When I Fall in Love by Susan May Warren was a wonderful story! I truly enjoyed reading it. For that matter, I have enjoyed reading every book in this series. Grace and Max’s story warmed my heart…and it enticed my taste buds.
What I Liked/Loved About This Book:
– The Christiansen family was a salt of the earth kind of family. They loved greatly. They showed compassion to many. They also believed in the power and purpose of God.
– Grace was confident but at the same time she was unsure of herself. She demonstrated her competence over and over again. Despite her paralyzing fears, she eventually opened herself up to change, opportunity, and love. As a result, she found herself. More than that, she found God. I really liked how Warren presented the ideas of surrender and abundant life through her story.
– Max’s background or rather his hereditary challenge was devastating. It was completely and utterly unexpected. My heart broke for him and his brother. I loved how, as a reader, I got to see his faith, his frustration, and his walk toward love and freedom. The contrast between his reaction and his brother’s reaction to the looming health threat was interesting to see. It was a great touch by Warren.
– Raina was a noteworthy character. I liked her story. It drew me in. I found myself wanting to learn everything I could about her. What drove her? What was she running from? Why did so much tragedy befall her? Why did she put herself into a position like she did? In one sense, I thought she was bold and brazen, but once I got to know her, I realized she was scared, scarred and searching. The way Warren sandblasted me with Raina’s Christiansen sandwich…
– It was good to see Owen in this story. I recall him from book two. I liked him then and I liked him now. His rebel without a cause attitude was somewhat understandable. He was grieving. He was angry. He was lost. The thing is, he cared. Even though he tried not to, it was obvious he was going against himself. His whole performance reminded me of how we do as troubled saints. We allow ourselves to sometimes fall into sin or even more so, we totally immerse ourselves into a sinful life so that we don’t have to face God. Warren did brilliantly with this setup. She laid the foundation for something greater. I cannot wait to see how grace stuns Owen and leads him to a mighty encounter with God.
– Casper was a Christiansen that I was happy to meet. Bringing him into the mix the way she did, Warren got me. Blindsided is more like it. Whew! It was interesting to see how he was both grounded and unsettled. He was strong and yet sensitive. He wanted adventure but he also craved family, familiarity, friendship or a combination thereof. His departure broke me into pieces. I cannot wait to see the outcome. Man!
– The letter that Grace’s mom penned to her daughter was beautiful. It was perfect.
– I adored revisiting characters from books one and two. Being able to glimpse their love for each other, for their family, for their community, and for God was a treat.
– Warren’s way of teaching and ministering was just right. She wrote in such a way that Scripture was weaved into the story effortlessly. Her conversation inspired and encouraged rather than burdened or beat up. Lesson after lesson regarding faith, surrender, and love was visited.
– The town of Deep Haven seemed magical. (Wrong word, but you get my meaning.) So much happened there from book one forward. It’s like faith Capitol, USA. I want to go for a visit. It’s the kind of place where transformation is surely inevitable.
– The matriarch and patriarch of the Christiansen clan always hold it down. I love this! Which leads me to mention Evergreen. Umm…what’s next for these two? Warren got my attention. What gives?
– The food and cooking references in this book were delightful. Really! It made me want to go and experience Hawaiian cuisine for myself. I was like, “Food Network TV here I come! Make way for the ninja K.” Hahaha…
– The discussion questions were good. It was a thoughtful touch added by Warren.
All in all, this book was well done. It was an easy, fast-paced read with a contemporary feel. The language in this story was clean and engaging. The romance was slow-building, and the chemistry between the main characters was evident. The conflict and POV for Grace and Max were clearly defined and developed. Subplots were presented but they did not take away from the main story in any way. Finally, rich lessons on faith were plentiful.
Bookshelf Worthy: Yes
Book Club Featured Read: Yes
Audience: Young Adult/Adult, Christian and non-Christian
A complimentary review copy of this title was made available by the publisher through the Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for an honest critique. The words I have shared are my own. I was neither required nor expected to submit a positive review.