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Someone Else's Love Story

by Joshilyn Jackson

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4805537,052 (3.81)20
Single mom Shandi Pierce's life takes a turn when an enigmatic geneticist saves her and her 3-year-old genius son from an armed robber. "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. It's a novel about discovering what we want and ultimately finding what we need" -- from author's web page.… (more)
  1. 00
    The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Despite differences in style, both of these charming novels feature protagonists trying to do what's right (and figure out what that might be). The books are upbeat, funny, and moving by turns, and it's easy to relate to the characters.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 55 (next | show all)
Shandi and William meet in a Circle K holdup. William saves the life of Shandi's three-year-old son, and Shandi falls in love. Madly. What follows is a backstory-driven exploration of the ties that bind us all--to each other, to the past, to our individual "blind spots" and dysfunctions.

This is one of those books whose review I could easily portion into good, bad, and ugly. In fact, I might as well.

First and foremost, the good--the best--is of course Jackson's lovely voice. Her words, sentences, paragraphs are woven so wonderfully. I've read most of her novels despite a general dislike for chick lit (literary or otherwise), because the voices of her characters never fail to pull me in. Shandi and William didn't fail in this, either. They're human in their issues and insecurities, though Shandi's immaturity is often hard to sympathize with. Some of the secondary characters are worth noting here as well, particularly William's lifetime friend Paula and Shandi's genius son Natty.

The first third of the book takes place over the course of a few hours and narrates the holdup in minute-to-minute detail. It's an unusual choice for this genre, but it worked for me. The ordeal is absorbing and reveals intriguing things about both Shandi and William.

Then ... "The Bad." The story involves endless, detailed backstory on the protagonists' sexual histories. Sure, more happens than just sex, but it seems more of a preoccupation in this book than in any of Jackson's others, as if the sex is more important than the characters.

However, I still planned on a three-star rating--until the last thirty pages ("The Ugly"), which reveals how many ways Jackson cheated/lied to her readers throughout the book. One character conveniently "mishears" vital information. Another character conveniently doesn't think about certain facts (for three hundred pages!) in order to hide them from the reader. This is not an honest twist; this is a cheat. I respect Joshilyn Jackson as an author and felt disrespected by her as a reader.

To anyone who felt the same way about this book, do try another of this author's works (especially [b:Between, Georgia|241969|Between, Georgia|Joshilyn Jackson|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1402260376s/241969.jpg|1345521] and [b:The Girl Who Stopped Swimming|1266297|The Girl Who Stopped Swimming|Joshilyn Jackson|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1328655335s/1266297.jpg|546698]). Her character voices are wonderful, and her character psychology is engaging, and I'll most likely read her next book hoping for better than this one. ( )
  AmandaGStevens | Mar 2, 2019 |
Took a bit to get there, good finish. ( )
  d2photo | Mar 1, 2019 |
So-so for me. This was my first time listening to an audiobook read by the author. I liked that. I enjoyed Shandi's chapters much more than William's. Did not care for the scientific approach. I really hated the Paula character. Ugh! I did feel like Jackson played a trick on the reader. Not thrilled with that. And there were several times when I didn't like Shandi and thought she was being ridiculous. Overall, I thought it was a lot longer than it needed to be. ( )
  Aseleener | Mar 24, 2018 |
Shandi Pierce and William Ashe meet during an armed robbery at a convenience store. She's a single mom who has convinced herself she's had a virgin birth, he's a scientific savant with a recent past filled with tragedy. She thinks that destiny brought them together, but there's much more to William Ashe's story than meets the eye. This book is hilarious in a totally effortless way, is full of lovable characters, and definitely was not the story I was expecting. ( )
  yourotherleft | Jan 13, 2018 |
Listened to the audio version. First time reading this author. This was amazing story! Loved the characters and the storyline. A few unexpected but pleasant surprise twists. Looking forward to reading more by this author. ( )
  bostonterrio | Nov 21, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 55 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
"Hope" is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—
EMILY DICKINSON
Dedication
For Bobby Jackson, who married the right girl, and Julie Jackson, a custom job
First words
I fell in love with William Ashe at gunpoint in a Circle K.
Quotations
I kiss him back.
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Single mom Shandi Pierce's life takes a turn when an enigmatic geneticist saves her and her 3-year-old genius son from an armed robber. "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. It's a novel about discovering what we want and ultimately finding what we need" -- from author's web page.

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