Your Best Happily Ever After by Ginger Kolbaba

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Your Best Happily Ever After: Loving God’s Beautiful Story for Your Life
by Ginger Kolbaba

Rating:

(3-1/2 out of 5 stars)

I received this advanced copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I would like to sincerely thank Barbour Publishing and Shiloh Run Press for this exciting opportunity 🙂

Categories: Christian, Religion & Spirituality
Publication Date: August 1, 2015
Publisher: Barbour Publishing and Shiloh Run Press
Edition Language: English
Series: None

Quick Links: Amazon | Goodreads

Synopsis: Cinderella. Snow White. Sleeping Beauty. Rapunzel. These beloved stories all conclude with, “. . .and they lived happily ever after.” We sigh, smile, and know there’s an amazing story of love, adventure, and redemption coming.

We all yearn for a fairy tale life, but too often our existence feels less like the pages of a storybook and more like a bad reality TV show. From poisoned apples (sin) and Ugly Stepsisters (joy-stealers) to magic mirrors (real beauty is more than skin-deep) and glass slippers (God’s perfect calling for us), the truth is that as daughters of God, we can live the perfect story the Author has written for our lives—we can experience the happily ever after that He has penned for us, now, regardless of our circumstances!

Writer, speaker, and surrogate fairy godmother Ginger Kolbaba offers encouragement, challenges, biblical insights, and a little humor on how God wants us to live and love our stories in the here and now.

 

Note: This book is not rated for children, teens or young adults, so please ask permission from a parent or guardian if you are under the age of 18 before reading this book.

 

Marigold’s Review:

I knew before selecting to read this book that it was not geared towards teens and young adults, but the fairytale-themed synopsis and this particular passage sold me:

“We can actually experience happily ever after right now. With a little encouragement from some fairy-tale writers, along with some wise biblical authors, we can pursue a joy-filled life today.”

It was very difficult for me to get invested into the book in the beginning, because the page formatting on my Kindle was terribly frustrating (see note to publisher below), and the author was retelling well-known fairytales with example stories sprinkled in that really didn’t grab my attention. I don’t like to give up on reading a book until I’ve read at least read half of it, so I pressed on with hopes that the story would become more interesting and adaptable for younger readers. I’m so happy I did, because the author did hit upon a number of topics that were very relatable and helpful to audiences of all ages.

The first topic that really caught my attention explained toxic people, how to identify them, and why you should rid them from your life in order to be truly happy. Toxic people are sometimes not easily identifiable, so when you really begin to question what is hindering your true happiness, you may be shocked to realize that one of your good friends is toxic. Removing toxic people completely from your life may not be entirely possible (especially if you go to the same school, are relatives, etc.), but you can make changes to your lifestyle that will push them into a less dominant role in your life.

Another interesting topic discussed first impressions. Many of us judge a person or a thing (like a book, song, artwork, etc.) within a matter of seconds and don’t often lend them another opportunity to change your mind. Not everyone or everything will make an astounding first impression (yourself included), so by taking a forgiving approach to wipe the slate clean and start over allows you to possibly see the underlying beauty that is often missed.

“When we’re tired, unrested, and overscheduled, we become our own worst nightmare.” I could definitely relate to this topic and have often been unhappy because of lack of sleep and too much going on. For example, part of my workload is out of my control, because I can’t just not do homework assignments or not study for exams or else I’d fail my classes, but I do find that if I plan ahead and actually follow-through on my delegated study/homework time, I have more free time available to do things that make me happy – like sleep and read 🙂 We need to make happiness a priority so we don’t stand in the way of our own joy.

The section that will really strike a chord with younger readers discusses the use of social media and comparing ourselves to others. “Studies show time and time again that the more we use social media, the more lonely, disconnected, and unhappy we feel.” Mark Twain once said that comparison is the death of joy, and while most people appear to have perfect lives, the truth is that their lives are often just as damaged as our own. The author uses Cinderella’s story to explain that some of us are trying so desperately to fit into shoes we can’t possibly fill when there is a perfect pair for each of us just waiting to be used. In other words, God has a unique plan for all of us, but it’s our job to listen to His call and use our talents for the good of others; this will bring true happiness.

Conclusions:
Although it had a rough start, I was pleasantly surprised by how the author used certain fairytales to explain relatable topics in our everyday lives that hinder our happiness. I think older audiences will get more out of this book, but there are some topics that young people can understand and use in their lives to begin the path to true happiness.

Note to Publisher:
The book’s formatting on the Kindle is awful and made it very frustrating to read. All the chapters run together, words/letters are missing at the beginning of chapters because of the images, random breaks in the middle of sentences, missing returns from one paragraph to the next, etc.

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