Just Look Up
I'd previously read and enjoyed Courtney Walsh's novel Paper Hearts, so I was excited to read her newest book, Just Look Up. The book description didn't immediately pull me in, but the cover was so pretty that I decided to pick it up - and I'm so glad I did! The back cover says:
"After tirelessly climbing the ranks of her Chicago-based interior design firm, Lane Kelley is about to land her dream promotion when devastating news about her brother draws her back home―a quaint tourist town full of memories she’d just as soon forget. With her cell phone and laptop always within reach, Lane aims to check on her brother while staying focused on work―something her eclectic family doesn’t understand.
Ryan Brooks never expected to settle down in Harbor Pointe, Michigan, but after his final tour of duty, it was the only place that felt like home. Now knee-deep in a renovation project that could boost tourism for the struggling town, he is thrilled to see Lane, the girl he secretly once loved, even if the circumstances of her homecoming aren’t ideal.
Their reunion gets off to a rocky start, however, when Ryan can’t find a trace of the girl he once knew in the woman she is today. As he slowly chips away at the walls Lane has built, secrets from his past collide with a terrible truth even he is reluctant to believe. Facing a crossroads that could define his future with Lane and jeopardize his relationship with the surrogate family he’s found in the Kelleys, Ryan hopes Lane can see that maybe what really matters has been right in front of her all along―if only she’d just look up."
Just Look Up had such a deep and rich storyline and characters - from characters with an eating disorder, one with an alcoholic father, family drama, and more, this book packs a punch. It's definitely not a light and fluffy romance novel - and for that, I'm grateful! I prefer books with real and raw storylines and characters that draw me in and make me feel their emotions and want to turn the page to find out what will happen to them next, and Just Look Up delivers. There's a time and a place for a light beach read, but I usually prefer something that will make me think. Courtney weaves in Christian themes lightly, without being overbearing or beating us over the head with them. I'm really hoping there will be a sequel to this one like there was with Paper Hearts! I'd like to see more about all of the characters, and maybe let one of the others in the supporting cast have a main storyline about them while still continuing Lane and Ryan's story. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian fiction.
I received a copy of this book from Tyndale in order to provide an honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own.