No One Ever Asked

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Member Reviews

The synopsis of the book certainly intrigued me but I was definitely not prepared for the absolute ride that this book would take me on! I read the majority of it in one day...yup, a single day, I was so immersed in the storyline and characters that I honestly could not put it down.


Each of the three main female characters - Camille, Jen and Anaya were so well developed, flawed and interesting. I was interested in each of their stories and how they all interlinked. It's rare to have a book where there's multiple perspectives and I really enjoy all of them, so Ganshert did a fantastic job on this aspect.


The three women are brought together through the integration of students from the failing school district of South Fork - where the students are primarily black - and the prestigious district of Crystal Ridge which is predominantly white and middle class. The proposal and eventual integration of students causes heated debate and tension, which in turn makes the characters face their own prejudice and privilege.


The book deals with a number of really important and relevant issues such as racism, social class divide, segregation, infidelity as well as adoption and more.The representation of these issues felt so current and like the author did a lot of research and was well educated whilst writing. I feel like Ganshert approached these issues head on and unapologetically, with a lot of integrity too which I really respect her for.


The book also has a focus on family, in all it's various shapes and sizes which is central. The bond between a mother and her children, between a sister and brother, even estranged parents and their children, there's so much diversity in that regard that there's something every reader will be able to connect to. There's an emotional pull there that is undeniable.


The climax of the novel - which is hinted at earlier in the novel but not explicitly revealed, was shocking and kept me gripped. As you read the story you feel the tension and momentum building, which then results in a strong ending. I think the story ends in a realistic way, which makes sense and is also satisfying.


Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book, I've not read any of Katie Gansherts other work but I'll definitely be on the lookout as she is truly gifted. No One Ever Asked is a book I can definitely see myself re-reading and one I would really recommend to anyone seeking a powerful and thought provoking story.
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This was such a great read! I haven't read anything by Katie Ganshert before but this came highly recommended by some of my reading friends and it did not disappoint.  It was such an engrossing novel that covered so many hard but important topics that anyone that lives in this country could relate to.  She was able to portray the characters with such great detail that I could connect with them and really see things from their perspective.  it was a story of challenges but also hope.  There was tension that built over the course of the story and it kept me totally engaged.  I highly recommend this book.  Thank you to Netgalley and WaterBrook Publishing for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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This book sucked me in immediately. Coincidentally I read it just after reading a similar book, Class by Lucinda Rosenfield. Socioeconomic levels and how they affect education is a subject that knows no end. I appreciated the story being told from many points of view.
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This is the first book that I have read from Katie Ganshert, but totally will not be my last. I am a week out of finishing No One Ever Asked and I have already one clicked Life After and look forward to one clicking her others. 
No One Ever Asked was an amazing story. The way Katie wrote her characters floored me. The topic of racism is something not many writers tackle but Katie not only tackled the pre conceived notions many people have she really covered it with respect and so much heart. 
This book kept my attention from page 1 to the very last word. I look forward to reading more from Katie!
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I am so incredibly happy to have read this book and sincerely thank WaterBrook & Multnomah publishing and Netgalley for the opportunity to review it.  

Before seeing this title on Netgalley, I had never heard of this author or this book. The plot summary interested me and I thought it would be something to push my boundaries and make me uncomfortable (in a good way). Not only is this book incredible and a five star read, it is one of my favorite books of the year. Hands down.

The story begins with the South Fork school district's loss of accreditation. This school district is mostly made up of minority students and is severely underfunded and understaffed. Due to the accreditation loss, the school must offer the students the ability to transfer to Crystal Ridge, a more affluent school district that is number one in the state. This school district happens to be almost all white and the community does not handle the transfer news well. We observe how this unfolds through the eyes of Camille, the white, supermom, PTA Queen, who runs the annual 5k and organizes everybody and everything. Anaya, the young, black, new teacher at Crystal Ridge who takes on the immense challenge of teaching second graders and trying to keep her family afloat at the same time. Lastly, Jen, a middle class white woman who recently adopted a seven year old from Liberia. We watch her figure out what it means to be a new mother to a black child in this environment.

No matter how progressive your beliefs, or how much you previously thought you knew regarding the topic of race today in America - I urge you to read this book. The author has masterfully compiled so many different storylines that all interweave together, showing us how we all come with pre-conceived thoughts about a person (based on their appearance) or a topic (based on stereotypes we've grown up with) and how that can change when we communicate, open our minds and listen to each other.
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Sometimes when you read a book, you can tell that the author is fully invested in topic.  That is the impression that No One Ever Asked gives to readers.
Anaya, Camille, Jen and Kathleen are suburban women, each making her way with the circumstances surrounding them. Their lives and families intersect when a disadvantaged school district closes and many of its students (and teacher Anaya) are put into the Crystal Ridge school district. Crystal Ridge, though, is ultra-advantaged and needs to make room in its thoughts and hearts for new families.
It’s interesting to see how the children assimilate versus the parents.  It covers socio-economic differences, race issues and perception faults.  It covers adoption of an orphaned, older child and bonding challenges.
There’s a lot to this story and readers may be able to see themselves in one (or more) of these characters.  This will challenge the reader to think about how they would fit into the circumstances and what we can do to adjust our thinking and love as God intends us to love.
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When I was scrolling through the books available for reading and reviewing at NetGalley thanks to my blogging association with them, I came across this book.  While No One Ever Asked isn't Katie Ganshert's first book, but I hadn't heard of her previously so she was new to me. To be honest, it was the book cover that initially drew me in - I thought it was super cool - and then I read the description of the story! I said to myself, "oh man, I HAVE to read this one" and I immediately requested it. 

I'm happy to say I was approved and had the opportunity to read While No One Ever Asked.  (I even bumped it up in my TBR stack because I was drawn to read it.)

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

— John 13:34-35

The story follows three main characters - there's Camille Gray, a white mother of three whose kids are in the elementary, middle, and high schools. Then there's Anaya Jones, a young black teacher who hoped to teach in the failing school district but ends up teaching second grade in the primarily white and upper class elementary school. The third is Jen Covington, a white mother of an adopted, black girl named Jubilee from Liberia. 

No One Ever Asked is filled with very diverse and great characters.  The events that happen in this book reflect a modern story about race in America, and the desegregation of a school district. When a school in a primarily black district is graded as failing, the students from that school are given the option to be integrated into and bussed to a primarily white suburban school. The community is outraged because they don’t want their kids exposed to potentially dangerous youth of different ethnic backgrounds.

No One Ever Asked is a very thought provoking and powerful story with hard and real topics. There are many other issues beyond the racial aspect that would make for great conversation. I appreciated that most of the story didn’t end with a perfect ending - a "happily ever after" where problems and struggles are all figured out.  I really don't think I've ever read read another book quite like No One Ever Asked.  

I was provided with a complimentary electronic advanced reader copy of this book through NetGalley in  in exchange for an honest review. This fact does not in any way impact my thoughts/feelings about the book.
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NO! PLEASE STOP! I can’t take it anymore. I am horribly invested in this book. I have a life, teaching 11th graders, and this book seriously makes me want to quit my job so I can just read all day. What a freaking book!?!?! Stop what you’re doing and go get it, read it, and love it as much as I do! Thank you @netgalley and @katieganshert!
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Follow the lives of Camille, Jen, and Anaya as their worlds entwine when an inner city school district loses its accreditation, sending many of their misplaced students to a well-to-do school district that is less than excited to take them in. Camille seems to have it all—a wealthy husband and three beautiful children that attend some of the best schools available. How will this school integration affect her affluent family? Jen, her husband, and their newly adopted Liberian daughter are new to town and just trying to settle into a normal life. Should they send their daughter to school with other kids like her or one where she is the minority? Anaya is in her first year of teaching and has accepted a job in the school district receiving transfer students. Despite her hesitancy, she is determined that she will make a positive impact somehow. With racism and segregation at the forefront of this story, these three women will have to figure out a way to do what is best for their children, family, and community. 

This book was incredible! I was intrigued from the very beginning. There is such an intricate and enlightening story that unfolds, and it will stay with me long past the last page. Topics such as racism, segregation, family dynamics, adoption, and faith are all delicately and empathetically discussed within a story that just flows so well together. Each character was well developed and portrayed, with each of their personal stories  and growth being equally fascinating. How Katie Ganshert managed to piece together such difficult topics into a story so beautifully is beyond me. I think it really says something about a book when it can make you look at things differently in life—in a good way. My eyes have been opened to some of the significant struggles many individuals have faced and continue to face. I would highly recommend this book to anyone! It would spark some great discussion for a book club, or it could just be an enthralling solo read. I really hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
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No one ever asked if South Fork School District wanted to merge with the Crystal Ridge School District.

No one ever asked Camille if she wanted her husband to move out.

No one ever asked Anaya if she wanted to teach a predominantly white class.

No one ever asked Jen if she wanted her daughter to have an attachment disorder.

And no one ever asked the South Fork School District kids if they wanted long bus rides.

The year had opened up with promise, but deteriorated quickly when Camille's youngest daughter used a racial slur in class, and the principal wouldn't back up Anaya because of who the girl was.

Camille's oldest daughter broke up with her boyfriend and started hanging out with a boy from South Fork and caused a different kind of racial tension.

Life sometimes stinks and for the characters in this book, life stinks a lot and there's hardly any places in the novel where it doesn't.  But that doesn't mean there's no redemption in the book.  There is a lot of perseverance, overcoming, and taking honest looks at what life really is. 

When I opened this galley to read, I knew one thing, it was a contemporary book--that was what I wanted. I wasn't sure I wanted a book of angst, but Katie Ganshert made it work.  It was hard to put down, it was hard to read, but not putting it down won out.  It is a five star book, just like the rest of Katie's books. Two Thumbs Up, and a PTA room mother who gets a long look at herself and doesn't like what she sees.

Waterbrook Multnomah provided the galley for me to read and review.  The opinions expressed here are my own.
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I found this a challenging read in many way - at first I couldnt quite get to grips with the story, the characters flew in, names confused me, but things fell into place around 20% in and after that I got into my stride.  It was an interesting novel, challenging racism both subtly and overtly within the same piece.

I preferred the narrative of Camille, but more as I identified with her marital journey so I was invested in her relationship with Neil. And whilst Anaya was a strong female lead I struggled with some of her views - and then Jen was right in-between.

I really did enjoy the book despite the discomfort I sometimes felt, it was a very interesting read and I would recommend it.
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Oh my goodness! This book is all that and a box of cracker jacks! I was blown away with the complex plot and characters. The way that the story line grips a reader is breathtaking and I was moved to tears more than once. It is stunning, stunning novel.
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Although I won't be using this in my 8th grade classroom, this is a fantastic book for any adult! Love the different storylines and all are so timely in today's world.
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Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this thought provoking book by an author I’m sure to read again. The book follows three women, a young Black teacher, an affluent married woman who seems to have it all and a nurse who has just realized her dream of becoming a mother through adoption. This book challenges you to think about how we view people who are different from ourselves and clearly establishes that racism runs deep and at times is quite overt. The author did a phenomenal job of developing the characters and made no effort to hide their flaws.  As a social worker I especially found Jenn’s experiences as a new adoptive mother to be spot on. Adopting a child who has experienced trauma is extremely challenging but ultimately rewarding if you can truly make the commitment. 
I will be looking for future books from this author.
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This was a thought-provoking book about a very timely subject, I thought the author did a really nice job working through complicated issues from the points of views of different characters.
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This is an interesting book, and very different than what I normally read. It really makes you rethink your world views.
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It took me three days to sit down and write this review. If I had right from when I finished, it would have been 5 stars and that would have been a mistake. Here’s the thing: I want to love this book. I want to like it so much and if I was judging by the heartwarming, faith-based nature of it, this book would have 5 stars. If I was judging by how the book builds to the climax, it would have 5 stars. If I could only judge by the considerations of different perspectives within this book, it would have 5 stars.

Yet, I can’t judge by the good, technical nature of this book because that would be a disservice to the message it seeks to send. We’ll get to all that in a minute.

Technicality:

Great. No major grammatical errors noticeable to the untrained eye and the story overall flowed well. I liked the transitions between each of the stories and the individual voices of each character present within the transitions. Oftentimes, when switching between point of view, I’ll see authors make all the perspectives sound the same and this book didn’t struggle in that way.

Plotline/Pacing:

This book starts at a point then goes back a year to lead back up to that event. I think the flashback was done well, but occasionally rushed through. I understand the reasons for not drawing out every moment but would have enjoyed a bit more from each family to get to know them beyond the struggles they were having. Overall, this was done well.

Characters and Arcs:

We spent a lot of time between Anaya, Jen, and Camille as well as those who are important to them. I think we skipped over some important steps that connected them between the beginning hook through the end of the flashback, but overall I enjoyed the progression of their stories. Camille seems to have really made a change and Jen connected with Jubilee on a level I really enjoyed.

I do struggle with Anaya’s arc. She did so great through about 75% of this one and where we missed the mark was the end. Politics were a major theme of the whole story, but in the end, the politics came to a head as problematic forgiveness for Anaya’s story. I understand the intention of bringing faith-based, “it’s for me!” forgiveness into the story. Yet, as someone who’s struggled with sexual harassment in previous work, I find this idea of forgiving the abuser one that makes my skin crawl. Add in Anaya’s need to forgive Camille on a simple apology and we’ve got another challenge. It puts the focus on giving Anaya emotional labor and an easy out for Camille.

Overall:

Have you ever fallen in love with the idea of love? I feel like that’s where I’m at on this book. I finished this book and smiled. I wanted to stay in love with it. Yet, the more I reflected the more concerned I was with the precedent this book sets. I wish Katie would have had a co-author who is African American to give more opinion to the plot in its credibility and I worry it is another addition to a long line of books that has good intentions in a problematic delivery. I, as a fellow white woman like Katie, can’t give a sound opinion on whether this will damage the communities Katie intends to bring voice to. Yet, I feel it would be unethical or damaging to not bring that potential to the table. We, as a society, tend to put a lot of emotional labor on black people and take their voices. Will this book, which seeks to give voice to the struggles of being black in America outsell a book with the same intentions written by a black author who has actually experienced it? Is Anaya’s conclusion one that accurately represents their truth or is it one that simply makes us white women feel warm and fuzzy on finishing it?

That’s my worry.

Overall, I would recommend this book to others with a potential disclaimer or at the very least request for the reader to also check out one of the many books on the black experience in America written by black authors.
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Having lived through a similar experience and something that I see and deal with almost every day, the topic of this book intrigued me. What happens when a affluent school is forced to deal with the loss of accreditation of a struggling and low-income minority school system. I've seen the forces at play so thought it would be interesting to read about from the points of few Ms. Ganshert introduces us too. I was also intrigued with how a White writer would tackle some of the subtle issue. I have to say I was pleasant surprised, I think Ms. Ganshert did an excellent job and some aspects resonated with me and I liked that she introduced these idea to an audience that probably doesn't deal with them on a daily basis. I wonder how many of her readers were like the O'Hare principal and had no idea who Emmett Till was. That idea is heartbreaking to me but I imagine many readers are learning about him for the first time. Her details regarding Tamir Rice were very well laid out and I appreciate reading about it from her point of view. I think this is a great book- a great story that is well thought-out. So much of it rang true and the characters are real ( not felt real, I feel like she did this characters almost perfectly) I could not put this book down and will definite recommend this books in every time a mom ask for a book recommendation in every single mom group I am in. This should be required reading.
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No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert challenged me and grew my heart for people.  This story is wrapped in compassion and clarity.   Ganshert tackles very difficult subjects, such as racism and prejudice, and its underlying truth is that other people often have walked through crises and difficulties that require our compassion, mercy, and love.  The gospel must be taken to those people, and we are the ones charged with doing that.

The story focuses on a new teacher in an upscale school district.  When a school in a less affluent area loses its accreditation, the "fancy" school is required to educate the displaced students.  This introduces conflict, hate, and ugly truths among the residents of both areas.  As a teacher myself, I found myself changing the way I view some of my students.  Often the students who cause discipline issues are fighting battles we do not see, and cannot imagine.

Plot twists and turns keep us rooting for the characters we come to love in this novel.  People on both sides of the issue must face some hidden truths about themselves, and decide whether they have the courage to change.   I found myself asking myself difficult questions while reading this novel.

The writing style quickly grabs the reader, and drops you into this divided community.  You may be surprised which characters you "side" with as the story progresses.  Ganshert's imagery and rich details make her characters three-dimensional and empowers the reader to face similar truths in her own life. 

I will recommend this novel to my students this year, and may read parts of it to them.   Placing issues of segregation and racism in this modern setting reveals the fact that our country still deals with complex ideas that we thought we conquered long ago.  This novel will be with me for a long time.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  These thoughts and words are my own.
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I received an advanced copy of this book through Netgalley. This book had me from the very beginning. I love that it kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I would highly recommend this book to my fellow readers. Thank you for the chance to review this book!!!!
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