If you're new to #COLLABOREADS, welcome! 

Amber and I started this fun little online book club back in May 2015, and after a summer without it, we're bringing it back to life again this month! We pick a theme every month, you pick a book that fits (we all read different books! it's fun that way!) and then all link up and share our thoughts (with a handy-dandy R.E.A.D.S. acronym usually--see below!) and link up and become BFFs. You can read more about this whole thing here.

PS: Amber's taking a break from her blog at the moment (we miss her, but so support her!) so it's just me hosting today, but I'm still excited to connect with all of you book-loving friends!

This month's theme was: A Book with "Fall" in the Title

I chose: Falling Free: Rescued from the Life I Always Wanted by Shannan Martin

Shannan Martin had the perfect life: a cute farmhouse on six rambling acres, a loving husband, three adorable kids, money, friends, a close-knit church—a safe, happy existence.

But when the bottom dropped out through a series of shocking changes and ordinary inconveniences, the Martins followed God’s call to something radically different: a small house on the other side of the urban tracks, a shoestring income, a challenged public school, and the harshness of a county jail (where her husband is now chaplain). And yet the family’s plunge from “safety” was the best thing that could have happened to them.
— Goodreads description


What part of the book could you NOT get enough of? I really enjoyed this book and reading Shannan's story. I hadn't followed her blog or known about her before coming across this book, so it was great to get to know her and read all about her family and faith and life. It's a story about leaving the easy life behind to step out in faith and follow God's lead, and although very different from my own life, those themes rang true with me. I was so inspired by how Shannan and her husband continually open up their hearts and their home to others, really extending the love of Jesus to those who might otherwise never encounter him, and really redefining what "family" means. I loved it. There are great takeaways from every believer in this one-- there's a much richer and more abundant life to be had on the other side of fear and uncertainty, and this book is the nudge so many of us need to get to that place.


How did you relate to/care for the characters? What's your thought on the plot line and twists and turns? I feel like I'm friends with Shannan now (the fact that she commented on my Instagram post about reading this book was icing on the cake, too! So fun.) and really love that about this book. It isn't over-ambitious in trying to tell her entire life story, but it's driven and moving and many different snippets of the stories she shared have lingered with me.


What other books are like this one? If none, did it remind you of a particular TV or movie with it's themes and characters? Does it serendipitous-ly line-up with things going on in your life or the news right now? I think this is slightly similar in style and overall theme to books like Packing Light by Allison Vesterfelt (now Fallon); For the Love by Jen Hatmaker (although Falling Free isn't as humorous in its style); and even Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis. None of those are perfect matches, but if you like Falling Free, I think you'll like the others too!


You know you judged this book by the cover. What did you think of it? How did it relate to the contents of the novel? And the font and layout of the pages? The cover color is bold and eye-catching, which while that isn't my favorite style typically, definitely drew me into this book. The font and leaf imagery are both simple and clean, and I wouldn't really want this cover to have anything else added. 


How many out of five do you give this book? Would you recommend this book to a friend? I gave this 4/5 stars. There are so many things about this book that challenged and encouraged me in my life even though my circumstances are completely different from Shannan's, and I loved that about it. I think so many people in their early twenties are just trying to figure this whole life thing out, and it was refreshing to read of someone who left all comfort and ease behind to really just follow the Lord's will. I've already recommended this to friends and know I'll continue to do so!




November's theme is A Foodie Book. Since we'll be gearing up for Thanksgiving and cooking/eating all the delicious things, it just makes sense to read a book about food! Choose a cookbook or a memoir or a book with a food-ish title or whatever you'd like!

We'll link up on November 30!