Someone Else’s Love Story by the incomparable Joshilyn Jackson.
New York Times Bestselling novelist Joshilyn Jackson has also authored five other novels: gods in Alabama, Between, Georgia, The Girl Who Stopped Swimming, Backseat Saints, and A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty. Her books have been translated into a dozen languages. (Which intrigues me. How does Southern Lit translate into anything else? I admit, I cannot even begin to imagine.) A former actor, Jackson reads the audio versions of her books. (She’s won awards for this work too.) She lives in Georgia with her husband and their two children. You can catch her online at JoshilynJackson.com.
About this book: At twenty-one, Shandi Pierce is juggling finishing college, raising her delightful three-year-old genius son Natty, and keeping the peace between her eternally warring, long-divorced Catholic mother and Jewish father. She’s got enough complications without getting caught in the middle of a stick-up in a gas station mini-mart and falling in love with a great wall of a man named William Ashe, who willingly steps between the armed robber and her son.
Shandi doesn’t know that her blond god Thor has his own complications. When he looked down the barrel of that gun he believed it was destiny: It’s been one year to the day 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, he and Shandi are about to meet their so-called destinies head on, in a funny, charming, and poignant novel about science and miracles, secrets and truths, faith and forgiveness; about a virgin birth, a sacrifice, and a resurrection; about falling in love, and learning that things aren’t always what they seem—or what we hope they will be.
Judge this book by its cover? I like it, though it’s not as evocative as some of her other covers, and it may suggest a more demure story than you’ll find inside.
If this book were a movie, I would rate it: R for language and sex
Reminds me of…Nothing else. Like every other Joshilyn Jackson novel, this one’s an original.
Buy or borrow? If you love Joshilyn Jackson, you’ll want this one.
Why did I read this book? As a member of the She Reads blogging network.
Would I read another by this author? You bet. I’ve one on my shelf from her back list awaiting me right now.
My take: From its first unforgettable pages, you know it’s going to be an irreverent romp, the kind you need to fasten your seatbelt for and just hang on. You’re in for a wild ride. At first, I hardly cared where we were going, it was just so much fun. For sheer, joyous verbal energy, no one strings words together like Joshilyn Jackson. (Though I would rather have detoured around one or two oversexed encounters. TMI.) Toward the novel’s end, however, things changed. That’s when I starting caring almost too much.
Like her previous novels, this one’s plenty gritty (with issues like trauma, crime, religion and rape), but not as Southern Litty as, say, A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty. And could a work of women’s fiction be filled with any more surprises? Reading this, I swear my jaw dropped at least three times. So funny and smart, you may not agree with everything you find within these pages, but I promise it’ll make you think.
With Someone Else’s Love Story, Joshilyn Jackson has done it again, given her readers another highly original novel they will not soon forget.
Thanks to She Reads and William Morrow for providing me a free copy to review. All opinions are mine.
Stop by She Reads to find out what other bloggers are saying and to leave a comment (until Friday!) for your chance to pick up one of 5 giveaway copies. And, you may want to drop by Amazon to pick up the e-prequel to Someone Else’s Love Story, a standalone short story that gives one of its characters an adventure all her own. My Own Miraculous, yours for just $1.99.