Tuesday, July 25, 2017

#Collaboreads | A Summer Read

I'm sharing about a #summer book in this month's #collaboreads post!

Last month got away from me and I totally missed the Collaboreads post. I was so upset about it but circled it on my calendar for this month so I wouldn't miss it again. This time around, we chose books that had to do with summer. I'm not usually the type of reader who chooses lighter "beach reads" during summertime. My reading list is filled with pretty heavy stuff, but I decided to break free from my reading list for this one and chose what I thought would be a summer thriller.... Keep reading to see what I thought of the book I chose for Collaboreads. (*denotes affiliate link)

by David Baldacci

It's almost Christmas, but there is no joy in the house of terminally ill Jack and his family. With only a short time left to live, he spends his last days preparing to say goodbye to his devoted wife, Lizzie, and their three children. 

Then, unthinkably, tragedy strikes again: Lizzie is killed in a car accident. With no one able to care for them, the children are separated from each other and sent to live with family members around the country. Just when all seems lost, Jack begins to recover in a miraculous turn of events. He rises from what should have been his deathbed, determined to bring his fractured family back together. 

Struggling to rebuild their lives after Lizzie's death, he reunites everyone at Lizzie's childhood home on the oceanfront in South Carolina. And there, over one unforgettable summer, Jack will begin to learn to love again, and he and his children will learn how to become a family once more. - Goodreads description

What part of the book could you not get enough of?

This book was definitely not what I was expecting. David Baldacci is known for writing thrillers but this was more of a romance novel. I didn't find any part of this book riveting. There were certain parts that were interesting but nothing that made it stand out to me.

How did you relate to/care for the characters? What are your thoughts on the plot line and twists and turns?

I most related to the main character, Jack, as he tries to keep his family together after the death of his wife and his own miraculous healing from the terminal illness that almost claimed his. He fights hard to make a home for his three children and himself after getting a second shot at life. There were also some characters I didn't like at all. One was Jack's mother-in-law, who tries to take the kids and leave Jack in a hospice center after Lizzie's death. She had no concern for Jack and could not be bothered to see that he was able to have his family near during his final days.

There are a few plot twists in the story. One, early on when Jack is healed and one other notable one late in the story, which seemed to be there more on principle rather than purpose. The second one felt like an afterthought and it was a little late in the story to be considered a plot twist. Overall, you can see these bumps in the narrative arc coming a mile away and there are no surprises.

What other books are like this one? If none, did it remind you of a particular tv show or movie with its themes and characters? Does it serendipitously line up with things going on in your life or in the news right now?

There are no specific books or films I was reminded of, but as I mentioned above that I was surprised to see this wasn't a thriller which is standard for Baldacci, I did have several moments in the middle of the book when I could have sworn I was reading a Nicholas Sparks novel instead.

You know you judged this book by the cover. What did you think of it? How did it relate to the contents of the novel? And the font and layout of the pages?

I read the Kindle version of the book so I wasn't able to see a physical copy, but internet searches revealed no fewer than a dozen book covers for this particular novel. They were all fairly similar, with a beach scene and lighthouse in the background. Several of the covers had a man and woman embracing or walking along the beach and others had a man and a young child or a man and a teenaged girl. They are all fitting for the type of story this was but didn't leave much to the imagination.

STARS | ★★☆☆
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I'd give this book two stars. There was some merit to the storytelling but the plot left much to be desired. As I mentioned above, I do not typically pick up romance novels or "chick-lit" and maybe this book would be appealing to someone who does enjoy this genre. I love Baldacci's thrillers, but this novel fell short for me.

What is your favorite summer read?

This post is part of the #Collaboreads linkup with Rachel and Kristin. For more info on how you can participate, visit Rachel's page for details.

This post contains affiliate links. Using one of my links doesn't cost you a penny more, but it supports A Simpler Grace and allows me to keep doing what I love. As always, all opinions are my own. For more info on affiliate links, please see my disclosures(*asterisk denotes affiliate link)

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  1. The plot sounds great. I think I might have to check it out even with 2 stars I sorta want to see what happens. I saw this on kindle.

  2. It does sound like a sweet little story but if you were expecting more of a thriller I can see how it would be disappointing!

  3. Lecy! I have missed your book reviews! I have been a bit out of the blogging loop, particularly with #Collaboreads, so I was glad to see you linked up too! This seems like an emotional roller-coaster ride of a book! Sorry the book fell short for you!

  4. I'm very critical of books when I star them, so two stars from me might be four for someone else. I have to be blown away by a book to rate it four stars. :D

  5. I had no idea that Baldacci wrote anything but thrillers but I learned the hard way. Haha!

  6. I'll admit that I did tear up in some places. Just imagining the idea of preparing to die and then lose your spouse and THEN learn you aren't actually dying... That alone would have sent me over the edge!

  7. Good to know. I am for sure going to check it out. I am half way through The Good Widow and so bored.

  8. I really need to get kindle! I'm so old school and love the smell and feel of actual pages but I think I miss out on all these good finds on kindle! Even though you only gave it 2 stars, it does seem like a good plot and might be something I could stick with.

  9. Good, honest review. It's important to be candid about a book's shortcomings as well as its strengths so those in the audience know what to expect. Thanks.

  10. I love mine! I had an OG Kindle way back in the day and used it until the thing stopped working. Now have a Fire and it's the best investment I've ever made. I'm carrying around a thousand books all the time. Their mobile app is awesome too! I mentioned in a comment below that I'm very critical when it comes to rating books so my two stars might be a four star for someone else.

  11. I agree! I read my friends' reviews before picking a new book up and it makes a difference.

  12. shootingstarsmagJuly 25, 2017 at 2:19 PM

    I've never read this author, but yeah, I thought he did more thrillers. It's fine to branch out as an author - but I'm sorry this one wasn't what you expected.


  13. It's always interesting to read a book by an author who has recently branched out from their original genre. :)

  14. That's such a bummer! It's like - you don't want to pigeon hole an author and say they can only write in this one genre. But... most of the time when they branch out, it doesn't end up being as good. :( Boo. But on to the next book, right? :)

  15. Exactly! Or, in my true fashion, on to the next ten! :D

  16. Man! Don't you hate when a book turns out NOTHING like you expected, and for the worse?! Here's hoping you LOVE your book next month-- thanks so much for joining us to link up! :)

  17. It was a bummer but I'm looking forward to next month's book! Hope you have a great week, Rachel!