Having to let go of the life you once knew to move onto the next season of your life is always a bittersweet moment. This is exactly what Bailey experienced in Leaving as she had to say goodbye to her family, let go of her past, and move on from her relationship with Cody Coleman in order to chase her Broadway dreams.
Leaving is first book in the Bailey Flanigan series, however the characters were already introduced in Kingsbury’s previous series. I think I would’ve enjoyed it a lot more if I would have read the previous series so I could’ve already been familiar with the characters. They seemed almost a little too perfect and flawless at times: living a dream life by being invited to audition for Broadway, having the perfect Christian family, starring in a movie, and befriending a celebrity. It also frustrated me that Kingsbury showed the point of views from a couple who were from her past series, even though their story didn’t contribute anything to the main plot.
However, although I couldn’t connect well with Bailey, she is someone I can look up to in the way that she relied on her faith to guide her. It was inspiring to see her strive to live for God by seeking Him through every situation she faced.
I seemed to have read Leaving at a convenient time in my life, having just graduated high school and entering into a new season in my life. I think teenagers will also be able to relate in the way that this book is all about changes, growing up, and moving out. There were many things I could take away from Leaving, such as how I should cherish every moment and spend time with those I love. To live each day like it’s my last.
Leaving by Karen Kingsbury is a very clean read, one that could be enjoyed by teenagers, young adults, as well as adults. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series and continuing Bailey’s journey as she lives out her dreams on Broadway.