Monday, April 14, 2014

Review: Just Destiny

I read a lot. Obviously. I like to think that I'm quite good at realizing which books aren't up my alley so I don't end up agreeing to review a book that I know I won't end up loving. Turns out I'm not as good as I thought. I recently read Just Destiny by Theresa Rizzo and I didn't love it. There was nothing really wrong with it, per se, it was just not my kind of book. And I hate when that happens. I just want you to know that going into this review. I'll explain why I didn't like certain things and you can decide if those are things you like. The book actually has a really great average rating on Goodreads right now (just over 4 stars) so I appear to be in the minority.

Here's the synopsis:
What would you do if your whole world fell apart?
Jenny Harrison made some poor choices in the past, but marrying Gabe was the best thing she’d ever done. They had the perfect marriage, until a tragic accident leaves Gabe brain dead and her world in ruins.
Devastated by grief, she decides to preserve the best of their love by conceiving his child, but Gabe’s family is adamantly opposed, even willing to chance exposing long-held family secrets to stop her. Caught in a web of twisted motives and contentious legal issues, Jenny turns to best friend and attorney, Steve Grant. Steve wants to help Jenny, but he has reservations and secrets of his own.
When something so private and simple turns public and complicated, will Jenny relent? What is Steve willing to sacrifice to help Jenny?
It may be unfair but the first thing to put me off this book was the prologue. Confession time: I hate prologues. I hardly ever see the point of them. I just want the story to start! Plus, major plot points are sometimes given away and I feel like the story would have been stronger had those things not been hinted at or divulged. This particular prologue confused me. It was all about Steve and his girlfriend Annie. I knew the book was mostly about Jenny and her husband so I wasn't entirely sure why we were seeing this part of Steve's life. Minor thing but I went into chapter one confused and that's not a good thing to be when you start reading a book.

Like I said, this book isn't bad. It hits all the emotional notes - especially the heartbreaking ones. Rizzo wrote some exceptionally hard scenes and did it well. I felt the grief Jenny had when she was mourning Gabe. I could feel how conflicted Steve was with his feelings for Jenny. I was angry on behalf of Jenny, and others, when certain secrets were revealed during the court battle. If I hadn't been able to feel these things alongside the characters, I wouldn't have liked the book at all.

The aforementioned court battle was another thing that made the book less than appealing for me. It seemed to take forever (and I know court cases can go on forever but I don't want it to feel like it when I'm reading about it) and, since it took up a good chunk of the story, made the whole novel drag. It also got into a lot of sort of scientific and moral issues (I don't really want to say much because it would take away from the beginning of the story) that got slightly confusing.

There were some other things about Just Destiny that took away from my overall enjoyment of the novel (I just didn't get the progression of Jenny and Steve's relationship) but, for the most part, I do think others would like it. Theresa Rizzo's novel shouldn't suffer simply because I've realized that I just don't enjoy heavy women's fiction novels.

*A copy of this novel was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.*

1 comment:

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