Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Julie's Review: Someone Else's Love Story

Summary: I fell in love with William Ashe at gunpoint, in a Circle K. For single mom Shandi Pierce, life is a juggling act. She's finishing college; raising her delightful three-year-old genius son, Nathan, aka Natty Bumppo; and keeping the peace between her eternally warring, long-divorced Christian mother and Jewish father. She's got enough to deal with before she gets caught in the middle of a stickup in a gas station mini-mart and falls in love with a great wall of a man named William Ashe, who steps between the armed robber and her son to shield the child from danger. Shandi doesn't know that her blond god has his own baggage. When he looked down the barrel of the gun in the gas station he believed it was destiny: it's been exactly one year since a tragic act of physics shattered his universe. But William doesn't define destiny the way other people do. A brilliant geneticist who believes in science and numbers, destiny to him is about choice. Now, William and Shandi are about to meet their so-called destinies head-on, making choices that will reveal unexpected truths about love, life, and the world they think they know. Someone Else's Love Story is Joshilyn Jackson's funny, charming, and poignant novel about science and miracles, secrets and truths, faith and forgiveness; about falling in love and learning that things aren't always what they seem;or what we hope they will be. It's a story about discovering what we want and ultimately finding what we need. ~powells.com

Review: What I loved about Someone Else's Love Story was the ending. Not necessarily the very last line but how Ms. Jackson tied it all together. How all the pieces of the puzzle came together. Each character is unique in their outlook in life. Shandi, William and Paula are all very different when it comes to dealing with the world. Paula is a ball buster; William likes to use science to figure things out and Shandi is just starting to come into her own. A twist of fate brings them all together in a Circle K hold up.

While I enjoyed reading the story, I didn't truly connect to any of the characters. It didn't hamper my enjoyment of the novel but it didn't enhance it either. The character that sparked the most emotion from me was Paula. I just didn't like her. I didn't get her M.O. She confused me. Was she protecting William? Did she want William for herself? Even at the end of the novel, I'm still confused about what her angle was. Why couldn't she have just been honest?

I didn't find this one as engaging of a read as A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty. I felt that it dragged in the middle. I wanted to get to the resolution. Is Shandi truly in love with William? Was Natty a "miracle" child? I think at the end of the book that we can all agree his is but not in the way the book originally states.

Ms. Jackson knows how to weave a story together and make it absolutely believable. This is what saved the novel for me: the fact that I didn't see several things coming. I feel that she wrote the right amount of red herrings to throw you off. The opening line takes the cake though.

I will be finding time to read the rest of her back-list at some point. She's an author I will enjoy for a long time.

Final Take: 4/5

This is both the Hashtag Book Group's pick for November and SheReads.org. Thanks to William Morrow for a copy of the novel.



Shannon @ River City Reading November 12, 2013 at 6:37 AM  

Even though I have a copy of both this and A Grown Up Kind of Pretty, I still haven't picked up a either one yet! Sounds like I need to go with A Grown Up Kind of Pretty first?

Julie November 12, 2013 at 10:39 AM  

For me A Grown Up Kind of Pretty spoke to me more. I loved the family dynamic. Plus it was more "southern" in nature.

Anonymous ,  November 16, 2013 at 12:13 AM  

I just started reading this one and I'm excited about it. I read another of her books this year, Backseat Saints, and really liked it.

DoingDewey December 2, 2013 at 6:32 PM  

I really liked how everything came together at the end too! I love stories with a happy ending and I thought it was fun that this one managed to be happy but surprised me too. I found William very likeable and Natty was just adorable, but I'm not sure I related directly to any of the characters either. I really disliked Paula for a little bit in the middle, but at the end, I think she assumed Shandi knew what William's situation was and was moving in on him anyway, so I can understand her reaction. Great review!

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