Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Book review: Someone Else's Love Story: A Novel by Joshilyn Jackson

This is a book with two wildly different covers, but recently when I met the author, she had a marvelous explanation. The book is told by dual narrators, William and Shandi. The hardcover jacket (dark blue) is William's. The paperback with the flower on the purple, is Shandi's. The dark blue reads much more literary and serious. Since I was reading this purple one with the flower, I was expecting a rather light and fluffy book, and I was pleasantly surprised that it turned out to be much more than that.

Shandi is twenty and a college student... with a four year old son, the result of a sexual assault at a fraternity when she was still in high school. They are moving from her mother's house in the country, to her father's condo in Atlanta proper, so she more easily commute to school, when they stop for gas. In the convenience store, she see a gorgeous man (she calls him "Thor" in her head) who is puzzling over a box of detergent in a way that makes her sure he must be divorced. And just as she is trying to flirt with him, the store is robbed. And the gunman takes all the customers and employees hostage.

See what I mean? Not very light and fluffy, although also not dark and twisty. I really didn't know where the book was going to go from here and I don't want to spoil it. So I will say I thought it was terrific, handling multiple very deep issues with a lightness that wasn't disrespectful, but that felt appropriate. I wasn't sure where the ending was going--of course I did think I knew at a couple of times but it didn't quite take the route I anticipated. Ms. Jackson kept me on my toes but the novel wasn't unexpected or kooky at all. I really felt an emotional pull to these characters, I liked the twists introduced at the end, and I actually think I'm going to recommend this to my book club as it has a ton of really good topics for discussion. I would love to talk about this book with someone! It was great.

A friend gave me this book.

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