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on January 26, 2012
i have enjoyed previous Karen Baxter books, but very disappointed in this series. both this book and the previous (leaving) seem very drawn out like she is trying to make a one book story into a 4 book series.
this book follows Bailey as she dances on Broadway and Brandon takes her out on amazing (unrealistic) dates; and Cody as he begins coaching a football team and grows closer to Cheyenne who has a hard road of rehab after a car accident.
I feel Bailey's character is not 'too perfect' as others have reviewed - i found her life is 'too perfect', but Bailey herself i found to be selfcentred and shallow. quite frankly she often acts like a spoiled brat. even her dream of dancing on Broadway and 'shining for God' seems rather selfcentred to me. how exactly is an ensemble dancer 'shining for God'? most in audience won't know anything about her, she hasn't been much help to her colleagues or friends and it's not like she's sacrificing to care for others or make His name known; it seems she needs the attention that comes from performing rather than doing anything for God or to help other people.
Through 2 whole books she is moaning about how Cody can't be her real friend or care about her because he hasn't contacted her (he did come to contact her and she as usual was with the movie star), yet she only tries to contact him once to give stuff back and when finding him beside his close friend in coma in hospital, does she offer care, support, prayer, encouragement? no, she focuses on her own selfish agenda again.
a reality check is probably needed here.
She has a large warm supportive loving family, is wealthy with money worries or need to support herself, living out her dream on Broadway,famous from her movie role, being courted by 'America's favourite movie star' - Cody on the other hand is a war veteran struggling with PTSD, previous addictions, a difficult childhood, mother in prison, left his home and support structures to be closer to his mum, has to earn his own living and his close friend in a coma from lifethreatening accident. He initially stayed away from Bailey due to threats which could have threatened her life. why did she not contact him and provide support during his difficulties? oh yes, she was making a movie, lots of popularity, money, media interest - no time for a friend in need... who is the one needing a friend and support here???? and who is not giving it???

i did find Cody's character development in this book better, although the turnaround in the team he coaches is a bit beyond belief. however, he at least exemplifies someone following God, struggling, but growing through the struggles and making choices to put others above himself and giving himself for the good of others. cheyenne too exemplifies some of this.
this is a disappointing series, too unrealistic, too focussed on fame/popularity and not appreciating real character, i won't be reading any more of it.
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on June 24, 2011
I have read the series starting with the baxters and seems to get where I can not put the books down. This is one of those books again, however what would have been normal a couple hour read turned into a few days only because I did not want the story to end so fast.I have read where people feel Bailey is fake and not a real person but I feel as the Flannigans have maybe sheltered there children a little from the coming and goings as away to show love, I personally was broght up that way and feel like in some moments I could relate with Bailey. Where Bailey reaches out to her friends on Facebook and encourages them in a way few people do with out any judgement speaks volumes to the struggles to her willingness to help people when she her self is facing struggles in this book. I feel in this book Bailey is out in a world she is not use to and is now experiencing things that are raw. I feel like the Characters in this book dealt with alot more emotions then in Leaving, which to me those emotions came out more raw and more often off the page. As for Cody and CHey, I wish the both of them could get past the hurt and see that God does have a plan and that even though that plan may not be what they want right now there walking around with blinders and depending on others to get them through. The Series very well could end with this Book to be honest but I am so excited to see what God is going to do in everyones life from Baileys ,Brandon, Cody and CHeys to Ashley and Landons. I do have to say though my favorite Character in the last 2 books has become Devin it helps us to remeber to be a the kid thats still in us(man I love him he reminds me to much of my own neices and nephews). This book I will say is a must buy and I think Karen needs to make sure tissues are sold with her books from now on....lol.
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on July 8, 2011
As I picked up this second novel in the Bailey Flannigan Series I was sure what to expect. I figured maybe it would be mostly about how Bailey is doing in New York and a little about Cody. However, it was the complete opposite.

The story begins with Cody still sitting at the hospital bed of Cheyenne waiting for her to wake up from the car accident. I was not sure how Karen would go down this road would she let Cheyenne live or would she die. As you read on you find that Cheyenne does live and you follow her struggle/triumph as she begins to learn how to walk with Cody by her side. In addition through out the book you find out how Cody's team is doing and whether or not he is successful as the new Lyle Coach.

In a different state you find Bailey who is still struggling to find herself on Broadway and with her new cast members. Through out the book you still see her struggle with it and how she is able shine and share her faith with others in the cast as a tragedy occurs. In addition her relationship with Brandon continues to grow and change.

Lastly, in addition to reading about Bailey and Cody's life you also get a glimpse of Ashley Baxter and how her life is changing with the illness of her husband Landon. I loved that Karen includes Baxter stories as she continues this series.

In the end it was once again an excellent read. As a fan of Cody and Bailey as a couple I would have like it to go down a different road but then there would not be the need for another two books. I would recommend this to all ages as it has different stories in it that will grab the interest of different people. I am excited to see what Karen has in store for the next couple of books.
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on June 30, 2011
The Bailey Flanigan story and Cody Colmen story began in the Firstborn series and continue in the Sunrise and Above the line series. They quickly become strong characters and great examples for all ages.

"Learning" is the second book in the Bailey series. The book is full of just that "Learning". As Bailey and Cody spread their wings and chase after their dreams, they are given many situations that help them learn and grow into the adults they are meant to be. Each is given people to help them as they are "Learning". Finding that they need to let go of the "me" and look to the needs of others and what GOD really wants for them. Being His light is the best dream.

Bailey and Cody take many twist and turns in their journey, just as you and i do, you won't want to put this book down because you'll be "Longing" to learn what is going to happen next.

Karens amazing ability to draw us into the story is better then watching any movie and makes you feel like one of the characters in the story. She weaves the love of the LORD through out the story and you don't even realize your being taught about His love. She has a great way of teaching us no matter what our age or situation there is always something for us to learn. Life is full of learning and special people to help us with our learning. Karen does not debate the truths, just states what the bible has to say about things and she does it in a very pleasant way through the life's of the characters we love.

Another marvelous life changing fiction by Karen Kingsbury. I found "Learning" to be a great read. One that challenges me to keep looking for the opportunities of Learning in my life.
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on June 23, 2011
I could never ever truly hate a book written by Karen Kingsbury - it sounds silly, but they are too much a part of ME. I feel like the characters really are friends, and I definitely consider Karen one of my friends.

I think it's that love that made me so angry while I was reading Learning! I was so frustrated when Bailey and Cody weren't doing what I wanted - which was basically from cover to cover. I was irritated at Brandon's "wooing" and rolled my eyes at almost every scene with him in it...and the same goes for Cheyenne. I don't think I've ever had such strong, negative feelings while reading a book. I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT! I love that Karen's writing is so real to me and can touch me so deeply. I love that I care about these fictional people enough to yell at them, cry over them and rejoice with them.

I have to say that I liked Leaving better than Learning, only because I expected some loose ends and was willing to wait for the happily ever after. In Learning, I was frustrated to no end and, at times, I (almost) wanted to give up. But I could never do that to them, or Karen. It was worth the "pain", for sure. It's a fantastic book that will teach you patience if nothing else - and there's plenty more to learn right along with the characters! I must say though, that I am awaiting Longing a lot more anxiously than I was Learning - and that's saying a lot! November 29, 2011 cannot get here soon enough!
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on July 8, 2011
[[ASIN:0310276330 Learning (Bailey Flanigan Series)] I love to read Karen Kingsbury's books. Every book gets better. Karen has a way to bring me "into the book" and I am a part of the characters!I "feel" with them, laugh with them, cry with them, and once I start to read, it is nearly impossible to stop until I finish the book! I love the way Karen adds scripture in her books. God is such a big part of her writing,and it is so heartwarming! I really love this "Bailey Flanigan Series". Karen makes the characters very real. They have Facebook pages, as well as they tweet!. That is so cool. Karen does such wonderful things in her writing to make her readers be a part of each book she writes. I just love Karen. I have met her several times and she is such a wonderful Christian lady. Her books bring out her real love for people thru her faith. I am excited for the next book to come out. She always leaves me pondering what is going to happen with Bailey, Cody and Brandon. Karen has really left me wondering, which really makes it so fun to wait for the next book. (I really want Bailey to get back with Cody....hint hint Karen :) Karen REMAIN BLESSED! Keep writing and Amazon keep selling Karen's books.
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on March 13, 2018
Really enjoying this series and how Karen weaves the character's faith walk throughout. I was thrilled to be able to purchase used hardback copies of this series at a reasonable price. I like to share my books with girlfriends when I've finished reading them.
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on May 3, 2016
I love Karen's novels but Amazon really ticked me off when I read the back cover and learned that they'd sent me an 'ADVANCED READING COPY' ... an 'UNCORRECTED PROOF' that is 'Subject to Change'. I bought the entire series from Amazon and although the volumes on either side don't appear to be ADVANCED READERS but I am not happy that Amazon apparently doesn't police their stacks to prevent this kind of thing from happening.
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on July 11, 2011
I am a huge Kingsbury fan and have loved all of the Baxter series. I found Bailey intriguing in the Baxter series and was excited to see what happened next with her. So far there have been definite highs and lows with this series. I think the thing I struggle the most with is that it seems very unrealistic. The Flanigan family is, as other reviewers have said, too perfect. Bailey has never had to truly want for anything and has had life handed to her on a silver platter. I really liked the development of Cody's character, but Brandon Paul seems unrealistic. I like the guy, but a guy that perfect would get old really fast....handsome former playboy movie star turned to perfect godly Christian man who always says and does the perfect thing.

Still, I finished this book and realized that I too am Longing for November and the next book in the series.
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on June 23, 2011
I have loved these characters from the first time I met them! I thought I was rooting for Cody, but Karen has the ability to make me love both boys. I go back and forth during each book and by the end Karen leaves me undecided! I love that Bailey has developed into a real person. It's one thing to make the right decisions when things are easy, but I love watching her recognize mistakes and keep going in the right direction. Those are the characters that resonate with me, because real people make mistakes and the test is knowing what to do about them.

Karen has the ability to make you believe her characters are three-dimensional people who feel every emotion, and are tempted, and make the wrong decision at times. That is what makes these books so special. You are able to identify with every story in one way or another, and this story is no different. "Learning" deals with going after your dreams, finding relationships, and staying obedient to God through it all. What we see in this book is that characters whose paths have been simple so far become complicated when obstacles are put in the way, while other characters who have had difficult story lines are now coming into God's promises. We get to see the truth of Jeremiah 29:11, in that God has plans for us but they might not be the plans we ever expected or wanted. The characters are "learning" this lesson for themselves.
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