Book Review: It Had to Be You

bookI just finished the latest book Tyndale sent me for review: “It Had to Be You” by Susan May Warren. Every chance I got to sneak a few more pages in, I was all over it!

You see, I love a good romance novel every so often (sometimes more than often), particularly one in which I learn about something new (i.e. history, politics, law, etc.), but after awhile they all sound the same — poorly written, cheesy flicks that I end up putting aside for something more exciting like espionage (big surprise coming from this CIA fanatic).

So when I got “It Had to Be You” in the mail, I had this initial moment of, “Why did I choose THIS book? I’m so sick of romance novels right now!” But then I opened and started to read…

author…and I discovered that Susan May Warren can write!!! (See a Q&A with the author here.) There are few books where I think, “Oh man, I love how she weaves words together,” and this was one of them. On top of that, it taught me a bit about ice hockey (and let me tell you, sports is one subject I desperately need to learn about). It felt easy to read, and drew you into its narrative and characters, complete with an entirely unexpected twist at the end!

I really enjoyed this book. So if you’re looking for a new, clean, beautiful, feel-good-and-inspired novel, check out this one!

Let me leave you with these paragraphs from the end of the book, written by one of the characters (an aspiring reporter who feels invisible), as her ode to someone’s life. These words pricked my heart, offering a refreshing perspective in our world of searching to be seen and noticed.

“Is it possible to have a remarkable life by simply caring for someone else? To be a champion by losing everything? To become a hero by becoming invisible?

“Hudson taught us that the answer is yes.

“See, we pass them every day. They sit on a ratty piece of cardboard, wrapped in bags, fraying woolen hats, matted and dirty hair in tangles down their backs, wearing old Army surplus jackets.

“They hold out their hands, and we avert our eyes as we drop a quarter, maybe a dollar.

“Why? …They are different, broken, weary, forgotten, and we try not to notice them because they frighten us… if we saw them as any different, we might have to connect, to care.

“It might cost us something.

“We all judge each other. We see what we want, what we believe based on stereotypes, on rumor, and even on our own fears. We put people into categories and assign behaviors to them, and it isn’t until we take the time, until we commit to the cost, that we see beyond those stereotypes…

“Hudson knew that, to these forgotten, these unseen, God says, ‘I see you, and My heart breaks for you. I long to heal you. To comfort you. For you to rise up and know you are Mine. I am proud to be your daddy.’

“Hudson knew that to live a remarkable life, it start with seeing just one person and reminding them of God’s love.” (pp. 360-361)


Note: Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review.

One thought on “Book Review: It Had to Be You

  1. tedwardredd says:

    Great review! I like how you explained what you liked in a romance novel. I recently published my first novel and it is a romance. I want my next book to be even better so I’m always looking for reviews on romance novels; what’s good and what’s not.


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