Monday, July 10, 2017

Review: Just Look Up by Courtney Walsh

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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.

My Thoughts:

Just Look Up by author Courtney Walsh was a story that I think that may resonate with many people. Sometimes there are situations in our past that have so affected us that we let them define us. In this case Lane Kelley is relentless in her work drive and to achieve her dream job promotion. However, before any of that can take place, she receives emergency news from home. Her brother has been in an accident and her family wants her home. At first it may seem a bit callous of her not to want to go home, but she has pretty much written that place off. As Lane puts her job on hold and rushes home to see her brother Nate, the only one that she knew understood her we get to see snippets of her younger years and what caused such a rift between her and her family that everyone in town seems to love so much.

While home, she gets reacquainted with childhood friend Ryan Brooks who has the fondest memories of Lane. Ryan and his sister were practically “adopted” into the Kelley family and that love shown them gave both of them a hope for a better life even when they had to return to their own dysfunctional home. Ryan sees that Lane is tightly wound and he begins to notice just why she may have left home for good for.

So many wonderful, thoughtful insights and lessons were woven throughout this book. I really connected with Lane and her drive to be thin and let her work define her, this story touched on how name calling and how bullying can endure through adulthood. Even what someone may call cute affectionate pet names. When do you need to step back and take a break from work and truly rest was another issue addressed. I liked how the author showed how so much stress can be detrimental to your health. The romance was sweet and I thought that Ryan’s pursuit of Lane was enduringly romantic, even when he was hiding a big, scary secret. 

Families are important, work is important, as Lane discovers sometimes you just need to let go and embrace both- faults and all.

I was provided a copy of this book for free from Tyndale Publishers. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

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