More of a 2.5, but we're not allowed... Loved spending time with these characters; although (and I hate to say it), it might be time to put this serie...moreMore of a 2.5, but we're not allowed... Loved spending time with these characters; although (and I hate to say it), it might be time to put this series to rest. I was surprised when these books continued after number three. Number four was ok, number five is also just ok. I love Julia, and as "one of seven" married to "one of twelve" I get all cozy and giggly with the big family hijinks. However, in this outing Julia, Brisbane, and their relationship felt a little tired and a little annoying. Can't Julia have one person who is loyal to her and only her? And how many times do we need to rehash the struggle between the mores of her time and Julia's need for independence? I guess there was a little development on that score, but not enough to feel like a fresh outing. Pooh. I want more of the sparkle and wit of the first three!(less)
This was ok to good. Basically, fun to read with a blah ending. I always like a good amnesia story, so I enjoyed that aspect. I liked the "journaling"...moreThis was ok to good. Basically, fun to read with a blah ending. I always like a good amnesia story, so I enjoyed that aspect. I liked the "journaling" style as well here. I don't always think that works. You'll figure the mystery out pretty early, but that doesn't usually bother me too much. The ending is way too pat. Everything tied up in a neat little bow. Kind of ruined it for me.
Also, sometimes you really get the feeling that this is a man writing as a woman, i.e., "I think this is how a woman would think." Definitely a few too many references to swinging or erect penises for my taste. Granted I'm a bit of a prude. (Ok I'm a lot of a prude.) Either way, I thought they had the feeling of the mandatory "this is real" talk-at-the-urinal scene in cop shows. Played out. Since the whole book is first-person, it's a long time to maintain an authentic voice of the opposite sex. Not sure why the author wrote from a woman's perspective. I think the story would have worked just as well, actually better, with a male protagonist. Some minor plot changes would have been necessary in terms of the accident that led to the amnesia, but the story and the perspective probably would have been a little more enticing.(less)
I thought this book was silly and beyond that insulting in its treatment of depression and suicide. Having said that, it was a lot better than any boo...moreI thought this book was silly and beyond that insulting in its treatment of depression and suicide. Having said that, it was a lot better than any book I've ever written (none). Still...ugh.
From the first page, I winced at the over-blown tone of the main character's voice. I felt like I was reading a thirteen-year-old's idea of what an emotionally distraught person should sound like. I was seriously relieved when the "gasp" ending at least revealed the name "Mr. Wright" was not totally an intentional pun.
The writing style bothered me, a lot, but I've read plenty of books with cheesy writing that I ended up liking because the plot or mood or characters were so great. One element a lemon does not make. However, the characters in this book were awful as well, pretty two-dimensional. We have Tess, the deceased, who is perfect. Even her flaws are lovable and darling and perfect. We have an ice-Queen, b%$#* of a mother. We have the deceased sweetheart of a younger brother. We have the main character, Bee, who goes on about how well she knew Tess and that Tess couldn't possibly have changed in spite of the intense and painful recent events of her life. All the while Bee claims she's saying and doing things her sister would never believe because Bee herself is so different now. Bee dresses differently, wears her hair differently, lives differently, and even the mother has miraculously done a complete flip and become a soft and tender mother. But all the while Bee refuses to admit that Tess might have changed. Ridiculous!
Bee is also supposedly mature and sophisticated enough to understand the powers and pitfalls of both depression and therapy. Yet, at the same time she insists over and over and over again that her sister, Tess, could not have committed suicide because she wasn't the type to hide from her problems and because she valued life too much after losing their brother to a prolonged illness. I found this response to depression deeply offensive. Suicide has little to do with hiding from problems or one's respect for life. It has everything to do with an abiding need for peace, for an end to the pain. Depression is a disease that can be fatal. It infuriated me when Bee would insist that she "knew" Tess and that Tess would never commit suicide. Bee may have known a healthy Tess, but someone in the grips of depression no longer has a strong sense of self. In many ways they are no longer themselves.
I also felt that this absolute certainty weakened the plot. It would have made for a better mystery if Bee was at least willing to acknowledge that while she felt it was remote, it was possible that Tess may have committed suicide. This would have provided one more possible outcome to the story behind Tess's disappearance and eventual death.(less)