
knitwritelove
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This was the first novel I’ve read by Kathryn Cushman, and as usual when trying a new-to-me author for the first time, I was skeptical. The subject sounded interesting, but I wondered if the story would be. It was. I enjoyed it very much, and I’ll tell you why.
The voice Kathryn used drew me in with its lively feel. Sabrina was interesting, her past cleverly kept secret from the reader as well as the characters trying to uncover just what haunted her. Brandy ended up being one of my favorite characters, though I must admit I wanted to smack her many times. I so enjoyed the grandmothers, and of course Koen was dreamy! All of them felt real to me, as though I could look out my window at 5AM and find Brandy running by while Sabrina looked on. And speaking of running, as a backdrop it was interesting, and as a theme it really was deep, the message encouraging. I felt like cheering when I read the last race, and I loved the epilogue!
I enjoyed the flow of the story, and the characters were real, each with his or her own unique dialogue style and personality. The writing/editing was very good overall. One thing really nagged at my inner editor, and I am pleased to say that it was the only thing that did: the use of “further” instead of “farther” when referring to physical distance. It’s a common enough mistake, but I must admit that it did irk me very much with its recurrence throughout the book. Like I said, though, it was the only thing I picked up on.
All of that to say that I will definitely be reading more by Kathryn Cushman, and I will be recommending this novel to my family and friends!
———
+My copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 2 for Chasing Hope
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

An unlikely friendship that God develops.

Date:December 31, 2013
Customer Avatar
Foster3
Location:Ontario, Canada
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This book is truly incredible in its ability to captivate you and keep your attention from the very first page to the last! The theme, itself, the power of struggle, the struggle of pain, and how God deals with each situation in His unique way, is dealt with in such a unique way. I simply could not walk away from this story. When I had to deal with reality and my everyday tasks, the characters and problems were still alive in my mind. They just would not be quiet!! I could hear them talking as I went about my daily jobs , until I got to sit down and quietly emerge myself once again in this tale that leads to the most unexpected events and places.
A talented runner who is determined to make the Olympics, Sabrina Rice, has her world and dreams shattered by a devastating diagnosis. She forfeits her scholarship, out of necessity, and years later, she is emerged in her new life and ideas for her future- NOTHING to do with running. Sabrina has tried very hard to deal with the past and move on, however a new neighbour shatters her change of life.
Until Sabrina meets Brandy and sees her running across the campus, outpacing security, she has managed to avoid all thoughts of training and running. However, she recognizes a true ability and talent in this young lady. It is so painful to realize that this troubled teen has a chance to do everything that she had once dreamed of. Events occur to bring these two ladies together in a very different way. Following God's plan is often an extremely difficult task. Does Sabrina have the faith and will power to do it??? Can this troubled young girl find acceptance and see that she has a future??
There are actually two subplots in this story that are carefully intertwined to become one. Kathryn has the ability to keep you reading far into the night, wondering what would happen next. It is a compelling tale that could apply to all of us, in our walk with the Lord. Do we always listen? Are we cooperative or do we fight His will? This author has certainly made me think while reading this well developed novel.
The characters are down to earth, realistic, with everyday problems. Each has a unique personality with dreams and hopes that have been dashed, and they now have to make a choice. We deal with the same choice in our lives. I fell in love with the two main characters as they clashed on opinions and feelings and had to dig their way out of very big holes!! I could picture them in every scene. "Chasing Hope" is a testimony of the power of God's plans for us .
This is definitely a book not to be missed.
Five stars!!!
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 3 for Chasing Hope
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great read

Date:December 14, 2013
Customer Avatar
KavR
Location:Canada
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This book really made a powerful impact on me. I'm grappling to put what I feel into words. Cushman has woven the tattered threads of two young women's stories into a beautiful tapestry of hope. She brings their life experiences full circle and the epilogue gave me goosebumps.
Chasing Hope is an artfully crafted testimony of the power in God's plans for us. It's gritty and real with both heroines a complex mix of strengths and weaknesses. I was really struck by Sabrina's battle to find God's purpose in her life. Like so many of us, she has difficulty understanding God's timing and that leaves her nearly missing out on a divine path. That struggle really struck home with me. There's lots of fodder for a book club discussion within the pages of this book. Chasing Hope is a stunning witness to God's far reaching power. Definitely a book not to be missed.
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 4 for Chasing Hope
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

a fantastic novel

Date:December 10, 2013
Customer Avatar
Marianne
Location:Wanham, Alberta
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Broken dreams. Heart ache. Does God see me and care about the things that bring me devastation? What does it mean when it says “All things work together for good”? I would venture to guess that all of us have at some time had our fondest dreams broken. And as such, we will be able to identify with Sabrina as she tries to overcome that desolate feeling, and maybe even with her as she questions whether God is there. As I read this in its entirety, I was able to look back at my own dark times and see that yes, God was there and is there. The things that have happened to me, are part of me, and have made me what I am. And if I look closely, I will even see that without those things, without the experiences I would be a lesser person, less able to help someone else in their need.
Kathryn is a great author, bringing us multi-level characters that are human, not perfect, and sometimes not even altogether likeable until we get to know them. I am far from being athletic, but reading about it made me feel as if I too can run a marathon.
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group". 
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 5 for Chasing Hope
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

inspiring

Date:November 24, 2013
Customer Avatar
inspiremichelle
Location:Loureauville, LA
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Chasing Hope by Kathryn Cushman
Sabrina Rice had it all; she was an Olympic hopeful with a promising career ahead of her. She thought she had found her calling from God until everything fell apart with the diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Still struggling ten years later she meets Brandy Philip. Sabrina and Brandy are as different as night and day. Brandy has the talent and potential to become an Olympic medalist but has a huge chip on her shoulder. Read this inspiring story to see if Sabrina can reach this troubled teen. See how they face the pain of past hurts that are life changing and drift into a future with endless possibilities.
The author Kathryn Cushman did an outstanding job of brining the characters to life. They struggle with real life issues, fight with dignity and prove that courage and hard work do pay off. I found this book to be inspiring and offers hope for the hopeless. I suffer from RA also and found the information and emotions to be truthful and right on. Her characters are faith filled and their struggles are real.
I give this book and author five stars. This was the first of her books I have read but it will not be the last.
I want to give a high-five to the author Kathryn Cushman and publisher for bringing compelling Christian books that are entertaining and give hope to the reader with stories of faith. I won this book in a contest held at The Book Club Network Inc. and I am so grateful for their generosity.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 6 for Chasing Hope
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great book!

Date:November 12, 2013
Customer Avatar
Mossy
Location:Louisville, KY
Age:Under 18
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
When I first saw this book, I did not even read the summary. It did not really look like my kind of book. A while later, I read the summary and decided to request it from the library. It was great! I liked the main characters and the plot. Chasing Hope really was filled with hope. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian fiction.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 7 for Chasing Hope
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

I loved this book!

Date:November 11, 2013
Customer Avatar
Terri
Location:Hopkinton, MA
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I read this book in two days ... I couldn't put it down. I bought it for a friend as a gift and passed my copy on to my daughter who loves to run.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 8 for Chasing Hope
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

An incredible novel!

Date:November 4, 2013
Customer Avatar
Christianfictionaddiction
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
"Chasing Hope" is an incredible novel, one that captured me from the first page such that I found it simply impossible to put down! Sabrina Rice is a unique character who stole my heart with her determination to succeed through the challenges in her life. Her struggles to hold onto her faith in the midst of pain and trials are ones that any reader will be able to relate to. I greatly enjoyed watching the relationship develop between Sabrina and the teenage Brandy, which not only makes for some humorous moments, but provided some powerful scenes as each young women worked through the pain of their past and discovered the possibility of a new future. "Chasing Hope" celebrates the power of faith to overcome all odds, and the gift of family in our lives. I love the characters of the godly grandmothers who have such wonderful wisdom and who push their grandchildren to go beyond what they believe is possible! As with Cushman's prior novels, the writing is top-notch, with drama filled scenes, emotional depth, and characters who will soon come to feel like friends. Fans of Cushman's novels will be utterly pleased with this latest offering, and I myself am looking forward to future novels from Cushman's skilled pen.
Readers who enjoy heart-stirring contemporary fiction should plan on adding this book to their "must read" list. I highly recommend this book and award it 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 9 for Chasing Hope
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Inspiring drama about overcoming with God

Date:October 10, 2013
Customer Avatar
An Old Fashioned Girl
Location:Minnesota
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Kathryn Cushman writes a heart-lifting novel about two young women of wildly different circumstances and how they help each other return to hope. On the one hand is Sabrina, the senior college student who is trying to make the best of her life after her dreams of becoming an Olympic runner and missionary are crushed by health issues; on the other is Brandy, the teen who is throwing her life away for lack of any dreams after a childhood of neglect. Both were born with the same talent of running. In order to keep Brandy out of juvie, Sabrina gets talked into coaching the girl, adding one more stress on top of her schoolwork, job, health problems, and internship applications. Will Brandy learn to stay out of trouble long enough to find her place? Will Sabrina be able to work through the pain to find God's true calling in her life? And will they both learn to grasp onto hope again?
I wasn't sure what to expect from the book, considering my preference is for historical fiction, followed by mystery/suspense; contemporary dramas are typically not my favorites. However, Cushman surprised me with a deep, uplifting novel. The drama is realistic, not verging on a soap opera. The main focus of the novel is on the relationship between Sabrina and Brandy, and how it helps them overcome their troubles. The novel is not without a little romance, and it also discusses family love, both the gentle, unconditional kind and that which leads to a tense parent-child relationship.
Chasing Hope is a novel full of family values, hope, and triumph in God, even in the midst of tragedy and unforeseen circumstances. While I would say it was written for adults, I think teens would appreciate it too. Honestly, besides being just a plain good read, one could just about use it for a bible study, there is so much good stuff in there - from reaching out to regaining hope to choosing to do the right thing to overcoming with God. I highly recommend this book. 5 out of 5 stars!
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 10 for Chasing Hope
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Outstanding contemporary fiction

Date:October 1, 2013
Customer Avatar
Carole Jarvis
Location:Jonesboro, Georgia
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Chasing Hope by Kathryn Cushman is a stand-alone novel that explores the world of competitive running, chronic disease, and times when dreams die and life feels terribly unfair. Kathryn always writes great contemporary fiction that often deals with emotional issues, but I believe this is one of her best. Highly recommended!
Track enthusiasts will especially enjoy this novel, but so will those not athletically inclined, like me - for this is more of a relationship drama between two strong women who are extremely unlikely to ever form a bond. Chasing Hope is about shattered dreams and second chances. Anyone who has grown up in a less-than-perfect home environment will relate to Brandy, and anyone who has thought they were using their talent and ability as God desired, only to have that door firmly shut in their face, will relate to Sabrina.
Kathryn uses two themes that really drew me in, the first of which was Olympian Eric Liddell in Chariots of Fire. At the age of twelve, Sabrina watched Eric "drink in God's pleasure as he ran" and felt the same calling on her life. But ten years later, doubts cloud her relationship with God as she struggles to understand why He would take away the means to accomplish that call.
The second theme relates to a devotional Sabrina had written at the age of 17, when all was going well along her career track - a devotional about how the Israelites had been called to a life of freedom, only to whine and look back longingly toward Egypt when life in the desert became difficult. It takes her grandmother's words to help Sabrina see the personal application to her desert journey: "You thought you were going to serve God by Olympic glory. Well, maybe the truth is you are going to serve God because of your running, but through a much more difficult scenario than you'd expected - one involving pain and suffering and loss. Perhaps you didn't misunderstand God's call, perhaps you took some of the details in the middle for granted."
It is a joy to watch both Brandy and Sabrina grow physically, emotionally and spiritually through the pages of Chasing Hope. The ending is realistic and powerful at the same time, and actually had me in tears. Sabrina came to the realization that for Eric Liddell, Olympic dreams were secondary to his desire to follow God in the best way he knew how. And for Brandy, it was the discovery that "maybe sometimes you have to lose almost everything to realize that there is something valuable that you've had in your possession all along."
As I said earlier, please don't pass this book by because you're not into athletics. Chasing Hope is a character-driven drama that offers so much insight into the Christian life. And of course, sports fans will easily relate to its theme and message. It was an honor to review this novel and I highly recommend it to all readers.
A digital copy of Chasing Hope was provided by Amanda Dykes, Amy Green and Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 11 for Chasing Hope
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

I loved this story!

Date:September 27, 2013
Customer Avatar
Cara Putman
Location:Indiana
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
It's been awhile since I've read a Kathryn Cushman novel. Her earlier novels tended toward women's fiction, and while I loved her writing, those stories don't grab me as much as others. Chasing Hope grabbed me from the first scene and didn't let go. Sabrina Rice had Olympic size running dreams, then life interrupted and crushed those hopes. Now she's a college senior looking for a job, and wondering if she can hear God since what she'd imagined for her future has been destroyed. Brandy Philip is a teen on her way to juvie unless she gets some help. When their paths cross, I wondered how two such wounded people could help each other. Sabrina has been wounded by her doubts about God, and Brandy doesn't believe anybody could care about her. What happens is a story woven between their perspectives, each seeing something -- even when it's very reluctantly -- in the other that they can't see in themselves. The ending was perfect -- happy sigh worthy. I loved this story and can't wait to read the next by this author.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 12 for Chasing Hope
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

a captivating novel

Date:September 26, 2013
Customer Avatar
bookwomanjoan
Location:Oak Harbor, WA
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This is an amazing novel. Every once and a while, when I finish a book, I sigh, and wish all novels were this good.
Sabrina's hero was Eric Liddell – ever since she saw the movie as a kid. She would be a gold winning runner and share Christ. But then her dreams came crashing down when she experienced a debilitating disease and could no longer run. Her athletic scholarship went away her freshman year at university. But she could change her dream. She was convinced she could.
One day while studying, she saw a teen gal running across campus, faster than anyone she'd seen for a while. Chugging behind her was the campus police.
Sabrina met the female gazelle a few days later when their grandmothers had arranged a dinner together. Brandy was her name and she needed help. She had gotten herself into trouble one too many times and was heading for juvie – unless, unless Sabrina would help her train and get on the high school's track team.
This is a great novel. Five stars twice over. The characters are portrayed well. I hurt with Sabrina as she tried so hard to help Brandy do what Sabrina could no longer do herself. And I was right along with Brandy, struggling to overcome her past.
The story is so good. There is the dream and then the tragedy of unfulfilled dreams. There is the opportunity to help another. There is a great guy who is willing to see through Sabrina's protective shell to find the real girl. There are the loving grandmas who know just how to say the right things to urge their granddaughters to be their best. And there is trusting God throughout.
I always like to learn something when I read a novel. And I did in this one. Sabrina has a couple of medical conditions and it was very interesting to read about them and the treatments too.
I loved this novel. It is excellent.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 13 for Chasing Hope
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

An Apt Title

Date:September 23, 2013
Customer Avatar
Casey
Location:Oregon
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Women’s fiction with a pinch of romance is my favorite genre to read. But I admit I’m a snob about it. *wink* It has to be well-written with a great balance between the romance and the deeper, women’s fiction issues. Not every book can pull this off, but I’d like to think that “Chasing Hope” did a pretty good job.
Starting off, I would have almost put this novel in the “New Adult” category of fiction that is slowly but surely making an appearance on the book market, however, reading deeper into the book I wouldn’t go so far as to try and stuff it into one particular mold. Brandy is a difficult character to like from the start, but there is potential there. A promise of something much better to come, the reader just has to be willing to wait for it.
Sabrina on the other hand, fascinated me. I wanted to see the good come blooming from her, the drive and fire return to her eyes. I honestly wasn’t sure about her romance angle. Did she want to fall in love just for the sake of love? But I loved watching her mature and change across the page...and find her perfect ending.
It’s one of those stories that is purely inspiring even though it’s only a novel. I might have to read it again someday.
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers for my copy to review.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 14 for Chasing Hope
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Review from a Man's Perspective

Date:September 21, 2013
Customer Avatar
Rick
Location:Middleburg, FL
Age:35-44
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
What do you get when you cross an Olympic-oriented runner with a teenager who spends her time running from the law? You get a terrific story of Sabrina and Brandy. Sabrina spent her high school days making a name for herself as being a first-class runner and someone who is destined for the Olympics. Unfortunately, health issues cause he to give up her dreams. Enter Brandy who doesn't have a good history of making right decisions, except for how to run from the police. As a favor to the grandmothers, Sabrina agrees to coach Brandy and try to turn this wayward youth onto a life that is filled with potential. Will Brandy let Sabrina into her life enough to inspire her in the right direction? Pick up your own copy and go BUY THE BOOK!
This book shows us that even when we feel we know His plans, there's nothing ever written in stone. The author does a great job of weaving the desires of the characters along the story line, giving you insight into their thoughts. I always enjoy reading books that take the characters on different journeys, once that lead them far away from where they expect to travel. I enjoy this because it gives me, the reader, the chance to see how amazing a life can be when we let Him be in charge. The author does a great job of showing that our lives can be so much more fulfilling when we surrender to Him and let Him guide us instead of trying to do everything on our own accord.
Is this a guy's book? This book is so much more than how it first appears. While it is not overtly a "guy's book" because there's not much in the way of adventure, explosions, gun fights or car chases, it is definitely a book that everybody needs to read. This is the type of book that you should pass along to everyone that you know, because everyone can get something from this book.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 15 for Chasing Hope
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Chasing Dreams

Date:September 8, 2013
Customer Avatar
Gringa93
Location:Minneapolis, MN
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Brandy Philip is a natural born runner, but she is chasing trouble. The only running she does well is out running the police that are chasing her.
Sabrina Rice is a driven college student chasing her dream to land the perfect internship at a prestigious company in Atlanta.
God brings these two young women together to learn from each other. The story reveals how Sabrina was a well known runner in high school, but due to health issues had to give up her running dreams. Sabrina agrees to coach Brandy and turn her into a long distance runner. Along the way, Sabrina learns that some of the dreams God gives us may not be fulfilled in ways we understand or expect.
This book spoke to me in a very special way. I am just like Sabrina, finding how God continues to mold and shape my dreams in ways that I do not understand or expect. This book made me take a look at my relationship with God to see that I am still harboring some anger with God for not doing things according to "my plan". Cushman has a great message that comes to the reader in a gentle voice.
My thanks to Bethany House publishers and Netgalley for providing me with the complimentary e-book copy to review.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.