Refreshing. Honest. Real. Those are the sentiments that flashed through my mind whenever I picked up Ms. Blanco's book. The format makes it easy to devour - each chapter is really a short story that can be read independent of the others. I enjoyed reading a new chapter each evening. The moment I started reading a fresh page, I was immersed into the characters and the glimpse into their lives I was about to explore. I recently flipped back to the story '85 and in the Fast Lane.' The couple is sympathetic and frankly it encourages me to think that even as I age, there's hope I will continue to grow and change and be a benefit to people around me. My favorite line in the book is from the chapter 'People with Wings:' ***Life without the Light was no life at all.*** Timelessly true. If you are looking for a place to build up your hope - in humanity and in our future - this is a book to sit with a spell.
I finished reading this book the weekend after the Dallas police murders and Ashley Blanco’s positive, hopeful messages helped me through the first days after this terrible event. During a time when we’re hearing such hateful statements being made by Americans to fellow Americans, many of these stories reminded me of the internal goodness and strength of most people.
“Rethinking relationship” has an excellent message for young people in particular. It’s usually a bad sign when someone tries to “hide” a relationship from friends and family members and so it’s important to recognize when this is happening and explore why.
“Inside the Church’s Garbage Can” reminds me of the importance of being true to our core beliefs. It’s too easy to be side-tracked and away from the focus of one’s mission.
My favorite lines come from “What dreams are Made of?” One of the biggest lies we believe is that dreaming is for those who are weak and who lose. The weight of dreams permits only stronger-minded, softer-hearted individuals to carry them. Don’t stop dreaming!
Clearly this collection of stories is written by a strong and loving person.
This book is amazing. It is very well written and illustrates how to really love like Christ. As you flip through the pages, you journey through the human experience while being inspired to love like Christ. The words encourage you and remind you that you are not in this pilgrimage alone. I believe there is something for everyone in this novel because it incorporates people from all walks of life. I know it was inspired by the Holy Spirit. I have so much more to say and will likely write another review as I further process the book and apply it to my life. May God bless the author❤️🙏🏾.
This book is a must read and a must have! The collection of short stories will resonate and connect with you in different ways regardless of your religious or spiritual faith. Each time I re-read one of the short stories, I leave with new meaning and self-reflection in my personal connection to the stories. My favorite stories so far are “You Almost Dropped your Eggs” and “Becoming More than I See.” Both are powerful, heart-warming stories about human kindness and humility, to see what lies beyond the surface and despite the internal struggles we face in our everyday lives, we can rise above our challenges. Here’s a quote from one of the stories, “Don’t Stop Dreaming. Who knows what will come of them if you pray, wait, plan, and push? Push back. You have everything you need to push back.” You will have to read the book to find out where this quote is from…
I loved the book! It brought some insights to situations no one is willing to engage or talk about. I loved how it addressed the white elephants in the room. The subject that I think opened my eyes and brought some much needed attention was misunderstandings in the church. One story I liked a lot was I believe it was one of the earlier chapters in the book but the quote I wrote down. "I'm having trouble with the way people see me at church. They think that I'm trying to live life on my own terms" I LOVE THIS! So good and down to earth on issues that everyone feels but will never talk about. There is something for everyone in here no matter what your going through!
Like many snapshots of the lives around us, Blanco deposits a rich reality in the form of short stories. Perhaps because - though not based on a specific person’s factual story - the stories are nonetheless factual of the experiences so many of us have along the way. Blanco nails the yearning call inside, whether in What Dreams Are Made Of (can we move ahead in spite of the fear?) or Conversations Before the Father-Daughter Dance (a father’s desire to measure up and his daughter’s resolve he already has). This book lacks any kind of timidity or bashfulness that many have come to expect with Christian-founded fiction; it is a fully developed collection to savor as quickly or slowly as one dares.
This is a great collection of stories that will speak right to your heart. Whether you read a few pages on the way to work or right before bed, you'll look forward to the next time that you get to pick it up again. Ashley Blanco does an amazing job of writing these stories in a way that you can experience what each of the characters are going through. One of my favorite stories early in the book is "Evening at the Train Station". You can feel Liv's emotions and hurt jump off the page as she shares about her past hurts. You are able to walk through it with Liv and then you experience the redemptive power of the love of Christ as He begins to work in Liv's heart. Pick this book up as your next read!
Ashley Blanco takes us through the complexities of the human existence. Some things we want to think about and embrace and many we don't. These situations are masterfully written and portrayed to grip the heart and soul. It will take your heart and mind to a news level. In spite of the hardships and harsh moments of life, we are gently lead to remember the Giver of life; the answer to the dark times. We are gently reminded to hold on to our dreams and to know that there is hope. We are gently lead to understand what it means to be "liberated through the live of Christ". Thank you Ashley.
I am so inspired by Ashley Blanco's words in this book. I believe this is for everyone, no matter where you come from or what you believe. The story that spoke the most to me is "Evening At the Train Station". I felt encouraged to walk in the specific path that God has for me instead of worrying about what others think my path with God should look like. I appreciate how her characters come from diverse backgrounds, but God reaches out to all of them with the same love. We need more writers who will speak about racial tensions and show the world that there is still hope. I am so blessed and privileged to have read this book. I also recommend reading through it again so the words sink in deeper. I hope this author writes more books in the future.
I love how each short story is so descriptive and vividly written by the author that it's hard not to get wrapped up in the mood, time and place and really dive in to each scene and character. This is a great read for current times in our society and to not lose sight of real issues that stems from within. I guarantee that each story will reflect on either someone you know or perhaps even yourself.