Andrew Smith's Blog

My name is Andrew. Come and have a look inside my life and watch me share what is on my heart.

Beauty in the Breakdown: Choosing to Overcome by Julie Roberts Book Review

In Beauty in the Breakdown, Julie Roberts opened up about her music career and how she dealt with the highs and the lows she faced. Julie grew up in Lancaster, South Carolina with her two other sisters, Marie and Lorie. Julie was the middle child. Her dad was an nuclear engineer and he was a strong man who believed his money was his money. Julie shared countless stories about them having to escape and run to her granny’s house when her dad become violent from his drunkenness. Her mother was abused and had bruises and black eyes many times. He was also cheating on his wife but her mom stayed with him for years because of the stigma of divorce. Julie shared how she started singing in her childhood and how one of her biggest influences was the style of Barbara Mandrell. Her mother would spend her own money on her daughters and she would buy music tracks for Julie where she could perform at different events. She even played at nursing homes where she met Carol a young girl who was in there because she had MS. She opened up about how this girl changed her life and influenced her. Julie shared some stories about going to college and how she eventually landed a job at Mercury Records in Nashville as a receptionist. She was promoted to Luke Lewis’s assistant. Luke was very vocal about how he would fire anyone who wanted to be a singer so Julie vowed to keep her singing a secret. During this time, she mother finally divorced her father and she made the move to Nashville. Julie revealed how she met a producer named Brent Rowen. They recorded one of Julie’s hit songs, “Break Down Here” together. Eventually, he took it to Lewis and a few other top label makers listened to it and Julie was signed to Mercury Records and had a deal for 7 albums. She opened up about touring with Rascal Flatts and Chris Cagle. Julie also shared the highs and lows of eventually being dropped after two albums. She shared the struggles of trying to make a comeback in her music career and what she learnt along the way. She also opened up about how she found out she has MS and legions on her brain and how she has chosen to use her voice to raise awareness on the disease. 

I would recommend this awesome book about Julie Robert’s life story. I haven’t heard most of her story before reading this book. I wasn’t aware of all of her hardships and challenges. I was shocked about some of the secrets she shared about touring and the music industry. I didn’t realize that many opening acts don’t get paid by the labels that many times they have to paid the headliner to allow them to join the tour. And I personally think there should be some changes to that. She also shared how hard it is for a female to get radio time which, I agree they should play them more. I remember in the 90’s growing up listening to Shania Twain, Jo Dee Messina, Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Dixie Chicks, and SheDaisy. I do feel like they have stopped playing females as much as they used too. One of my favorite songs, that she sings is called, “Somebody Does” and this one talks about when we are at our lowest point and we feel like we aren’t love and nobody cares it reminds us that somebody does. I immensely connected with Julie Robert’s story and I believe many readers will enjoy reading this book. I highly recommend this book if you’re feeling lost and need some encouragement in your own life! 

If you would like to purchase a copy of Beauty in the Breakdown, then check it out on 

Point of View: A Fresh Look at Work, Faith, and Freedom by Elisabeth Hasselback Book Review

In Point of View, Elisabeth Hasselback opened up about being a contestation on Survivor, and a co-host on The View, and Fox News. She started the book by sharing how when she was a fourth grader she struggled with reading because she couldn’t see clearly. She shared how at the time she didn’t realize how bad she couldn’t see. This lesson taught her that not everyone sees the same and we all have different points of views. Elisabeth revealed how God’s lens are different than our own and we can choose which lens we choose to see with. Later in the book, she shared how she worked as a shoe designer for Puma and how she was good at sports and art. One of her coworkers encouraged her to compete on Survivor. She opened up about how she was picked. She shared a crazy story about attending a jump school and what this taught her. She eventually made the cut and was on the second season of Survivor and she went into great details about her time on Survivor and the challenges she faced. Later, she was chosen for a hosting spot on the Look for Lesson the E! network. She eventually was let go and she wound up being selected for a cohosting spot on The View. As many people who has seen the show, Elisabeth had some extra challenges on the show because of her beliefs in Christ and her political view points and sometimes she clashed with different cohosts on the View. In the book, she also shared how she met her husband Tim, who was a player in the NFL and she shared some of her tips on her marriage and the challenges she has learned in raising their three children. 

I would recommend this awesome book to anyone who enjoyed watching Elisabeth Hasselback on Survivor, the View, and Fox News. I used to watch the View every day when Elisabeth Hasselback and Sherri Shephard was on the panel and I loved their personality and I connected with a lot of their view points. I stopped watching when they were removed and I haven’t really ever watched the show again regularly since then. I loved the debates and loved how Elisabeth and Sherri shined a life for Christ. I immensely was excited to read about Elizabeth story and I loved how she shared Christ’s message throughout the book. I didn’t know much about her personal life before the View or really after the View. It was really nice to see how bold Elisabeth was in front of the camara and off. I highly recommend readers and fans to read this book and may it all remind us to always try and look at life through God’s point of view. 

If you would like to purchase a copy of Point of View, then check it out on 

Aly's Fight: Beating Cancer, Battling Infertility, and Believing in Miracles by Aly and Josh Taylor Book Review

In Aly’s Fight, Aly and Josh Taylor opened up about everything they have experienced in their lives together as a couple. She met Josh when she was 14 years old and he was 17. Her father had just died in a terrible car accident and her family moved to West Monroe, Louisiana. They shared how they eventually fell in love, got married, and how they had big plans to start trying to have a baby and following the all American dream. After two months of trying to get pregnant, Aly thought she was experiencing the pregnancy symptoms, and then she noticed a lump in her breast. She made an appointment with her doctor. Aly was diagnosed with breast cancer on October 17, 2011 at the young age of 24. It was classified as stage III and they had to travel to Houston for her treatments. The doctors warned Aly that they might not be able to have children. At first, the doctor suggested they meet with an infertility doctor but the cancer was too aggressive that they couldn’t wait. Aly shared what she went through in chemo, mastectomy, radiation, and breast reconstruction. Aly and Josh switch voices throughout parts of the book about what each felt. She shared about becoming cancer free. They also shared about their journey with trying to get pregnant and their battle with infertility. They opened up about their experiences with adoption and the high and lows of what they went through and how they still experienced an unexpected miracle. Josh also created a blog for them to share with followers about what they were going daily. They also shared about how they ended up with being casted in a reality tv show on TLC, called Rattled. 

I would recommend this life changing book to any cancer patient, anyone battling infertility, anyone who is looking to adopt, and they need some inspiration about someone who has been through difficult times. I immensely connected with their story and was reminded that God is still able to heal and He can still perform miracles if it’s in His will for their lives. I love how they both shared their experiences about what they were feeling during everything and how they were transparent with their readers. The book will be a blessing to anyone who is going through tough times and it will encourage them by reading how God is always there. 

"I received this book free from the publisher, Faithwords for my honest review.”