Monday, November 15, 2010

Bethany House Book Review: 'Amy Inspired' by Bethany Pierce

Publisher's Book Description:
Amy Gallagher, aspiring writer, has an unabashed obsession with words. She gave up a steady, albeit unexciting, job to pursue a life of writing. However, two years and one master's degree later, she finds herself almost exactly right back where she started. Discouraged by the growing pile of rejections from publishers and afraid that she has settled, Amy knows something has to change.

Then she meets the mysterious, attractive, and unavailable Eli. Amy finds herself struggling to walk the fine line between friendship and something more with Eli, even as she tries to cope with the feeling that her friends and family are moving on without her. When the unexpected begins pouring in, Amy doubts the love and fulfillment she seeks will ever come her way. Forced to take a close look at who she has become, the state of her faith, and her aspirations for her life, she must make a choice: play it safe yet again or finally find the courage to follow her dreams.

Amy Gallagher is a young English professor on the cusp of turning 30. She's wanted to be an author since childhood, and she did everything 'right'. She has a Master's degree, writes regularly, faithfully submits her manuscripts to both publishing houses and magazines alike - and yet the rejections keep coming. To make it all the more frustrating, her zany roommate Zoe seems to be able to get magazine articles published with hardly any effort. As if all of this isn't enough for Amy, her roommate brings home an old friend to 'temporarily' stay with them. Eli is, on the surface, your typical starving artist; but the more she get to know Eli, the more she sees the deep, caring person with the painful past. The longer he stays, the harder it gets to convince herself that she doesn't have feelings for him. Suddenly, her whole life feels out of control and she starts to wonder if she's been her own worst enemy all along.

All around her, tragedy is striking, jealousy is rearing it's ugly head, old wounds are being reopened, self-esteem is being shattered, and feelings are getting harder to stifle. Can she keep it together and, more importantly, can she finally find peace and happiness?

I really enjoyed this book. Amy's character - and all of the others, really - were just so beautifully written. She was very flawed and real. I particularly enjoyed her dry, sarcastic sense of humor. It was very balanced - never falling too far into being negative or crass. I think that the author did a great job of portraying Amy's internal battle with herself. All of the characters were equally as intriguing, flawed, and unique.

I felt that the story line was very unique. This isn't your typical conversion story or story of the believer that questions their faith. It's simply a story about a girl who's faith is a part of her life, and she's trying to find her place in the world. I appreciated this. I think that a lot of Christian Fiction books are too 'in your face', and this tends to make them less believable. The way this was written was much more 'real life' to me. I alos enjoyed the sub-plots - all were very well developed and the author did a superb job of 'wrapping everything up' in a believable, and satisfying, way.

To sum it all up, I enjoyed the book. It's just as much a love story as it is a book of self-reflection and self-discovery. 'Amy Inspired' was well written, well developed, unique and thoughtful. I highly recommend it, and I will definitely be reading more from author Bethany Pierce.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher, Bethany House Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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