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For single mom Shandi Pierce life is a juggling act She's finishing college raising precocious three year old Natty and keeping the peace between her eternally warring long divorced parentsThen she gets caught in the middle of a stickup at a gas station and falls instantly in love with William Ashe when he steps between the armed robber and her sonShandi doesn't know that William's act wasn't about bravery When he looked down the barrel of the robber's gun he believed it was destiny it's been exactly one year since a tragic act of physics shattered his universe But William doesn't define destiny the way other people do—to him destiny is about choiceNow William 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


10 thoughts on “Someone Else's Love Story

  1. says:

    I guarantee that when you reach the end of this novel the sound you hear will be coming from your own mouth 'Awwwwwwwwww' The last book I read and reviewed before this was David Vann’s magnificent Goat Mountain Outstanding stuff heavy with content violent dark Someone Else’s Love Story while not the opposite is certainly worlds away An antidote Maybe chicken feathers for the soul The book opens with a poem by Emily Dickenson “Hope” is the thing with feathers— That perches in the soul—And sings the tune without the words—And never stops—at all— Keep it in mind But back to beginnings Consider the first actual paragraphI fell in love with William Ashe at gunpoint in a Circle K It was on a Friday afternoon at the tail end of a Georgia summer so ungodly hot the air felt like it had been boiled red We were both staring down the barrel of an ancient creaky32 that could kill us just as dead as a really nice gun could Hooked yet? I was And glad of it Joshilyn JacksonShandi is 21 the mother of Natty a precocious three year old Her bff Walcott is helping her move to an apartment her father keeps in Atlanta She is a familiar sort a good hearted everygal of a single mother except stuck between her long divorced and still contentious Jewish father remarried with three kids and Christian still single bitter mother Stopping en route at a convenience store her journey is interrupted when a gunman holds the place up shooting a cop and taking those present hostage Good thing there is a hulk of a guy there football player heft and with brains to boot a godlike hero who makes sure neither Shandi nor Natty come to harmOf course William Ashe has issues of his own and maybe he has other reasons for risking taking a bullet than solely to protect a damsel and child in distress Maybe he is choosing his own destiny on the anniversary of a terrible event in his life Destiny does figure large in this story and it is the consideration of this and other underlying concerns that gives the book greater heft than if it were a simple rom com Religion figures as well It is no accident that Jackson for example uses “un godly hot” in her opening paragraph It could just as easily have been unbearably or unspeakably There is a wide range of content here that relates to god There is a virgin birth no really a resurrection miracles of one sort and another sacrifice concern with mythological beings like Norse gods and animated anthropomorphic creatures from Jewish legend The book also looks at love not just between the plus and minus poles of human magnetism but between humans and god between friends between parents and children There are some things you will want to note as they pop up in the book Birdhouses birds and feathers flutter into view from time to time I just bet they stand for something Flowers and flower beds receive similar treatment always raising Eden ic possibilities Ditto fireworks of one kind and another as an expression of loveThere is an investigation here of a back story crime It is handled with considerable nuance and maturity Doubtless there will be some who take offense at how this is treated I thought it was excellently done There is also a jaw dropping and wonderful twist late in the book I was reminded very much of the feel of Silver Linings Playbook Shandi can Jennifer Lawrence play her pleeeeeease William and Walcott will win your heart These are lovely characters people worth caring about facing difficult decisions and looking at core elements of life Someone Else’s Love Story is about all sorts of love stories It is about doing the right thing and struggling to figure out what that actually is And it is lovingly and beautifully told One right thing you can do is read this book It may not be a religious experience for you but I guarantee that it will be uplifting and leave your spirit feeling light as a feather This is a lovely charming bookPS – I really hope they keep the cover art that is on the ARE I read The image of birds along with a few bursts of fireworks is nothing short of perfect review originally posted 51713Re posted March 31 2017EXTRA STUFFLinks to the author’s personal Twitter and FB pagesReviews of other Jackson work The Almost Sisters The Opposite of Everyone


  2. says:

    Update love this book199 kindle special today From start to the wonderful ending it's just great Perfect for summer Update Several great deals this holiday season This book is 199 today on KindleI thought it was sooo much funall the way to the ending I could not put this book down This book kept me company while not feeling too well PERFECT CHOICE GREAT SURPRISE DISCOVERY Of course I don't want to give anything away I've not read 'other' reviews on Goodreads or yet And since I don't want to share about the story itself I'm going to 'AIR DROP' tidbits A Catholic Woman is divorced from a Jewish Man They have One adult daughtersThe daughter has a genius 3 year old boyDaughter has a male best friend her wingman who has two mothersThe Jewish Man is re married with kidsThe Catholic Woman is single A Drop dead hunky stud has Asperger's Syndrome is a brilliant scientist He has a Wingman wingfemale best friend He lost his wife and child in an accident Now?? Have I told you anything about this story yet? Even character's names?I HAVE NOTbut aren't you a 'little' curious?This book is 'not' what you think it isIts wonderfulRead it when sick in bed when healthy when you want several wonderful little stories within a 300 page book all of which you'll remember including all the character's names You'll feel the 'punch' of a powerful life messageGreatest book to end 2013 and being 2014


  3. says:

    AhemExcuse me a moment while I get out my feminist soap boxOkay This is going to be a tricky book to review from up here and this is why rape plays a significant role in the plot of this book and I’m not sure I was comfortable with the way that it was portrayed This book doesn’t come out for six months but I kind of wonder about the fact that no one’s thought about putting the brakes on it given the recent troubling events in Stuebenville and Halifax I’m not giving anything away here – you know from pretty early on that our narrator Shandi conceived her three year old son through unconsensual sex She never pressed charges because she was drunk and had been drugged so her memory was hazy She lived in denial about the fact until the two are involved in a hold up at a convenince store An attractive man named William is commemorating the anniversary of a devastating accident by trying to pick out laundry detergent at said convenient store and is also held hostage He’s the one who lays out the gunman and puts an end to the nightmare scene Shandi feeling like she owes her life and her son’s to William but also feeling a little tingly in her lady bits goes to visit her hero in the hospital and learns that he is a genetic researcher She then asks him to help her track down the identity of the man who drugged her and forced himself on her at a frat party when she was eighteen There’s several additional plot threads including the fact that William may or may not be on the autistic spectrum his over protective best friend who acts aggressively towards Shandi Shandi’s best friend who’s long carried a torch for her and Shandi’s complicated family life Those extraneous threads add alllllmost nothing to the book which is strange because there was a lot of that in a relatively brief 240 page book They're just too underdeveloped to work well I liked Shandi a lot in the beginning of the book Joshilyn Jackson is awesome at creating three dimensional complicated and imperfect women with a rock strong Southern voice That’s why I reuested an advance e galley of this book A Grown Up Kind of Pretty was a pleasant surprise – smart well constructed “chick lit” When I thought this book was going to be about Shandi falling for the guy who saved her from the robbery and realizing it wouldn’t be a good idea I was fully prepared to like this book well enough But then it turned out that’s not what the book’s about Joshilyn Jackson’s track record shows that she can write some pretty smart female characters and I think you could make the argument that Jackson’s trying to say that these sorts of situations are complicated and can’t be approached from a black and white standpoint That is absolutely an important conversation that we ought to be having but I was ultimately very uncomfortable with the direction that this conversation ended up going Honestly there were times when it felt a little bit like rape apologism I seriously doubt that was Jackson’s intent but I do think that’s something that is easy to draw out of the text To lay out exactly how would be to give away too many spoilers so you can send me a private message if you’re interested in discussing specific plot points with me


  4. says:

    Edit Available on Kindle for 199 Shandi is a young woman who believes in miracles with faith in immaculate conceptions struggling to finish college and raise her own three year old mini genius and major miracle Nathan aka Natty Bumppo with some help from her Mom her friend Walcott Walcott's Momses and some financial help from Shandi's Dad despite his new wife and Shandi's half siblings Shandi isn't lacking in the love department so long as we're not talking romantic love I fell in love with William Ashe at gunpoint in a Circle K It was on a Friday afternoon at the tail end of a Georgia summer so ungodly hot the air felt like it had been boiled red We were both staring down the barrel of an ancient creaky32 that could kill us just as dead as a really nice gun couldFrom the moment I read that I didn't want to put this book down There are many love stories that follow but love stories in an unconventional sense There are stories of love and forgiveness new miracles and love once thought lost is found While there are heavy dark topics that are covered Joshilyn Jackson's touch covers these with a sweetness that borders on a spiritual forgiveness for allCharmingly sweet


  5. says:

    I didn’t really understand what this book was trying to be Although it does have romantic elements the story is too strange to really be considered a romance I think that the author tried to do too many things mixing too many genres at onceIt’s hard to create a believable love story with a character like William one of the protagonists He is supposed to have Asperger’s syndrome but it is not a well developed aspect of his character He was a very “blah” character Even when we were in his head I was bored It would have been much interesting to have been in the other male protagonist’s mind Walcott’s Instead we jump from Shandi who is another dull headspace to William’s The plot starts off strong with the big robbery scene right at the beginning but doesn’t manage to keep that kind of pace There is too much pining and whining throughout the rest of the novel to truly be interestingI am sure there are better romance novels out there


  6. says:

    After listening to Almost Sisters I decided if I’m browsing audio books and see Joshilyn Jackson as narrator for any of her work I will be listening as soon as possible Great entertaining narrator“I fell in love with William Ashe at gunpoint in a Circle K” When a book has a really great opening line that really gets me This opening line grabbed me and didn’t let go until I finishedJackson has a way of writing colorful characters whose actions always seem to surprise me Or maybe it’s the way the story unfolds that always seems to surprise me Probably a little bit of both In any case I thoroughly enjoyed this


  7. says:

    This was one of those rare books that I knew would be good before I even got into it Even if I was surprised by some of the turns it tookI mean a book that has an epigraph with the lines of my favorite poem and one of the few I actually know; well let’s just say we were meant to beI have no idea where to start thoughI’ve re read certain parts of this book multiple times I’ve had than a week to think about it yet I am completely lost when it comes to this bookThere is so much to say about this beautiful book and I have no idea how to put it into wordsThis book starts off with Shandi telling us how she fell in love at gun point Then it goes back and tells us the story of how she got to the point don’t worry the whole book isn’t set in the past The story goes back and forth between Shandi and William’s past showing us how this incident changed their life and is causing them to reevaluate some of the things they chose to avoidFor Shandi it was finally accepting what had happened to her finally accepting that her child wasn’t the wonderful miracle she had always tried to make herself believe but a result of something horrid But she realized that that wouldn’t change the fact that she loved him Shandi is a very refreshing character She isn’t a kick ass female lead she isn’t a mary sue She is the grey in between She is human Just like the rest of us Her best friend is her crutch but she isn’t spineless She’s been through a lot yet she still manages to remain cheerful She is confused as anyone would be at her age but she isn’t stupid But being held by gunpoint made her realize she needs to stand up to the ghosts of her past she needs to face the truth and so she enlists the help of her fellow survivor William She also uses this as an excuse to hang around him and try to win his heart as he won hers oh don’t blame her you would have done the same hell I would have done the sameWilliam has Asperger’s so he made for a really interesting character and it was fun reading things from his POV For him the incident made him realize he may or may not need to finally face what happened to his wife and child The heartbreaking incident he tried to push out of his mind and pretend never happened He tried to forget the two things that really mattered to them aside from his best friend He is using Shandi as an excuse to avoid doing that but he slowly realizes he cannot do that Honestly I think reading about him as a male lead was one of the best experiences I’ve had He was such a fresh breath of air from all those broody and other tropes out thereI cannot even pick a favorite character; even the secondary characters were greatPaula was one of the best best friends ever Everyone should have a best friend like her Someone who will always have your back Someone who is ready to be a bitch for you Someone who is willing to fight for you when you cannot do it yourself Someone who will help you win the love of your life She could be a complete bitch to Shandi but I understood why she did thatWe didn’t get to see much of Walcott in the role of a best friend in the ‘present’ but in the ‘past’ he was the best best friend anyone could ask for He helped Shandi through a hard time and took the burden off of her he took care of things she couldn’t He kept secrets until she was ready They have a wonderful relationship Let’s just say thatThe romance in this book is a mixture of different love stories I am probably the only one who didn’t connect the title with the romance and shipped for William and Shandi until I realized it wouldn’t happen and not because William didn’t have any romantic feelings but because even I didn’t feel like Shandi would have been a suitable replacement for Bridget What William and Bridget had had been beautiful you cannot replace that What Shandi and Walcott could have we don’t know but maybe it’ll be even beautiful I think the story that stuck out most to me and wasn’t really a focus of the book was Shandi’s parents’ story The realizations Shandi had about the two of them and how they would never really have a chance to fix things It kind of breaks my heartThe story the author tells is beautiful She presents it wonderfully It may seem slow but it’s worth it in the endMaybe I’ll pick up another book by the author maybe I won’t but that isn’t the point The point is that this is a wonderful book about second chances about giving life a second shot about not giving up and maintaining that hope that lives in your soul and about facing your destiny head on It’s a story everyone should readThis review has also been posted on The Social Potato


  8. says:

    This is a tough one I enjoyed parts of this book immensely and other parts I simply thought were okay I am trying to come down off of my ivory tower of feminist idealism to write this review in the most non judgmental way that I can While I do see that Joshilyn Jackson is exploring the grey area between black and white thinking in this novel there were some things that I just didn't get The uestionable decisions of the main character at times made me dislike her enough that I rolled my eyes or shook my head Still there were some things that I lovedHere is what I really liked I did not love the main character but her son was wonderful I developed an attachment to Natty early on and wanted to ensure his safety happiness and well being as if he were my own child The confused feelings his mother expressed over him that cleared up when she realised he was in danger was major for me This made the characters feel human and their relationship to me as the reader much solid I could imagine being in her situation thanks to the clearly expressed ideas the author put forth throughout the first half of the story The way that William was portrayed as a strong character from the beginning through memories of his previous life made him very solid as well and the type of hero that the reader knows they can count on I loved that things did not go exactly as I would have predicted within the first few chapters and that the author chose not to follow the traditional boy meets girl and sweeps her into the sunset formula That was a nice change Here's what I didn't love as much The portrayal of spectrum disorders in this book felt somehow lacking I did not see that the characters behaved uite as I would have expected for people that are dealing with this disorder I do understand that there is a reason it is called spectrum and there is a broad array of behaviours personalities etc associated with the disorders but I just didn't feel it come through in the story as I would have expected The part that I just don't get I am going to attempt this without a spoiler There are some things a woman can forgive and others that I just can't see any rational person being able to get over The main plot point in this story revolves around one of those things that try as I might I just can't see happening in the real world Perhaps some people are forgiving than others and I am just not one of them but again may I reiterate I just didn't get it There were uite a few plot lines running here and there in this book that involved the main character's family and other situations that I thought could have been further developed in order to make the story interesting but they were neglected somewhat It was like carrying around a pair of shoes when you are already wearing some I didn't really feel that mentioning them and then not going anywhere with it added much to the story as a whole If you are the type of person who is well in touch with your feelings and can forgive a main character for uestionable decisions this might be a book that you will thoroughly enjoy If you are expecting a light and easy read with no thinking involved this is not going to be the best book to choose This author is very good at writing books that make you think about situations that lie beneath the surface as well as offering up characters that are hard to forget once you have come to know themAlthough this was not my favourite book by Joshilyn Jackson it does once again reinforce that she thinks outside the box and can come up with new and interesting plots that have not been done before I enjoyed the ending of this novel and applaud the way she decided to go with the future of her main character This review is based on a digital review copy from the publisher as part of the Shereads blogging network My opinions are my own


  9. says:

    What happened to this book? It started as a light and uirky story of a young woman with a breezily dysfunctional family and a precocious child and uickly deteriorated into a mess of of unfinished story lines awkward transitions and an extended and very uncomfortable commentary on the gray nature of rape By the end of the book Shandy the main character turned into an erratic and unlikable character who could not be wished on anyone's happy ending


  10. says:

    This is such a beautiful book it's hard to know how to review it Maybe by starting with what it isn't It is NOT a romance A love story sure but not just one Many many kinds of love come into play in this story as many kinds of love as there are people The characters are real and flawed and kind and stupid but Joshilyn Jackson manages to find the possibility of good in all of them The book starts out with a robbery gone wrong then goes in many different directions all of which bring us to the central theme that love can be a very dangerous thing but without it we are lostThis book gets the award for having the 2 best friends in literary history Paula the bitch who loves and protects William and Walcott who watches over Shandi and keeps her going With friends like these anything is possibleMaybe Jackson has friends like these who make it possible for her to write so brilliantly I can't wait for her next novel but in the meantime I've got several of her earlier novels to catch up on Maybe you couldn't tell but I loved this book