Attempting to revive her career, Ivy heads to Greenbrier, South Carolina, to model wedding dresses. Her future rests with mysterious photographer Davis Knight, who gave up his New York studio to work maintenance at a local church. His decision calls into question everything Ivy has ever wanted. Could there be another meaning to the word "beauty"? 320 pages, softcover from Waterbrook.
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After reading Katie Ganshert’s first two novels, I’ve come to expect brilliance in the form of broken characters struggling to discover a way to live life again. What took me by surprise in A Broken Kind of Beautiful was the new depth Katie found. Her characters weren’t only broken; they’d been completely shattered like a dropped snow globe. Ivy Clark in particular was lost and desperate for everything that was wrong for her. The journey she had to take to climb out of the dark, cold cave was beautifully written and so true to life. Figuring out that you’re broken and alone is sometimes the hardest, most frightening process, and Katie captured that with such raw vulnerability that I often found myself either breathless or in tears. Not many books have moved me so powerfully lately, but that might be because I could identify so much with the tagline of the book: “Sometimes everything you ever learned about yourself is wrong.” My own situation isn’t nearly as bad as all that, but I did discover something along the way that changed my perspective on my life.
Even though figuring out how broken and alone you are is so difficult, once you discover the God who can mend you and breathe new life into you… there’s no other feeling in the world like it, and there aren’t enough words for me to describe the freeing joy that comes with it. There’s not a safer, more comforting place to be than in God’s arms. He’s big enough and loving enough to take every shattered person and heal them until they’re better than they were before. He loves us so much. If you haven’t yet discovered His love, I hope you’ll dive into His Word and find Him. He’s calling you now. Won’t you answer Him?
“It took darkness to show me truth.” Sara’s words from chapter twenty-two couldn’t be more true. As sinners, we live in darkness. It isn’t until we realize how big we’ve messed up that we can appreciate and find the truth of God’s love and sacrifice. It’s books like A Broken Kind of Beautiful that remind me just how huge Jesus’s dying on the cross was. He freely forgives our worst mistakes when we ask Him. He mops up and erases our biggest messes. His forgiveness and grace overwhelm me because I know I don’t deserve them; no one does. That’s why they’re free gifts. There’s nothing we can do to earn them. But if we ask for them with honest, humbled hearts, God gives them to us, adopting us into His family and assuring us eternal life on the other side of this mortal one we’re living now. It is my prayer that you will discover the beauty in His gift. It’s quite amazing to behold.
About the book: A Broken Kind of Beautiful tells the story of Ivy Clark, an out-of-work fashion model who must go back home to a small town that holds her haunting past, and Davis Knight, a man who set aside his dream of being a fashion photographer to live a quiet life in that same small town. When they join forces to create multiple advertisements for a relative’s wedding dress boutique, will they help each other heal from their broken pasts? Or will they continue to live with the shards of mistakes and regrets poking them at every decision? Will God’s truth reveal that each of them is a broken kind of beautiful?
Thank you to Blogging for Books, who provided this book to me for free in exchange for my honest review.
The description talks about a model. I was thinking it would be about modeling and wasn’t really sure about it. Once you get in the story, it really hits at your heart. The words, “Redeemed” and “forgiven” really hit home. How often do we really forgive ourselves after God forgives us? How many times to we doubt our selfworth? Does that hurt God when we feel that way, when he says we are redeemed and precious? When God makes us a promise, do we hold onto the promise, even if it feels like it takes forever to get there… these are all things that this book addresses in a good story form. I enjoyed this story from all the characters standpoints. This is a book that you walk away from remembering the life lessons that it teaches. I’m thankful for WaterbrookPress. The back of the book has a Readers Guide of 11 questions if you wanted to hold it in your book club. I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this HONEST review.
Ok, I’ll admit it. I’m that person that …occasionally…..runs a little late. When arriving at parties it’s socially acceptable to be “fashionable late”, which I often am. However sometimes you might miss the best part of the party if you are too late. I have to say that I’m “late” in joining the party on those who have read and enjoyed A Broken Kind of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert, and after reading this book, I feel like wow- I wish I would have read this one earlier it’s filled with great characters, an interesting storyline and so much- “wow, that’s so true” dialogue. So now that I am fashionably late to discovering this book, it does not diminish it’s enjoyment or impact for me, this was a good one.
The characters are as the book title suggest Broken and Beautiful- Ivy, an aging out supermodel - mind you she’s about to hit the old age of 25- is a heroine unlike most you find in this genre, but there is something about her that you just really care about what happens to her. Her back story is a bit heartbreaking as the novel opens and she is at her estranged father’s funeral. She is a young woman who just never quite felt loved and so with her beautiful outside she would seek it out in all the wrong places leading to relationships that meant nothing. Her walls were way up and no one ever really knew the real Ivy. In a last fitch effort to try and revive her career, her agent and uncle, get’s her a shoot with her Stepmother Marilyn who happens to own a lovely little Bridal shop in Greenbrier South Carolina called Something New, which is a far cry from her usual stomping grounds in New York City. She is desperate though and out of work ,so off she goes to this job with her walls of armor up high and strong against anyone trying to get in. Next, we meet Davis Knight a former up and coming fashion photographer who had all the makings of skyrocketing to the top of the fashion industry, but left his big job in New York because of an accident to his sister that has filled him with guilt and a feeling that he should never pick up a camera again. However ,he does serve as the fashion photographer for Ivy’s shoot as the proceeds are going to go to directly help his sister with an art program for her at a local college. He rediscovers his love for photography and his amazing talent shows through his work producing the best pictures Ivy has ever taken. In all of this a relationship starts to brew between the two, although not in the normal way that Ivy is used to having with a man.
There are so many aspects to this novel that I absolutely loved- the power of forgiveness being one and the idea that God’s forgiveness covers it all and all guilt can be laid down right at the foot of the cross. The pacing to this novel was flawless as we see the character of Ivy develop and grow- her journey from the beginning of the book to the end was one that pulled the reader in and by the end the tears were a flowing. I also loved the fact that the “hero” of the book had his issues to sort through as well. In a manner of speaking, “Miss Abandoned “meets “Mr Guilt-ridden” and because of who God is in their lives, they can find the love and the forgiveness they need through God to heal. And for those of you that are “fashionably late” like me to discovering this book- I truly hope that you will enjoy this as much as I did. This one goes on the favorites shelf and I look forward to reading more great books like this one from Katie Ganshert.
I was graciously given a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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Review 4 for A Broken Kind of Beautiful
What Beauty Really means
Date:June 10, 2014
This book initially piqued my interest with its setting in a small town in South Carolina, photography and wedding dresses. In all honesty I was expecting your stereotypical "girl hardened by life, boy breaks down all her defenses and sweeps her away" Christian love story. I was pleasantly surprised when Ganshert touched on topics such as forgiving yourself, inward beauty, body image, and the impact media has on young women. Although to be honest, I felt like she just skimmed the surface and I would have loved to see her go much deeper with this!
While reading, Marilyn's character brought to mind this verse in Psalm 113 "He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children." I thought Marilyn was a great representation of this verse and how you don't have to be related by blood to be a mother. The way she loved Ivy as her own daughter, and not as the result of her husband's affair, really portrayed what it means to love as Christ. I also liked how 'A Broken Kind of Beautiful' wasn't your average love story, in that it also displayed the love between a brother/sister, mother/daughter, as well as that of a man/woman. Although I did think it was a little weird that Ivy and Davis were cousins, even if only through marriage and not blood. The author does a good job of bringing it up and joking about it, but it still seemed a little strange to me.
The story moved along well, with a couple of unforeseen twists near the end that I wasn't expecting. Overall it was an entertaining read, a little bit deeper than your typical "beach read", but it didn't blow my mind.
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Review 5 for A Broken Kind of Beautiful
Date:June 9, 2014
Sometimes everything you ever learned about yourself is wrong
Fashion is a fickle industry, a frightening fact for twenty-four year old model Ivy Clark. Ten years in and she’s learned a sacred truth—appearance is everything. Nobody cares about her broken past as long as she looks beautiful for the camera. This is the only life Ivy knows—so when it starts to unravel, she’ll do anything to hold on. Even if that means moving to the quaint island town of Greenbrier, South Carolina, to be the new face of her stepmother’s bridal wear line—an irony too rich for words, since Ivy is far from the pure bride in white.
If only her tenuous future didn’t rest in the hands of Davis Knight, her mysterious new photographer. Not only did he walk away from the kind of success Ivy longs for to work maintenance at a local church, he treats her differently than any man ever has. Somehow, Davis sees through the façade she works so hard to maintain. He, along with a cast of other characters, challenges everything Ivy has come to believe about beauty and worth. Is it possible that God sees her—a woman stained and broken by the world—yet wants her still?
This book was unlike any book I have ever read. It was gritty, emotional, captivating, confronting and uplifting. When I first read the description for A Broken Kind Of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert, I was somewhat skeptical. A model in the fashion industry? Not my typical type of book. But I decided to give it a try. And I am so glad I did! I learned a lot about the fashion industry and how damaging it can be to focus only on our outward appearance. In the beginning it was a little hard to relate to Ivy because she had so many walls up! However as the story progressed it was almost painful to see the growing pain in Ivy's life! My heart broke for her in the love she so desperately sought and didn't believe she could ever have. (In so many ways I could relate to her as the book progressed and the real Ivy Clark started to emerge)! This story is definitely not a usual warm, fuzzy, feel good christian novel, it was at times gritty, heart rending and difficult to read. In fact, there were times I put off picking the book up again because I knew I was going to suffer right along with these characters. It's really, A novel that digs through all the inner pains of the heart, but yet shows how great God's love is for us! If your looking for a novel that will powerfully stir your inner emotions, then this one is the one for you! It starts out kind of slow but towards the end I couldn't put it down! I ended up finishing it within a couple hours.
What I liked:
Davis Knight, the warm hearted hero with an eye for true beauty.
Davis' sister Sara's ability to 'see' people.
The books message about true beauty.
Marilyn's unconditional love even in the face of repeated rejections.
The part of the book where David and Sara took Ivy crabbing.
My favorite quotes:
"God gave you a special eye for his beauty. You see things the rest of us don't. You captured it, and then share it with the world."
"I wanted you to fight for me! Just once, I wanted somebody to fight for me. To chase after me. To not let me push them away."
"This world was never meant to be comfortable. It was never meant to feel like home. It took darkness to show me the truth. One day I'll open my eyes and I'll see Jesus."
"Gods not in the business of pampering his children. He's in the business of perfecting them."
* I received this book for free from blogging for books for this review.
Read the first chapter here
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Review 6 for A Broken Kind of Beautiful
Didn't want this book to end!
Date:May 20, 2014
You know those books you have to ration as you approach the last page because you can't get enough and don't want the story end? This was one of those books. Except I lost that battle because I couldn't stop turning the pages. It was that good.
I have a soft spot for stories that deal with forgiveness and redemption, particularly when done well, and this one handled those themes very well. Each of the characters had some tough lessons to learn over the course of the story before a happy ending could be had, but none of those lessons felt forced or contrived. Each of the characters went through gradual, sometimes painful, and definitely challenging growth, one step at a time. I absolutely loved watching it all unfold. And watch it I did. Smell and hear it too, thanks to all the vivid sensory details included.
One of the things that really got my attention was the way the author used visual items and circumstances within the surroundings as triggers and metaphors for some of the lessons the characters were learning. It gave the book a literary quality that I really enjoyed and that tied everything together beautifully. Here's one of my favorite passages, drawn from pages 183-4:
"I'm glad God's like those butterflies and not like that crab bait," Sara said.
Davis took another bite of his peach and wiped at the juice dribbling down his chin.
Ivy raised an eyebrow. "You're glad God's not like a bloody chicken neck?"
"I'm glad God doesn't plunk Himself into the water and wait for us to find Him. I'm glad He chases us like that butterfly."
I think the butterfly vs. chicken neck metaphor illustrates an important point for the story in a way that's vivid and memorable as well as surprising. And I think this passage works even better in context. You'll just have to read the book, so you can let me know if you agree. :)
That wasn't the only instance where one of the characters made a meaningful point in an unexpected way. Another example I thoroughly enjoyed was the part on pages 260-1 where Pastor Voss looks at the familiar story of the Prodigal Son from a fresh perspective that suits this story perfectly.
A Broken Kind of Beautiful has compelling and loveable characters, a meaty subject dealt with in a touching way without becoming cheesy, and a powerful message that's not intrusive, but feels like a natural outgrowth of the story. In some ways, this book reminds me of Francine Rivers's Redeeming Love, and I think fans of that book will enjoy this one as well. As will anyone who enjoys a good contemporary inspirational romance. I'm so glad I had the chance to read it!
Now I need to go look for Katie Ganshert's earlier books, Wildflowers from Winter, a Carol Award Winner and Wishing on Willows, currently an INSPY Award finalist. If they're anything like this book, I'm looking forward to reading them as well.
A big thank you to publisher Waterbrook-Multnomah for providing me with an Advance Reading Copy of A Broken Kind of Beautiful as part of their Blogging for Books program for purposes of this review. My review reflects my honest opinion.
"A Broken Kind of Beautiful" by Katie Ganshert is a Christian novel about Ivy, a high level fashion model, who is becoming a has-been at the ripe old age of 24. Ivy is the product of an extramarital affair and has spent her life either being ignored or used. Marilyn, her step-mother, has been her only constant, and her love was not what Ivy wanted. Ivy becomes blacklisted in the New York fashion scene and returns to South Carolina, where Marilyn, a bridal designer, hires her to star in a campaign. She meets Davis, a photographer, while she is there and he becomes determined to show Ivy that there is much more to her than what the fashion world would like her to believe.
I have a step daughter that tried her hand at modeling and I am really glad it didn't work out. The modeling world will eat you up and spit you out. This novel exposes the gutting of Ivy and girls like her. The only thing I would change about this book is the repeated use of the phrase "so and so's blood drained from her face". That phrase is used a little too much. But other than that, the writing is done well. Ganshert does a good job of seeing the broken woman and bring sympathy to her case without making you roll your eyes because of the poor little beautiful girl. I would recommend this. I received this book for free from Waterbrook Press in exchange for an honest review.
I honestly don't even know where to begin. This book was such a fantastic book. I think Denise Hunter, author of Dancing with Fireflies, says is best: "Both beautifully written and honestly told, A Broken Kind of Beautiful is captivating! Faith is the resounding heartbeat of this poignant story, but Ganshert also breathes to life a tender romantic tale and a powerful inner journey as soothing as sweet tea on a hot summer day." I think every girls of every age should read this book as Ganshert challenges the worlds idea of what is beautiful in a gripping and powerful way.
Ivy Clark is a model. That's all she's known since she was 14. Now that her career is lagging, she is lost. She doesn't know what to do with her life anymore because she believes what she's been told for years - you won't amount to more than being a beautiful face and gorgeous body. Davis Knight has a gift. He sees things that others miss. God has given him the ability to see, through the lens of a camera, the beauty that people take for granted. The only problem is, he hasn't picked up a camera in two years.
When his path and Ivy's cross, they both begin a journey to God's healing grace and mercy. Davis feels drawn to Ivy because of her brokenness. There are times I wanted to strangle Ivy for her attitude and actions, but I couldn't. I've been broken before, I know what that's like. I wanted for Ivy what Davis and Sara and Marylin wanted for her, which kept me rooting for her the entire book. The author did a great job of weaving in the message of the book: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine" - Isaiah 43:1.
For someone who has been broken by the world, this story was poignant and well written. Everyone can benefit from the message that the author is trying to get across. Beauty is not what's on the outside. It's what's inside that makes us beautiful. Overall, I can't say enough great things about this story, and my review really doesn't do it justice. I just can't put into words how great this story is. Go pick up your copy today!
**I received a complimentary ARC of this book from the publisher, through the Blogging for Books program, in exchange for my honest review which I have given.**
I loved A Broken Kind of Beautiful, by Katie Ganshert. I have read other books by her and this one was just as beautiful. This story is about Ivy, a model, and Davis, a photographer, who both have broken lives and images of themselves. This story comes alive in such a way that they seem like real people.
Katie Ganshert writes in such a way that you just can't put the book down. This story is about love and redemption and I highly recommend it.
I received this book for free from Blogging For Books for this review.
Katie Ganshert's novel is a beautiful story of redemption. Brought into the modeling industry by age 14, all Ivy Clark knows is that her feelings, dreams, and sufferings do not matter - only her appearance matters, and with that lovely shell she can get anything. Anything, that is, except the love and healing her soul craves. After losing a renewal contract, suddenly Ivy is verging on too old to get any more good modeling contracts. Desperate, she accepts her stepmother's request to model for her bridal shop, putting her in contact with Davis, her step-cousin. Davis swore to give up photography after a tragedy during his stint in the fashion industry, but his aunt's plea and promise of supporting a specific charity make him drag out his old equipment and work with Ivy. Though she hides it well, Davis sees a hint of that broken girl behind the beautiful shell, and realizes maybe God wants him there to draw her out. But will Ivy turn to the true Father who loves her like no earthly man ever could?
Considering that Ivy starts out as rather unpleasant, seductive, and prone to drink, I found it impressive how the author was able to make her if not particularly likeable, at least not unlikeable - a character still able to tug at one's heart. Ganshert does an excellent job finding that balance between making Ivy a product of the modeling industry - not what one would call a nice girl - and still a sympathetic heroine.
While Ivy's theme of redemption was moving, I found I connected more with Davis and his struggles with forgiveness. He knows God has forgiven him for his poor choices, and his sister has long since forgiven him, but when it comes to forgiving himself, he cannot get past it. I like the point made through Ivy - if God has forgiven him, why isn't he living like it? What kind of testimony is that, to be a captive of guilt when God came to set the captives free? Davis is a clear example of how guilt is used as a snare to render Christians ineffective.
Besides Ivy and Davis, Ivy's stepmother Marilyn and Davis' sister Sarah both have struggles with which many can connect - barrenness, brokenness, being unloved, feeling unworthy, physical injuries, desperation. While all the characters have more than sufficient troubles, their burdens are not overwhelming, but rather uplifting - God is working in each of them, and fruits of their labor and trust, even though in some cases many years coming, are evident.
This is a well-written novel - it has an interesting plot, but more importantly it makes one contemplate how God is pursuing us - He woos us all in different ways, just as he does the characters of Ganshert's novel.
Thank you Blogging for Books for a free copy of the novel for the purpose of review; I was not required to make it positive, and all opinions are my own.
This was such a wonderful book that I’m not sure where to start! The storyline had me intrigued from the start. I’d never read a book where the heroine is a model. It’s obvious Katie put a lot of work into researching modeling and the men and women who do it. She shines a light on an aspect of the industry that I’m sure most people don’t consider. I loved the descriptions and dialogue! Katie really brought the story and setting to life. She made it seem as though I was actually there, watching everything that was going on, eavesdropping on the characters‘ conversations, peering over someone‘s shoulder as I saw the narrative unfold. The characters were so real, which made it hard for me to turn the last page. They felt like friends and I didn’t want them to “go.” Thankfully, when it comes to books, I can “visit” them and read their story again and again. Ivy Clark is the heroine. She has spent the last 10 years as a model and as a result finds her self worth in her appearance, so when her career comes to a screeching halt, she has nothing left. To be honest, she isn’t a very likeable character when we first meet her. She is pretty snarky, nasty, and rude at times, but it’s mostly a front. She definitely isn’t your typical contemporary Christian romance heroine. She is all sharp edges with a sharper tongue. It was hard for me to like her sometimes, but I fell in love with her quickly. She is so broken and hurting that I couldn’t not care about her. She has been told that she is nothing more than a pretty face and an empty shell, and she believes it. She’s one of those characters that you just want to cry for, because she is so lost and truly believes that no one loves her. Davis was an interesting hero. He is also broken, but he has found his way back to God. He used to be a photographer, but quit suddenly 2 years before, for reasons unknown except to those closest to him. I really liked Davis. He wasn’t one of those annoying guys that the authors portray as having it all together. He was just as flawed as Ivy, just in a different way. He is sweet, caring, and feels responsible for everyone (his “fatal“ flaw). I enjoyed reading from his perspective, which gives us new insight into Ivy and her personality. Davis confuses Ivy to no end, because he doesn’t act like the men she has known. He treats her with respect and doesn’t get caught on her beauty, but looks deeper. He is sure that there is more to her than the façade she wears like a second skin. I also loved what some call the “secondary characters” though neither of them were secondary in this story. Marilyn plays a huge part in it and I just adored her. There is also Sara, Davis’ sister, who also has a large role. They are both well rounded and the story wouldn’t have been the same without them. Katie used them to push Ivy and Davis out of their comfort zones and to share some important truths both with the characters and the readers. The spiritual themes of A Broken Kind of Beautiful are forgiveness and redemption. Davis has been punishing himself for 2 years, feeling guilty for an accident that he sees as his fault. He is sure that God wants him to give up his dream, because he sees it as part of what caused the accident. One of my favorite quotes directed at him is, “It doesn’t matter if I forgive you. It doesn’t even matter if you forgive you. What matters, Davis, is that God already has. So stop wearing your past like a pair of handcuffs.” Davis had to learn to accept the forgiveness he so needed in order to move on. The theme verse for this book is Isaiah 43:1, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name. you are mine.” I am probably always going to see this as Ivy’s verse now. As I already mentioned, Ivy doesn’t believe anyone loves her, so she doesn’t see how God could possibly want her, how He could call her His. Another of my favorite quotes, this one for Ivy. “I’m glad God doesn’t plunk Himself into the water and wait for us to find Him. I’m glad He chases us like that butterfly.” Ivy hadn’t had anyone care enough to chase after her, but that’s what God does. He constantly pursues us. I loved it when she finally understands that and accepts His love. Katie’s books always touch my heart and challenge my faith, and this one is no exception. It is wonderfully written, compelling, and real. I highly recommend this book to everyone. (Note: all quotes were used with permission from the author.)
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Review 12 for A Broken Kind of Beautiful
Date:May 8, 2014
Katie Ganshert brings us a story that will take the reader on an emotional journey. It seems that in society today everyone is valued by their beauty rather than who they are on the inside. We are introduced to Ivy Clark who is a beautiful fashion model and is coming to the realization that at almost 25 years of age is considered "too old" for the industry. Ivy, at a young age, endured a troubled childhood and the people she should have been able to trust had let her down. My heart broke for the child who grew into a confused and coldhearted adult. She finds she has one last opportunity for a comeback in her career, but must travel to South Carolina and model bridal wear for her stepmother, Marilyn. Marilyn has always saw the real Ivy and loved her completely and hopes this time together will bring them closer. Ivy has always had a difficult and distant relationship with her father and stepmother so this was not going to be an enjoyable trip for her.
Davis Knight works at the Cornerstone Church as their maintenance man, but years ago he had been a fashion photographer in New York. Davis left the bright lights of the city and photography and was happier in South Caroline. This character is always striving to be the best he can be. His father had taught him at a young age that God had gift-wrapped his creation for the world and to always keep his eyes open, search for those moments, capture it and share it with the world. Davis feels he failed at that. Davis is a Christian and prays for guidance in all he does, but is he really listening to the answers?
This is a story of two people's spiritual journey and what they must endure, encounter and accept to get to the one place they both want to be. The author brings strong, well developed characters. The plot flows effortlessly and will draw the reader in and keep them turning the page.
I gave this book 5 stars because it was a beautiful story showing that outward beauty doesn't last, but inner beauty we find through salvation is everlasting.
I received this book for free from Blogging For Books for this review.
I think "A Broken Kind of Beautiful" may be the best kind of beautiful to be. Katie Ganshert has written yet another simple story full of profound messages relevant to every life.
"A Broken Kind of Beautiful" is Ivy Clark’s story. A model in her mid-twenties, Ivy is fighting to convince the industry that she is still competitive. For Ivy it’s personal. With a father who rejected her and a mother who didn’t fight for her, Ivy believes her beauty is all that gives her worth.
This book is also about Davis Knight, a once-promising photographer who vowed to sacrifice his career as a penance of sorts. Both characters, and their related careers, are drawn together by one determined woman who cares deeply for them both: Davis’s Aunt Marilyn, wife to Ivy’s late father.
Of all the characters in this book, Marilyn was my favorite. In fact, I think she’s one of the most amazing fictional characters I’ve had the privilege to meet. Her unconditional love for the people God has placed in her life–no matter how they treat her–is a gracious example, worthy of note. I highlighted several passages in this book, and many of these were Marilyn’s words. Others belonged to Davis’s sister, Sara, another character worth getting to know. I’m thankful that Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers sent a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review. I wouldn’t have wanted to miss "A Broken Kind of Beautiful."
Ivy Clark, at only 24-years-old, is desperately trying to hold on to a modeling career where she's constantly competing with younger "fresher" models. Eager to take anything that might spark new life into the only realm she's comfortable within, she agrees to take a job modeling wedding dresses for her stepmother in Greenbrier, North Carolina. Thrown together with a man she's known since childhood, she uses the weapons and armor she's grown accustomed to throw him off balance and maintain her distance. Yet, somehow, the two of them manage to bring things to the surface that each thought they'd buried and moved past. Can Ivy ever see past her outer beauty to the beauty God has created within her? Can Davis accept God's forgiveness and see past his guilt?
Once again, Katie Ganshert has written a deeply impacting novel that weaves characters and their stories together in such a way that you care about them, you root for them, and you feel their pain throughout their journey, and she leaves you wanting to continue with the characters' lives to see what happens next. This novel is not neat, clean, and happy. There is real pain. There is real struggle. But there is also real growth, vulnerability, and healing. I ached for Ivy, for all she'd been through, and her need to see past what the modeling industry saw when they looked at her - both as the fresh young girl she'd been, and at the 24-year-old model past her "prime." I love books where I don't feel invested in just one character, but where all of the characters - main and secondary - come to life for me, and this book does that well. Marilyn, Ivy's stepmother, is a minor character and yet her endeavors to be a real mother to Ivy and all of the hurt and grief that has brought her are vividly portrayed in just short, yet heartfelt glimpses into their past together. Davis and Sarah, with their own past tragedies, manage to also work through some major issues alongside Ivy's.
I give this book 4 stars, bordering on 5. There is so much to be taken from this book as life lessons for anyone, that I can see myself reading it again just to glean more perspective on the characters' journeys. As with any Katie Ganshert book, thus far, I wish that there would be more stories with these characters!
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.
A Broken Kind of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert has written a novel that heartbreakingly reads like real life. Though very beautiful fashion model Ivy never felt love from her father or by her drug addicted mother. Her father had never acted like a father in her life. He was married Marilyn who had always tried to show Ivy the love that she deserved even though Ivy was the product of her husband's infidelity. Marilyn had even raised Ivy from the time that her mother could no longer do so because of her drug use. Ivy had learned over the course of her life never to trust that the men who from the age of 14 told her that they loved her really did not love her but only wanted something from her. Upon the death of her father though Marilyn has the chance to teach Ivy that she is loved. Marilyn is a clothing designer of bridal dresses. Her nephew Davis is a photographer who refuses to take pictures because he has promised himself that since the blindness of his sister, Sarah, is his fault he will not use a camera again. Marilyn wants to use both Ivy who at age 25 is getting too old to get the good jobs and Davis who refuses to forgive himself to both commit to a project of having a bridal show that would benefit a blind school for Sarah. Ivy's agent says that this is her only chance for work right now and Davis agrees to do this one thing for Sarah. Marilyn has her work cut out for herself--showing Ivy that she is worth loving and that she loves her as if she were her daughter and showing Davis her nephew that depriving the world of a great photographer is not going to make him feel less guilty or bring back Sarah's sight.
Ivy comes into her hometown feeling like this is the end of her modeling career. Davis is wondering if God will forgive him for going back on his promise never to pick up a camera again. Will Ivy learn that though the world may always take advantage of her for her beauty that God loves her for herself? Will Davis learn that God has already forgiven him and that he needs to accept his guilt in the matter and forgive himself? Read this book to find out.
I liked this book. Finally a Christian love story where the main love interest is the love of God for his people and the desire of God to have good for His people. I received this book from Waterbrook Press for this review.
When Katie Ganshert's newest book arrived several weeks ago for me to review, I read the back cover and set it aside. I couldn't imagine that my plus-sized self could in any way relate to a story about a super model and her fashion photographer. Not for me, I thought. Then, through the wonder of social media, I had a chance to spend an hour with Katie as she promoted "A Broken Kind of Beautiful" via webcast. I heard Katie's desire for her story to reach the hearts of all women, young and old, that they might be able to see that beauty is more than just their outer vessel. OK, that was a message I could embrace. The next day, I pulled the novel back out from under my clean clothes pile and set to reading it. Could I really connect wtih Ivy, the beautiful young model, and Davis, the man behind the lens? If I had met them briefly in real life, that would probably be all that I saw. Their professions. The glamour. Their beautiful bodies. That's not at all what the story is about. "A Broken Kind of Beautiful" is infused with lessons on forgiveness. Forgiving oneself, forgiving others, and allowing God to take the broken pieces of your life and make them into something beautiful. It's a peek into the hearts and minds hidden under forced smiles and designer clothes. It's real people living messy lives, just like you and I. I highly recommend that you skip the back cover, and start reading chapter one. You won't be disappointed.
This novel was provided to me free of charge by Waterbrook Multnomah for review purposes.
A Broken Kind of Beautiful, the latest novel by Katie Ganshert, is a must-read book for anyone who enjoys a great comeback storyline!
The book starts out rather slowly as you are introduced to Ivy Clark and learn the sad details of her start in life. Following the rejection of her natural father, Ivy is pulled into the world of high fashion where she begins working as a model at the age of fourteen!
After years of working successfully as a model, Ivy is twenty-five years old and there are no jobs on the horizon! When she returns to the hometown of her father, she is forced to deal with many pains from her past. She has no idea that God has new plans for her right around the corner!
About half-way through, the pace of this book picks up quite a bit. Ivy begins to build a friendship with Davis Knight, a photographer who has run away from his life in New York. You will be surprised by the dark places God leads both Ivy and Davis. In the end, they will both learn anew about the unfailing love of our God!
I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for my unbiased review
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Review 18 for A Broken Kind of Beautiful
Another GREAT book from Katie!!!
Date:April 16, 2014
"Sometimes everything you've ever learned about yourself is wrong." How true is that? Although this is fiction, there are still so many real life lessons to learn from the characters.
This book is a great reminder that no matter what your past looks like, God loves you! The theme verse for the book is found in Isaiah 43:1 "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine." Will Ivy ever understand what this means for her life?
Katie did a wonderful job captivating me and making it seem like I really knew Ivy, Davis, Marilyn and Sara. I didn't want their stories to end! Be ready to not get anything else done once you start this book!!
Ivy Clark has been living a life that has left her empty and broken. Bruce, her uncle and agent, got her into the modeling industry at the age of fourteen. She was taught to disregard her feelings and look beautiful for the camera. For years she has buried all of her hurt and pain. Although many models turn to drugs for their escape, Ivy choose men. The attention from men always made her feel wanted and she knew she could control her feelings so she would not get hurt. Now that she is approaching the age of twenty-five she realizes that the industry is looking for younger women. Jobs are hard to come by and she is forced to accept a job modeling wedding dresses for her step-mother’s bridal store. Ivy is reluctant to accept the job as it will force her to face her past. Going back to Greenbrier is the last thing she wants to do but Bruce encourages her to take the job.
When Ivy travels back to Greenbrier she soon learns that Davis Knight will be her photographer. Davis is a mysterious man who was a successful photographer and he suddenly left the industry for reasons he will not discuss. Davis has a gift for photography and at a young age his father encouraged him to pursue it. He told Davis that he could capture the world through the lens and allow people to see things in a way they never saw things before. This fact was proven when Davis did the first photo session with Ivy. He was able to capture her in a way that no one else had seen her. Their relationship forces them both to come face to face with their pasts. As they both travel this bumpy road will they be able to find the healing they both so desperately need?
This is the third book I have read by this author and I loved it! This book was about redemption and forgiveness. The story illustrated how God always pursues us and our sins are never too much for him to handle. I want to let other readers know that Ivy was very flirtatious and she mentions how men are her “drug of choice”. I just wanted to mention this as it may bother some readers. It did not bother me as I found the story to be real and can only imagine how many women feel the same way Ivy did. Today we see so many beautiful smiling faces and this book has challenged me to see that things are not always as they seem. Something I new but this book served as a reminder. I look forward to reading more from this talented author!
*I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for my honest review.
Modeling sensation Ivy Clark is what the world considers a success. She is beautiful on the outside, but there are serious hurts dwelling inside of her. They make her feel useless, worthless, empty and unlovable. Davis Knight is a strong and caring man who is loved by his family, but carries guilt around like a heavy burden. He is a man who loves and trusts in God, but won’t stop punishing himself for past mistakes. These are broken people. They aren’t broken in the same way, but they both need healing.
Although the main story revolves around Davis and Ivy and focuses on Ivy’s path toward emotional healing and her journey toward a God who redeems those who feel unlovable, I found beauty in this novel in all of the broken characters. There are many examples of broken individuals. Years ago, one character felt broken by her husband’s infidelity. The pain of infertility on top of unfaithfulness left her broken before God. She had to learn to trust in Him to carry her through. Another character lost a vital part of her life when her sight was taken from her. She felt broken, then God opened her eyes to a new way of trusting in Him. Still another character had a broken body, ravaged with cancer. Many people were trusting in God for her healing. God was in all of these situations and the author did a beautiful job of showing that through this moving story.
So much changes for Ivy through this book. She is nowhere near the same person by the end of the novel as she is at the beginning. But her transformation is believable. She does not suddenly change who she is. Healing happens slowly. This was a very good book that I really enjoyed reading. The characters felt very real and the hurts they carried were large hurdles to overcome. A beautiful story.
I received a complimentary Advance Reading Copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.