A Broken Kind of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert
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?
The character are developed and easy to connect with. From the very beginning, even when I struggled to get into the story, I really felt and rooted for the main character especially. Each character, from struggling model Ivy to reformed photographer Davis to blind girl Sara, stood on their own two feet and had a sense of individuality and a strong background that is often difficult to find as a writer.
The writing, particularly description, is very strong. This is an artistic author -- one who writes for love of words even more than love of story (although this was a good story, too). I loved how the story so clearly relied on setting without becoming all about the scenery. I could definitely relate to the southern little town, it being summer in Georgia right now where I am, but it's not one of those books where description of the weather or plants overshadows the story and bogs you down.
The story starts in the middle of things -- a little too much so. If the characters weren't so well-written, it'd be really hard to stick past the first few chapters. It actually took me quite a while to read this book just because I struggled to get past the opening. It's hard to understand what's going on and, therefore, hard to care.
I did like Davis, the love interest. Really, I did. I rooted for him. But his main inner conflict in the story -- struggling between his love for photography and his vow to put it aside due to some issues in his past -- drove me nuts. He spent half the book being a conceited idiot in the name of humility. I don't want to say too much and spoil the story, but this is one of those romances where you spend half the book wanting to bash a hardcover over the leading man's head.
VERDICT: Three and a half stars.
I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.