Customer Reviews: Loved - A Novel
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on October 19, 2012
I have been one of the few very lucky people in this world to read Loved and I couldn't be more excited for it's publication. This book was so incredibly truthful. I found I couldn't keep my greedy little hands off of it. It was truly one of those "I can't put it down and want to read all the time and when I'm not reading it I'm thinking about it" phenomena that I relish. I found that I related so much to the main character. I too grew up in a small town, I too had big dreams, I too let myself fall in and out of love with men who not only didn't get me, but certainly didn't deserve me, or treat me by any means the way a good woman should be treated. Men that consistently confused me, let me down, and I kept going back for more. I've also had those beautiful men in my past that left a permanent stamp on my heart. That will be forever missed, created an everlasting void, and will never replicated identically in another. Dearest Loved, please give me another page to read, please tell me how the story ends, but yet please don't let it be over. After all, it felt like my story, and I was hungry to know how I would turn out.

Admittedly, I found myself envious of her in many ways. She was more adventurous than I, and it seemed more brave too. I wanted to be like her and regretted ways in which I hadn't been like her in some of the choices I had made. I was also was grateful for some of our differences. The results of many of her choices didn't always turn out as she originally hoped for with sweet naivety, and instead, proved to be very disappointing. It was in these instances I felt I had dodged a bullet that she wasn't as fortunate to avoid. This book has appeal for women of all ages because those women, at one point in time, either were this character or will someday be this character.

Loved is a must read. Any young girl out there can learn from the main character's struggles, take them to heart, and hopefully be better for it. By feeling an easy compassion for the lovable main character, I hope women of all ages can learn to love themselves by seeing themselves in her. You can't help but root for her success, her ambition, and her journey. You want her to win because you want to win yourself.
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on October 31, 2012
Loved is a novel that will strike many familiar chords with any woman who has ever doubted herself, who has ever fallen in love with the wrong man at the wrong time, who has ever had her heart broken. Kim Carlson is easy to root for - she's pretty, she's smart and she's talented, but never pretentious. Her journey from self-doubting teenager to strong, confident woman is relatable and touching. The story covers a lot of bases, from Kim's first love in high school to her successful career in Nashville ten years later, and readers will feel like they're paging through someone's journal - in a good way.

Though it's intriguing to watch Kim navigate the waters of her changing relationships with men, friends and the God she never stops believing in, the center of the story is her first love, Chase. Chase changes her forever and permeates every single relationship that comes later, as first loves often do. I found myself nodding my head so many times, pausing to highlight portions of the story that resonated so deeply for me. Chase is so right for Kim in that he understands her and completes her, but they have massive barriers to overcome in terms of their life trajectories. Most women have had this experience at some point or another and it's always an exhilarating and painful ride.

Kim is the light to Chase's dark soul, and they fit together beautifully but can't seem to get the timing right. Kim says soon after meeting Chase, "I always believed I was a happy person with a sad soul...Somehow, without having experienced what he had, his scars resonated with me." Kim has to make some really difficult decisions about how to chase her dreams, which involves moving 600 miles away, while finding a way to keep Chase in her life. Choosing herself and her dream is often hard, but it's integral to her ultimate transformation from girl to woman.

Kimberly Novosel is a promising writer, willing and able to delve deep into her heart's core and share what's painful and true about love and life. That fearlessness is what keeps you turning the pages, wanting to hear her next observation, waiting for the next sentence that's so honest you'll want to scribble it in your journal to remember it later. Though much of her novel feels like a memoir and the plot covers a lot of ground, there are moments when Novosel pauses to really paint a picture, and it's gorgeous when she does. My favorite moment in the entire novel: "I tucked the Camel coupon from his cigarette pack into my pocket, a souvenir of the moment where he said maybe. I would hold on to his maybe for as long as it would take, even forever." Having held on to a few maybes in my life, I can relate. Well done, Kim Novosel.
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on November 23, 2012
I loved this book! It was so much more than I had expected. Any woman who has made it through her early 20s will easily relate to Kim Carlson. I found myself cheering for her good choices and grimacing as she made the bad choices. I think what I enjoyed the most was the very authentic feel of this story. So many times, I will read a novel that really throws terrible things at the main character and neatly delivers a happy ending 200 pages later...that is not real life. Real life is a roller coaster of good, terrible, funny, embarrassing, and so many other emotions. Life is messy, but worth it and that was really how this book read. You meet Kim as she is in high school, trying to find her way. Then the story follows her through college and beyond. Those are some extremely powerful years in a woman's life and they are captured beautifully in Loved.
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on November 12, 2012
Loved is a fantastic book and to think this is Kimberly's FIRST! There are so many novels where you can actually see the writer trying desperately to be a writer but Kimberly is already there. Kimberly's way with words is both poetic and fun but at the same time, completely honest. Kim, the character's, feelings are the same feelings most women like myself had from their mid teens through mid twenties and whether or not we remember those times as dramatic or romantic now, they certainly felt that way at the time. Kimberly embodies each and every emotion in the words she chooses and you can feel the words that are on the page as well as the words she purposely left out.

Great writing aside, the honesty of the story in Loved is what really drew me in. Too often coming of age stories are centered around girls who either have one flaw which isn't even a flaw (oh no, she's shy!) or are going through some intense tragedy (spare me from another teenager with cancer Nicholas Sparks). Kim is flawed in the way we're all flawed and you can instantly connect with her and how she is feeling because you remember feeling the exact same way, even the darkest feelings you try to forget. Kimberly doesn't pull any punches and the story is better for it.

I cannot recommend Loved enough so stop reading this review and get it right now!
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on November 9, 2012
Loved really struck a chord with me (no pun intended) and not just because I, too, was a girl from Pennsylvania who moved to Nashville to chase her crazy dreams.

I finished "Loved" in two sittings. It could have been one if my Kindle battery didn't die and I wasn't too lazy to get out of bed to find my charger. At times I felt as if I was reading a private journal of Kim's life, and it was so honest that sometimes I felt as if I was reading something I shouldn't have if I were Kim's roommate and found her journal as she was at work one day while I was snooping around her room. That's how raw and honest it is, and how enticing it is for the reader. I think almost every girl of my generation, as well as those coming up in their early twenties, can find themselves somewhere in Kim's story. I appreciated that "Loved" didn't shy away from tough issues like drinking, dieting, and depression. Those not so pretty things make up a great deal of the right of passage that is your twenties.

I can't wait for Kimberly's next book. "Loved" not only made me reflect on how I got to where I am at this point in my life, it made me thankful for the journey, though mostly bumpy, that brought me here.
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on November 9, 2012
I highly recommend "Loved." This novel begins by telling the story of a young girl, Kim, who is learning from all of her mistakes and life experiences. It is not just a love story, but a life story. It is written in a very personal manner, almost like a diary. The narrator's strength is being brutally honest with herself. She paints a picture with her words, sometimes extremely depressing and sometimes remarkably beautiful. Kim is a very complex character, both brave and weak, and her life is just as complex. This is a book you can't put down. The reader is always wondering what choices Kim or her love interest will make next. I would say that is the main theme of the story: Choices. Kim shows us that our choices aren't necessarily always wrong or right. They shape us into who we are and who we will be. It is easy for the reader to put herself in Kim's shoes. As Kim's story continues, we watch her choices transform her into a woman--through college, jobs, and heartaches. Finally, after all her struggles and pain, Kim emerges as a marvelous woman who is loved.
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on October 28, 2012
Kimberly Novosel's writing is heartfelt and genuine. Loved is reminiscent of a Taylor Swift song - so supremely real that every young woman in America will be left wondering how it is that Novosel was so accurately able to capture the events in her life. In Loved, Kimberly Carlson struggles to find herself and true love in a world that seems to be desperately trying to make her just like everyone else. She encounters amazing life-affirming experiences and devastating heart-breaking tragedies. Just when you think that life has knocked her down once and for all, Kimberly is able to summon the strength to get up once again. She begins to realize what it really means to be Loved and finds that true love comes from the place she would least expect it - within. Kimberly Novosel's ability to chronicle this journey is unmatched. I hope this is only the beginning for Novosel and I look forward to reading more from her in the future!
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on October 24, 2012
"Loved" is a book on youth, on that period of life when tough decisions have to be made, although we may not be ready for that.
Kim finds herself precisely in that position, not an adult and no more a child, torn between her dreams in the music business and the human relationships she's struggling to keep alive and yet seem to crumble apart.
This novel could have turned out melancholy but, fortunately for us, it is enlivened by the author's keen use of dialogues, her observation skills and warm sympathy for every character in the story.
When I first laid eyes on "Loved", I got the impression that Ms Novosel had been writing all her life; the language is fluent, characters as solid as can be, the plot neatly developed. So imagine my surprise when I learned it was her debut novel!
Definitely look forward to her future works
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on November 19, 2013
Kimberly is such a talented writer! Loved kept my interest and such an nice read. I can't wait to read more of her books in the future!
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on December 29, 2014
I read this book in a couple hours. Really I couldn't put it down because where I am now, at 23, it is so easily relatable. I'm definitely buying this book for friends.
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