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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Shades of Blue by Karen Kingsbury

Brad Cutler has it all-a promising career as an advertising agent, an upcoming marriage to his beautiful fiancee; no worries about anything in life. God is good. But why does Brad keep having flashbacks of a relationship with a high school girlfriend? Isn't his fiance enough? What is this nagging at him? Something from his past is calling him back to Holden Beach, North Carolina, where he did something he needs forgiveness for.

I said there was no way Karen couldn't end this originally, and I was right. However, the end wasn't the one I was expecting. I mean that in a good way. Though it seems like at first that the end is predictable, it is also very realistic. Karen ended the book in the most realistic way she could, and it worked.

Besides the realistic end, there is an original end to a subplot that I did not expect her to do. This shows that even when Karen ends her books predictably, she always strives for originality in other areas. This alone puts her above other female authors.

But Karen also has a superb writing style that makes the reader feel as if it were really happening. I think this is because Karen is very good at capturing real life through her imperfect characters. Imperfect characters are another one of her specialties that rank her higher than most female authors.

The biggest problem with Shades of Blue is the characters' lack of personalities. I can only think of one character with a true personality. This is strange for Karen Kingsbury and there is really no reason for it. She usually has better characters than these.

If you read the afterword, you realize that this story means more to Karen than it seems like at first. I applaud her for writing what she wrote in the afterword, because it took courage to reveal what she wrote there.

All in all, Karen Kingsbury's writing style has not decreased over the years, and I doubt it will. I only hope she continues to write original plots similar to Shades of Blue.

4 stars

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