College plans are low on Michelle's priority list, especially with no money to pay for it, until her grandparents offer to foot the bill for her entire tuition. There's just one catch. Michelle must choose between three schools - all hours away from Chicago and all Christian colleges.
Michelle's reluctant choice leads her to an unfamiliar place, where she's faced with new relationships and unexpected decisions that could change her life and her heart forever.
This book is the sequel to Goodbye, Magnolia, although I would really call it more of a companion book. It tells the same story as Magnolia, but from Michelle's point of view rather than Maggie's. We don't really find out that much about Michelle in the first novel other than that she and Maggie have a pretty rocky relationship. I was prepared to really dislike Michelle since I didn't like her from Maggie's point of view!
However... wow. Krista has done an amazing job of creating a real character that I can relate to and helping me understand her motivations. This is a story that isn't afraid to tackle the hard issues head on rather than gloss over them. It makes for a great ending that leaves you satisfied rather than feeling like this would never happen in real life.
I loved reading the parallel storyline and seeing things from an entirely different perspective. I have to believe that takes a lot of talent to be able to write that way! It changed the way I saw all the characters in the stories and I'm actually tempted to ask if there will be a third from one of the characters that features more prominently in this book than the first.
I really can't say much about this story without giving too much away. I highly recommend reading them in order, in quick succession. Michelle makes life choices and deals with the consequences. The people she chooses to allow in her life affect her, as they do for us too. And sometimes things happen that our really out of our control that we have to deal with, but how we choose to deal with them may make all the difference.
There is one caveat to this book, it deals with some mature themes without trivializing them, but it is not really suitable to younger readers. It's essentially rated PG-13. Honestly though, I felt like it was done very well and the story would not have been the same without it. Real life is messy, but dealing with it head on is often way better than not facing it. (yes, that has two meanings, both in the story and out)
Krista is a newer author to having books published, but I am a fan and can't wait to read what she comes up with next!
Buy a Kindle version here, also the first book is free for the next 2 days so you can get both!
Paperback version is here. And don't forget to enter to win one below.
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KRISTA NOORMAN is the author of the young adult novel, The Truth About Drew, and the Cornerstone contemporary Christian romance series. Most of her life has been spent scribbling away in journals, while documenting her every day life, but it wasn't until she took part in National Novel Writing Month that she found her true calling and turned her pen to fiction.
Krista studied music education at Cornerstone University. After college, she turned to her love of photography and spent nearly a decade running her own wedding photography business. She is constantly inspired by books and movies, enjoys beautiful instagram feeds, and loves a great cup of coffee. Krista makes her home in a small town in western Michigan with her husband and their two children.
She writes about life, family, faith and whatever else comes to mind at bykrista.com.
Krista sent me a copy of her book to review. All opinions are my own.