Today I have a fun book to review for you: Kathryn Cushman’s Chasing Hope. When I saw this title on the list from Bethany House Publishers‘ awesome book review program, I was immediately drawn to it because it’s about RUNNING! Aka my favorite thing ever. Maybe even more than cooking or baking. Or reading. It’s close. But anyway, this book blew my expectations out of the water–it was a great read. I hope you like the review!
After her Olympic dreams are dashed, Sabrina Rice distances herself from everything to do with running—until the day she sees Brandy Phillip racing security across campus. When she meets this troubled teen, Sabrina realizes she’s Brandy’s best hope to salvage a life about to spiral out of control.…
And as usual, my five point review:
- Though I loved that the book centered around running, I was a bit hesitant to read it because it was set in contemporary times. Sometimes contemporary Christian fiction [or even general fiction] can be dated, super quickly. But I was pleasantly surprised that this one wasn’t, and I think that Kathryn Cushman may have even tried to keep away from that by not talking about technology or tv or movies or music. So, yay!
- I really enjoyed watching the relationship between Sabrina and Brandy develop. Their grandmothers certainly had something to do with it, and so did Sabrina’s faith in God, but the choice both made to pursue a relationship was explored really well.
- One thing that I was not a big fan of was that the running/training aspect of this book was not at all realistic. Or, at the very least, it didn’t match my experience at all. I’ve been a runner for nearly 16 years [gasp] and just felt the training details and race strategies were a bit contrived. Maybe my experience has just been different, but regardless, it just seemed a bit silly. Some aspects of running are spot on–like the need to train hard, work hard, and show up for competition. But the “training sessions” were just odd. And the fact that they took place at 5 am, outside in the dark, just doesn’t seem safe to me. But regardless…
- Sabrina, as a character, is very inspirational. She had a college scholarship for running and had Olympic dreams, but both were dashed due to uncontrollable issues [didn't want to spoil it for you]. Her character could have been blue, mopey, and sad… and while she IS those things at times, she is so hopeful and forward-looking. I love that. What a great ideal for what to do when life doesn’t turn out like you plan.
- Finally, the author keeps the reader focused on the story by continually asking question after question about what Sabrina and Brandy are going to do, about Sabrina’s love interest, about family relations, etc. I always wanted to know what would happen next! This book did not disappoint and I hope you check it out soon!
What are you reading lately?
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers. However, I was not required to write a positive review. The thoughts expressed above are entirely my own. Thanks to Bethany House for the chance to read this great book!