Book Review: 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?

(Let the book reviews begin! I’ve been on a reading spree since SpeedBo ended a couple weeks ago and here they come! To celebrate Katie’s release day – and tax day – here’s number one!)

I’ve looked forward to each of Katie’s books and squeed a bit each time one shows up on my doorstep. This time was no different.

A Broken Kind of Beautiful takes us each to that spot deep inside where we know we’re not good enough. We’re too broken. Too messed up. We’ve done too much wrong. We’ve been cruel or judgmental or gone out and broken almost all of the Ten Commandments (most of us manage to avoid the “thou shalt not kill” one).

Ivy is no different. Her outside is beautiful, unspoiled, perfect. Her insides look like one of those mid-winter car accidents on an Interstate with dozens of cars involved and traffic at a standstill for miles – for hours. She’s broken and afraid and believes herself to not only be unloved but unlovable.

Davis is the same. His circumstances are different. The things he punishes himself for are unique to him. While he believes in God’s power to forgive and redeem, he also believes what he did to be unforgivable and unredeemable.

Of course, they’re both wrong.

A Broken Kind of Beautiful is the two of them, along with Ivy’s step-mom, struggling to understand God’s unconditional love and grace and forgiveness, even when – or perhaps most especially when – we don’t deserve it.

Overall rating: 8.75 out of 10 stars

Thanks to Katie and the publisher for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

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