Someone Else's Love Story is beloved and highly acclaimed New York Times best-selling author 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.
Shandi Pierce is juggling finishing college, raising her delightful three-year-old genius son Nathan, aka Natty Bumppo, and keeping the peace between her eternally warring, long-divorced parents. She's got enough complications without getting caught in the middle of a stick-up and falling in love with William Ashe, who willingly steps between the 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 world. But William doesn't define destiny the way others do. A brilliant geneticist who believes in facts and numbers, destiny to him is about choice. Now, he 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.
©2013 Joshilyn Jackson (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers
"Author Joshilyn Jackson's voice delivers the protagonists' heartbreaking pasts with delicate sensitivity…Jackson's innocent tone of wonder keeps the story from descending into unremitting melancholy. Her voice for Natty is delightful while Shandi's drawl is equally pleasant to hear. She captures William's Asperger's in an authentic way with a slightly stiff yet warm voice. Enlivening flashbacks as well as Jackson's careful pacing and voicings will keep listeners engaged." (AudioFile)
"An inspiring story of love, faith and redemption...All of the characters... are so vividly drawn, they fairly leap off the page." (Booklist)
"Witty, cleverly constructed and including a truly surprising twist, Someone Else’s Love Story turns out to be a nuanced exploration of faith, family and the things we do for love." (People)
Sometimes I enjoy Jocelyn Jackson's writing and sometimes I just don't get it. Three fourth's of the way through this book the only one I liked or cared about was the kid. The book starts out with an interesting situation involving the protagonist Shandi and her child, then follows her with additional unusual situations for chic lit.... autism, date rape, genetics.
What started out as interesting just never got there for me. All the irrational acts and irresponsibility of the characters became too many to keep my attention.
I had issues with how the author painted the protagonist. Shandi finds one male character, a brainiac with asperger's, physically attractive. They have little in common but at first glance she is "madly in love" with him. Upon further time spent together she still has nothing in common with him and finds him oddly self absorbed (Imagine). She keeps plowing ahead, to win his affections by changing her clothes and keeping his house. I found it insulting to paint her as an educated single mother then have her act so shallow.
I applaud the author for choosing some out of the box story lines but, geez, follow through with them. It's as if the author picked and chose the parts of her plot that fit into her story and ignored what wasn't easy. Along the same lines - she moves her child to a new home so that he could go to a school that will enhance his gift. Then schooling is never mentioned again. She continues to move him around with no concern for her child's education. It's hard to care about a characters when the author had so little respect for them. I would love to go on about the disturbing retaliation for a "rape", but I can't do it without giving up too much of the story.
Not the best Jocelyn Jackson book, for me...
Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.
Jackson went a bit out on a limb with this book, creating characters who, compared to her previous books, are a little harder to like, less quirky than puzzling in their motivations. The primary “love story” of the title is the one Shandy is trying to create with William, the hero of the hold-up in the convenience store. But he has his own story, and the question is whether it can get on track with Shandy’s fantasy. If that was the only plot point, the story would have been flat and predictable. But Jackson looks at relationships in general – friendships, parents and children, husbands and wives, even perceptions and assumptions about strangers – exploring how we fill in the blanks with our desires and imaginations when we just don’t have all the information about what’s going on. That exploration was both interesting and frustrating because of the self delusions that drove the decsions made by various characters. Once all was said and done, I did like how it resolved and can say that I enjoyed the story.
One aspect of the story I just didn’t like was the graphic nature of some of the relationships. It’s not unusual for Jackson to include adult situations in her stories, and I really don’t mind that within context and reason. But in this outing she made those situations unnecessarily long and explicit. It stalled the forward movement of the story without adding any value to plot or character development. It reduced my enjoyment of the overall experience enough to drop one star.
Audiobook listener because it leaves my hands free to fold clothes, clean and cook for my dear family of 6.
Joshilyn Jackson outdoes herself with Someone Else's Love Story. I stumbled upon Ms. Jackson's novels last year and she quickly became one of my favorite authors with her intelligent, funny, beautifully created and very human characters. In her latest novel, she builds a story surrounding a young single mother with a brilliant child who develops an attachment to a man who helps her during a convenience store hold-up. Ms. Jackson is a writer who brilliantly brings to life the unique and fully-realized voices of her characters. As a reader, having no idea how this tale could end without heartbreak for the characters I had come to love, she unveils the story with such tenderness and humor that I was at one point hopelessly longing for the resolution she so masterfully provides.
Joshilyn Jackson has created a world where the characters are well rounded and complete. With reading My Own Miraculous, the prequel to Someone Else's Love Story, I had gotten to know the characters and I'm glad I did. I was pleased with how well the author performed all the many accents of Georgia. This is an amazing story of love, love lost, love found, and love restored. The novel is written with such a sense of realism that one can believe every character is walking around going on with their life right now. The story had twists and turns that left me wondering where it was going to go from there. I was glad I was listening instead of reading. It was such a wonderful performance. I had to keep reminding myself that all the characters were done by the same person it was that good!
This is another great book by J Jackson. Not as good as Gods in Alabama, but still an awesome book. Great narration by the author. I love her books some more than others.
I'm a pommie in Brisneyland, Australia. I love (in no particular order) reading, audiobooks, sewing, my hubby, cycling, swimming and cider
The premise looked good and a book read by the author is usually a plus but I found Shandy's voice so grating I could barely listen. Check the audio before you buy! It could well be that that is what Georgia gals sound like (I'm a Brit on Oz).
The plot was somewhat silly and after the initial lay-down, all very predictable.
I found the story-line very vanilla and 'nice' I maybe just like a little more darkness in my characters.
Lesson learned - if you like something fluffy and happy, (and why the hell shouldn't you) then you may well love his book and it's characters. If you appreciate sarcasm as a form of wit, and a bit more grit to your characters, give this one a miss.
This book is like a desert with double the correct amount of sugar. It might taste sort of good while you're eating it, but after you realize you should've eaten something else. One dimensional, improbable and cliché.
The storyline was not very good. If you like reading about sex you will enjoy this book. It goes on and on about every little detail. I prefer the sex act be left to my imagination. The book moves very slowly through every event. It's almost like the writer is trying to make the book longer when the story should have moved on.
Lover of life!
Jackson has a way to draw you into a read from the first line. She writes such original and unsuspecting great stories. She takes her time fleshing out the characters and making them relate-able, engaging and unforgettable. She has twists, turns and ending that are both unexpected and satisfying. She writes well rounded novels. I feel that Jackson is among the best story tellers out there. Make sure to grab this novel. It is not only one you will devour, but it is a great pick for your book club! 4.5 star
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