The She Reads book club selection for November is : Someone Else's Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson.
I was a fan of Someone Else's Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson as soon as I read the first line : "I fell in love with William Ashe at gunpoint, in a Circle K."
It was intriguing. It was new. I absolutely had to find out the entire story.
Shandi is the young mother of a three year old genius. He is her miracle. Shandi and her son are taken hostage during a hold-up of the convenience store. During the drama, Shandi falls for the handsome and larger-than-life hero William Ashe who is also a hostage but manages to save the day. Really. How could she not fall in love with the introspective, kind man that placed himself in danger to protect her son? But before she can have her "happy ever after" she must get William to fall in love with her.
I adored the main characters of this novel. Shandi is so sweet and naive and her heart is so genuine. William is carrying heavy burdens but acts with such quiet dignity it's difficult not to fall in love with him. Shandi's voice as narrator is fresh and at times funny. Her perspective of horrible events such as the hold-up are at times amusing. She chooses to see life through rose-colored glasses. Even when she decides to face the tragic and horrible truth about how she got her little son, she is grounded by her love for him; her love for life and her love for those around her.
Part Two of the novel seemed to get bogged down in the fairly stunted sexual history of the main characters. (At times I was so picturing Billy Crystal in When Harry Met Sally trying to convince Sally that men and women could not be "just friends". And at other moments hearing the dialogue between Jerry and Elaine as they discuss the possibilities of "sex to save the friendship" in my head.) Most of this spewing of sexual details (fairly realistic and uncomfortably honest) is necessary for the later plot twists, but at times, given the friendly narrative, it felt like TMI.
Through various plot twists and revelations in Part Three, I fell in love with the novel again. I was genuinely shocked. I really did not anticipate the surprise but I was pleased. I was even a little giddy about how it all turned out.
In fact, I adored all the characters so much that I quickly read and thoroughly enjoyed Joshilyn Jackson's short story prequel My Own Miraculous. It is sweet and made me love Shandi and her little boy Natty even more.
Story is so important in Someone Else's Love Story but the characters are essential. I felt cozy and comfortable with Jackson's style and appreciated the wit and humor even in times of tragedy. Someone Else's Love Story is a beautiful tale of hope and love. Even more, it includes themes of belief and faith, forgiveness and facing one's demons.
Be sure to enter to win a copy of Someone Else's Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson at She Reads and check out other reviews by the members of She Reads. Someone Else's Love Story is published by William Morrow and will be available on November 19th. I received a complimentary copy through She Reads in exchange for my honest review.