Library Journal Review
On the day they became engaged, Noah and Emily Carter launched an Instagram account to inspire others. Eight years later, that social media presence earns six figures but has stolen family time and driven a wedge between the pair. While a million followers swoon over the photogenic Carters' idealized virtual life, scorn and acrimony have supplanted once-pure devotion. With divorce looming and his bags packed, Noah seeks a last night of sleep in the family home. Instead, he is overtaken by a series of visions: heartrending future encounters with his children as they navigate life into adulthood, scarred by his abandonment. As the story unfolds in Emily's and Noah's alternating (and increasingly divergent) points of view, narrators January LaVoy and Kirby Heyborne underscore the couple's plight with earnest pacing and convincing emotion. VERDICT Fans of Christian fiction espousing traditional values will appreciate both the artfulness of Kingsbury's nod to A Christmas Carol and her advocacy for nurturing faith and marriage. Plan to purchase this latest entry in the popular "Baxter Family" series, which also stands alone, for Kingsbury's legions of followers.-Linda Sappenfield, Round Rock P.L., TX © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
Kingsbury (Redemption) investigates the dangers of striving for an Instagram-perfect life in this enjoyable novel centered on newlyweds Noah and Emily Carter. At 18, Emily chooses to become the sole caregiver for her sister, Clara, who has cerebral palsy. Her high school boyfriend, Noah Carter, is left isolated when his family moves to England after he graduates from high school, leaving him to attend college on a football scholarship with just Emily as support. After two concussions leave Noah with serious health issues, Emily and Clara nurse him back to health. Emily and Noah's heavily documented relationship is seemingly perfect enough that it draws a large following on Instagram and substantial income from marketing deals. But the perfection crumbles when erratic Noah begins to believe their outward image is more important than reality. Kingsbury attempts to insert some suspense through a disconnected subplot involving recurring character Kari Baxter Taylor, but the side story will only interest those who have read previous books. This is a beat-the-odds story for fans of inspirational romance, written in Kingsbury's familiar style of incorporating mini-sermons and Bible verses, cameos by members of the Baxter Family, and real-world Christian cultural references. While part of the Baxter collection, this standalone will appeal to any readers looking for faith-filled stories concerned with the deleterious effects of social media. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Booklist Review
Noah and Emily Carter's viral social-media handle #WhenWeWereYoung gives millions of followers a front-row seat to their home, marriage, and faith. But after seven years of posting their picture-perfect life, Emily is done. Done watching Noah ignore his family and dote on flirtatious fans; done staging their private life for profit; done pretending they are anything like when they were young. Divorce seems imminent, but the night before Noah is set to move out, he gets a glimpse of the future and comes face to face with the consequences his decision will have on the entire family. Kingsbury (To the Moon and Back , 2018) builds on her best-selling Baxter family saga and confronts the risks social media can bring to marriage. With her signature empathic style, Kingsbury depicts the deep emotional complexity of navigating relationships in an image-obsessed digital era and captures the joyful essence of being wholly present for real life. Fans will applaud her convicted stance on social media, marriage, and divorce, and new readers will appreciate her unapologetic approach to a challenging topic.--Kate Campos Copyright 2018 Booklist