Book Review: Fifteen Minutes by Karen Kingsbury

Fifteen Minutes by Karen Kingsbury
Reviewed by Lisa Henson
Fiction Addict Blog Tours
Genre: Drama
Publisher: Howard Books
Pub Date: October 29, 2013

Karen Kingsbury’s new book asks the question: What Would You Sacrifice For Fame? 

(Synopsis from Zack Dylan made a promise to God and his college sweetheart as he left his family’s horse farm in Kentucky to compete on the popular reality television show Fifteen Minutes: If he makes it, the fame won’t change him. 

Overnight, Zack is the nation’s most popular contestant, a country singer with the looks and voice of a young Elvis. As his star rises, Zack is asked to compromise and quiet his beliefs, and also something more. Something Zack could never have imagined. Just as America is falling in love with Zack, just as he’s on the verge of winning it all, his choices lead him to the brink of personal disaster. 

At the same time, Reese Weatherly, a therapeutic horse instructor, is no longer sure about her relationship with Zack, or the wedding they had dreamed about. While Zack advances from one round of the competition to the next, an offer comes to Reese—one that will take her to a home halfway around the world. 

Then Chandra Olson—reigning diva pop star and one of the Fifteen Minutes judges—intervenes. Chandra has suffered so much public pain and private agony since her days as a Fifteen Minutes contestant. Now she wants just one thing: meaning. 

Can Chandra’s private losses help Zack find his way, or will his fifteen minutes of fame cause him to lose the life he once loved? Fifteen Minutes is a story of character, compromise, and the cost of having it all. A story that raises the question: Who are the real winners? 

My review:

All I can say after reading this is, wow. I started it expecting to think it was a pretty good book. I didn’t expect that I wouldn’t be able to put it down!

Fifteen Minutes is the story of Zack Dylan, a young man looking to use his singing talent to help save the family horse farm. He purposes to try out for the television show Fifteen Minutes.  Others express concern that the experience will drastically change him, but he’s determined to do it, and believes his faith couldn’t possibly be shaken, even if he is chosen as the show’s winner.

As Zack moves on to each successive round of competition, it doesn’t take long before events start happening that present him with difficult choices. Even though his faith in God never wavers, he finds out how easily the noise of fame can drown out God’s still, small voice.  When his girlfriend, Reese Weatherly, tells him she’s accepting an opportunity to pursue her career thousands of miles away and ending their relationship, he realizes how much he stands to lose if he wins on the show.

Mercifully, God never forsakes us, and Zack is not left to drift, to make his decisions in his own strength.  God places Chandra Olson, former winner of Fifteen Minutes who’s come back to the show as one of the judges, in Zack’s path and uses her to speak truth to Zack. In the process,  Chandra has the chance to find healing for the hurts that fame has dealt to her.

I’m not going to tell you how all of this plays out – that’s Karen Kingsbury’s job, and she does it well.  I will say that this book rang true in today’s world, where so many people seem determined to pursue fame and likely never consider what it could ultimately cost them.  It also reminded me that God never turns from us, but it can be so very easy for us to get distracted and wander away from Him.  I found the book to be very easy to read, and almost all of the characters, even the ones that seemed not so nice, had something about them that made me want them to find the right path and walk down it.  If you’re partial to Christian fiction, if you want a story that shows how yes, God and faith in Him are not only relevant but essential in this day and age, pick up a copy of Fifteen Minutes.

Fifteen Minutes is available to purchase from

Note: I received this book as part of the Fifteen Minutes blog tour from Fiction Addict. I received no compensation for this review and only received a copy of the book for review purposes.  Review copy provided by the publisher.


About bunkie68

Mom to boys. Happily married. Jesus follower. Avid reader. Amateur foodie. Scentsy consultant. I thrive on chocolate and strong coffee, and I need some extra hours in my day.
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