Just Once: A Novel Book Review

So, I recently picked up Just Once: A Novel by Karen Kingsbury and boy, was it a rollercoaster of emotions! I couldn’t put it down and I just had to share my thoughts with you. If you’re a fan of heartwarming love stories set against the backdrop of real historical events, then this book is definitely for you. Stick around as I give you the lowdown on what I liked, what could be improved, and my quick verdict on whether it’s worth your time.


Pros and Cons

What We Liked

  1. The portrayal of Irvel’s journey through Alzheimer’s touched my heart deeply.
  2. The historical backdrop of World War II was incredibly well-researched and brought the story to life.
  3. The characters felt so real and relatable, making the emotional impact even stronger.
  4. The love story between Irvel and Hank was beautifully written and kept me turning the pages.
  5. Karen Kingsbury’s writing style is captivating and drew me in from the very first page.

What Can Be Improved

  1. At times, the pacing felt a bit slow, especially in the middle of the book.
  2. I wish there was more focus on some of the secondary characters’ stories.

Quick Verdict

Overall, Just Once: A Novel is a deeply moving and beautifully crafted story that will stay with you long after you finish it. The pros definitely outweigh the cons, and I highly recommend giving it a read. If you want a poignant love story intertwined with a compelling historical narrative, this book is a must-read. Trust me, you won’t regret it! Check it out here.

Unboxing – What’s Inside?

As an avid reader, I recently purchased Just Once: A Novel from Amazon to add to my collection of books. The delivery was incredibly fast, arriving at my doorstep within 2 days of ordering. When I opened the package, I found a brand new paperback copy of the novel, neatly wrapped and in perfect condition.

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  • Publication date: May 7, 2024
  • Print length: 336 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.84 x 8.38 inches
  • Item Weight: 10.9 ounces
  • ISBN-13: 978-1982104450
  • Publisher: Atria Books


The user guide for Just Once: A Novel provided valuable insight into the storyline, characters, and the author’s inspiration for writing the book. It enhanced my reading experience and allowed me to appreciate the novel even more. You can find the user guide here.

Features – What We Found

Compelling Storytelling

Just Once: A Novel by Karen Kingsbury is a compelling story that grips the reader from the first page and keeps them engaged until the very end. The characters are well-developed, and the plot is full of unexpected twists and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat. Kingsbury’s writing style is captivating, making it hard to put the book down.

If you enjoy emotionally charged stories with deep themes of love, loss, and redemption, then Just Once is a must-read. The emotional depth of the characters and their relatable struggles will leave a lasting impact on the reader.

Pro-tip: Set aside dedicated time to read this book, as you won’t want to stop once you start. It’s a perfect choice for a cozy weekend read or a long flight.

Heartfelt Writing Style

Karen Kingsbury’s heartfelt writing style shines through in Just Once: A Novel, creating a deep emotional connection with the reader. The way she crafts her sentences and describes the characters’ feelings and experiences is truly moving.

If you’re a fan of emotional storytelling that tugs at your heartstrings, then Just Once is a perfect choice. You’ll find yourself immersed in the characters’ lives and feeling every emotion right along with them. You can purchase the novel here.

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Intriguing Plot Development

The plot of Just Once: A Novel is full of intriguing developments that keep the reader hooked from start to finish. The way Karen Kingsbury weaves together the storylines of the characters creates a captivating and immersive reading experience.

As you dive into the pages of Just Once, you’ll find yourself eagerly turning pages to discover what happens next. The way the plot unfolds will keep you guessing and eager to see how everything comes together in the end.

Relatable Characters

The characters in Just Once: A Novel are incredibly relatable, each with their own unique struggles and triumphs. Karen Kingsbury has a talent for creating characters that feel like real people, making it easy for readers to connect with them on a personal level.

As you follow the characters’ journeys, you’ll find yourself rooting for them, empathizing with their challenges, and celebrating their victories. Just Once is a testament to Kingsbury’s skill at crafting characters that resonate with readers.

Pro-tip: Take the time to fully immerse yourself in the characters’ experiences, and you’ll find the emotional impact of the novel even more powerful.

Captivating Emotional Depth

Just Once: A Novel delves into deep emotional themes with a level of authenticity that is truly captivating. Karen Kingsbury’s ability to explore complex emotions and experiences adds a layer of depth to the novel that is both compelling and thought-provoking.

Through the characters’ journeys, the novel explores themes of love, forgiveness, and the resilience of the human spirit. Kingsbury’s poignant storytelling will leave a lasting impression on readers, sparking reflection and discussion long after the book is finished.

Concluding Thoughts

Our Score: 95.0

Just Once: A Novel by Karen Kingsbury is a deeply moving and heartwarming story that left a lasting impact on me. As someone who has had family members affected by Alzheimer’s, the way the author portrayed the journey of Irvel and Hank through love and hardship resonated with me on a personal level. The historical backdrop of World War II added depth to the story, and the meticulous research that went into it was evident throughout the book. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys stories of enduring love and the strength of the human spirit. You can find it here.

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The character development in this novel is exceptional, and the way Karen Kingsbury weaves together the past and present is truly captivating. The emotional depth of the story and the way it tugs at your heartstrings make it a must-read for anyone looking for a poignant and unforgettable love story. The book offers a perfect blend of history, romance, and faith, making it a compelling and enriching read for all audiences.

Overall, Just Once is a beautifully written novel that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page. It is a testament to the enduring power of love and the resilience of the human spirit. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a touching and thought-provoking read that will leave a lasting impression. You can find it here.

Best combination

When you’re diving into the world of fiction with Just Once: A Novel, you should also consider adding Deadly Pretender: The Double Life of David Miller to your reading list. This gripping true crime story parallels the themes of deception and identity explored in Just Once, offering a fascinating contrast between fiction and reality. By delving into the double life of David Miller, readers can gain a deeper understanding of the complexities of human nature and the consequences of living a lie.

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