BLOG TOUR: Double Review & Spotlight!

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Hey everyone! Today's post is part of the double-release tour for Faith Potts and Kaitlyn Krispense, highlighting their new releases Freedom and Beloved.

Both of these books focus on characters who desire to, or have attempted to, take their own lives. It's not an easy topic to touch upon, nor is it an easy one to write. I have to applaud both of these ladies for their depictions -- not glorifying or romanticizing the act, but not writing their troubled characters in a degrading manner either. It's a problem that plagues our nation, one that touches many individuals and crosses generational divides.

Every day, an average of 22 veterans commit suicide -- whether it's because of the things they've seen, the injuries they've sustained (visible or invisible), or because of the struggle to return to civilian life, it's an enormous problem. This issue, especially, exploded after the events of September 11th and the war that ensued.

This is what Faith's book, Freedom, centers upon.

Having just returned to American soil from the desert sands of the Middle East, James Greene is done with his life. 'Double amputee' doesn't seem like a strong enough phrase to label the physical and emotional pain he bears. Add the lack of love and communication with his family members, the demons that haunt him day and night, and he can find nothing worth living for. Ending it all is the only way out. 

Alexandria Lorance is a not-so-ordinary physical therapist, content with aiding in her patients' recoveries. Her work gives her fulfillment, but alone in the silence, she still endures the hidden scars of a past, unhealthy relationship. Reminding herself that true healing is found in Christ alone, she seeks to show kindness and love to everyone she meets.

When these two broken ones' paths intersect, the spark of friendship is ignited, bringing hope and joy to both. Can they step out of the darkness of suffering and into the freedom of grace? 

A Marine, broken by war. A therapist, scarred by words. A chance meeting in a parking lot bonded them together. But can love grow in these two hurting hearts? Or are they truly too broken to ever find lasting happiness? 


Saved by God's grace, Faith Potts is a teenage writer and homeschool graduate, living with her family and beloved yellow labs in the North Carolina mountains. When she’s not weaving stories, consuming large amounts of coffee, reading stacks of books, or studying American Sign Language, she can be found laughing harder than is healthy, daydreaming, and—of course—blowing dandelions.


This book was one that I had to keep reading -- I found it hard to put it down.  From the start, the characters were ones that I wanted to learn more about, to delve into their history, and to help.  Weird wanting to protect fictional characters, right?  Anyway, the book discussed difficult topics like poor family life, toxic relationships, and also suicide.  That being said, it's not a feel-good, light book (and that's probably why I liked it).  It has weight.  I would love to get into several different reasons why I liked the book, but they're all spoilers, so you'll just have to read it for yourself.  Its messages were solid and realistic; James' recovery and the struggles he faces is realistic as well.  I did think that the pacing within the middle of the book, as their relationship develops, could have been expanded a bit more, but it's a solid book as it stands.  

I loved this quote for several reasons.  First, it's true -- love is hard.  Second of all, I think it's a testament to the struggles that the main characters face as they pursue a relationship together.  Caring for or loving someone who is recovering mentally isn't a task for the faint of heart.  It isn't a romantic feat; you're not going to heal them with your love.  But it's worth standing by their side and helping them anyway.  This is such an important message, one that is sorely missing from similar books in the YA category.  

4/5 stars.

Next, let's talk about Ms. Krispense's book, Beloved -- it still gives me knives in my heart thinking about it.


Life without love is hopeless.

Foster teen Cara Richards is unloved. With nothing left and nowhere to go, she is determined to find peace, no matter the cost. But despite her intentions, she’s tossed into another foster family and this time, there’s no going back to who she used to be. To make matters worse, one of her five new foster brothers is a Jesus freak, and she refuses to believe that God actually cares.

Her world is thrown upside down in a way she never expects. Though she prides herself on a resilient heart, her mind is lost adrift among a sea of questions: Is death really the answer? Does God care about someone as unworthy as me? Can everyone truly be loved, no matter what?


Kaitlyn is a farmer's daughter and a born-again believer in Christ with an obsession for books and music. It is these obsessions that led her to write her own stories. Psalm 46:10 gives her inspiration, her brothers make her laugh, and there's nothing quite like the excitement of opening an unread book for the first time. Her passion is to share the steadfast love of her Savior through the writing that takes up much of her free time, whether actual writing takes place or writer's block, in which case she's probably browsing Pinterest.

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Alright, like I said -- even thinking about this book hurts.  I read this book in one sitting.  If you know me, you're probably saying, "so...? You do that all the time?" 
I read this book in one sitting, on my phone, with a raging migraine -- and I can't bear to look at screens of any sort with a migraine.  That's how good this book was.  Her descriptions and narration choices were compelling and just grabbed me.  It's a book that made me get knots in my stomach, and I think that's good.  Not only did she discuss some of the horror stories and struggles that foster kids face, she showed a family that would do anything for a girl they barely knew -- loving her with open arms, some brotherly teasing, and a lot of God's grace from some of the characters.  This book is also one that shows the grit, the real side of suicide, the effect that it has on a person and the community around that person.  While I did find the story hard to start, I was hooked within a few chapters.
I found the grasp on Cara's internal struggles to be impressive.  Such instances were moments where readers really got to see Cara for herself, not for the tough face she tried to put on for her foster family or others around her.  After her initial suicide attempt, she recovers physically, but we're invited to see her mental recovery as well.  Her character arc was very believable, and I loved reading about her evolving interactions with her foster brothers.  

5/5 stars. 

Now that your interest is piqued, make sure you enter the giveaway for a chance to win BOTH of these great books! 

Click below to enter!

Do you plan on reading Freedom or Beloved?