Author’s Note: We were provided with a free copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Plot and Storyline Quality (3 points)
Looking Into You has great plot and storyline quality. Of course, we’ve come to expect no less from Fabry’s exceptional writing style. The novel brings to an end the unfinished story of an original character who we first met in Every Waking Moment. While at first glance this book may seem to be a typical sequel, it is not because it expounds on the qualities of the original novel by telling another part of the story, rather than simply regurgitating the same concepts. In the book, Treha will finally discover the piece of her life that has always been missing, and Paige Redwine will find healing for a choice she made long ago that changed the course of her life. The novel opens with the news that because of Treha’s success in the local junior college, and her improved mental and physical health state, she has been accepted to a faith-based college that is located only hours away from her current home with Miriam and Charlie Howard. Miriam is reluctant to let her go off on her own, but knows that Treha needs to learn how to live a healthy, independent life. Treha quickly finds that college is not what she expected, and that friends are not always who they appear to be. Paige Redwine is an established college professor who has hit continually hit a writer’s block on her long-anticipated doctoral dissertation about mothers and daughters. She is also struggling to be open and honest in her on again/off again relationship with a man who is willing to help her face the shadows of her past. In the midst of her inner turmoil, Paige’s fragile grip on sanity will be shaken in two ways. As circumstances begin to make both women question their purpose, each will have to turn to the One who loves the most. This plot, as with many of Fabry’s books, has great potential to be a Christian film. Yet, because of some predictable plot elements, it falls just short of a perfect score. However, this is a powerful pro-life tale that is definitely worth both a read and consideration by future filmmakers.
Character Development (3.5 points)
Fabry’s strongest suit has always been character development, and this novel is no different. The only thing keeping him from a perfect score in this area is the use of recycled characters. However, this is simply my opinion and not necessarily a bad thing. Treha is the strongest character because she changes in response to life circumstances. Paige is also well-developed and relatable, furthermore, her backstory and present circumstances interact well to create the bulk of the plot-line. The only other negative element to point out here is that some of the secondary characters could have used just a hair more development. Yet, in comparison to many other authors, there are few who are better than Fabry at crafting well-rounded characters.
Creativity & Originality (1.5 points)
Finally, Fabry does a great job with this novel by adding creative and original characteristics to a cast of known characters. This fact earned him an almost perfect score in the area of creativity and originality for crafting what is perhaps the best ever Christian sequel to date. My favorite thing about the novel is the unique and poignant look it takes at the pro-life argument. The pro-life message is not shoved down one’s throat, rather, it is gently weaved into the fibers of the story to create an inarguable point that cannot be ignored. What would life be like if a loved one had never existed? His message is clear, all life is precious and only God has the authority to create it and take it away. In conclusion, great job Mr. Fabry, this is another one for the record books.
Wish List rating: 8 out of 10 points