Book Review: Behind Her Smile by Rosemary Hines

behind her smile rosemary hines book review

The synopsis on the back of the book:

Not good enough…the words echo in Madison Baron’s mind as the darkness presses her to be thinner, more beautiful—somehow more attractive to her peers. A junior in high school, she is facing life without her childhood love, Luke Johnson, who is off to college in the Midwest. Alone with her insecurities, Madison yearns for acceptance—until Miles that is. Will a relationship with this new student on campus be the answer she seeks? And how will his resistance to her Christian faith affect her future? 

As the two of them grow closer and closer, something happens inside of Madison, and she finds herself more insecure than ever. Gazing into the mirror at her thinning face and trendy makeup, she hopes no one sees the fear behind her smile. 

  • Genre: Christian Contemporary Fiction
  • Published: 09/2015
  • Pages: 258
  • Goodreads Rating 4.44
behind her smile rosemary hines book review
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
— Matthew 6:33-34

Why I chose this book

Rosemary reached out to me to review one of her books. She has a whole series- The Sandy Cove series. You don't have to read them in order as each book has its own story - which is always appreciated! 

First Initial Thoughts

Madison is a 16-year-old girl that is about to start her Junior year of High School. She has feelings for her childhood friend, Luke but he does not reciprocate those feelings. He is older than Madison (18 years old) and heads off to college. This leaves Madison heartbroken and lost. However, Madison and Luke keep contact via letters (which I think was adorable!). 

Madison one day is flipping through magazines and sees models in sexy clothes looking thin and happy. She is insecure about her own body to start with so decides to go on a diet so she looks good for her Junior year in High School. However, she goes all about it wrong. She barely eats and runs like crazy every single day. And in turn as well, starts to lose touch with her faith in God.

During one day during history class, the new boy in town comes in. He is attractive and well... the bad boy as you can put it. Soon Madison and Miles start a relationship. A relationship that will forever change Madison.


The whole story took place mostly at the school and at Madison's home. This helped us truly focus on the story and the characters. 

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
— Psalm 139:13-14

Final Thoughts

Oh, High School, how I don't miss you...

This book just brought me back to my teenage years and how I also felt similar things as Madison. High School was different when I went to school - we had no social media or cell phones. It has changed quite a bit since then but I think what young girls experience emotionally are still the same. I really appreciated that Rosemary pointed that out throughout the book. 

Miles- well we all knew that wasn't going to end well. Honestly, reading the story I understand that the things he pressured her to do were wrong, but throughout the story, I felt like he was broken inside. I hope he found the help he so desperately needed. 

Madison went through a lot of emotional trials. I think without her best friend reaching out to Luke about Madison's troubles, Madison might have gone further down the rabbit hole (and not in a good direction). 

This book reminds us that at the end of the day, God's love for us is what truly matters. He will love us always. Despite what we look like and what we do - he loves us unconditionally. 

Would I recommend?

Yes! Especially for teens. This book would be perfect for girls who are feeling insecure and anxious about their lives. Also, I think this would be great for any age group - as the message behind it translates to any stage in life. 


Right now get the book free on Kindle Unlimited! Purchase it ---> HERE

Thanks for stopping by and until next time! 

the caffeinated bibliophile