Book Review: Plain Truth

Plain TruthImage
Jodie Picoult
Fiction, Crime
Published: November 1st, 2004
4/5

                The small town of Paradise, Pennsylvania, is a jewel in Lancaster country – known for its picture-postcard landscapes and bucolic lifestyle, but that peace is shattered by the discovery of a dead infant in the barn of a Amish farmer.
                A police investigation quickly leads to two startling disclosures: The newborn’s mother is an unmarried Amish woman, eighteen-year-old Katie Fisher and the infant did not die of natural causes. Although Katie denies the medical proof that she gave birth to the child, circumstantial evidence leads to her arrest for the murder of her own baby.
                One hundred miles away, Philadelphia defense attorney Ellie Hathaway has achieved an enviable, high-profile career, but her latest court victory has set the sands shifting beneath her. Single at thirty-nine and unsatisfied in her relationship, Ellie doesn’t look back when she turns down her chance to make partner and takes off for an open ended stay at her great-aunts home in Paradise.
                Fate brings her to Katie Fisher, Suddenly, Ellie sees the chance to defend a client that truly needs her, not just one who can afford her. But taking on this case challenges Ellie in more ways than one. She finds herself not only in a clash of wills with a client who does not want to be defended but also in a clash of cultures with a people whose channels of justice are markedly different from her own.
                Immersing herself in Katie Fisher’s life – and in a world founded on faith, humility, duty, and honesty – Ellie begins to understand the pressures and sacrifices of those who live plain. As she peels away the layers of fact and fantasy, Ellie calls on an old friend for guidance. Now, just as this man from Ellie’s past renters her life, she must uncover the truth about a complex case, a tragic loss, the bonds of love – and her own deepest fears and desires.
                Moving seamlessly from psychological drama to courtroom suspense, Plain truth is a triumph of contemporary storytelling.
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                Plain Truth is a thought provoking and intriguing read. Vastly original the ending will surprise you and you’ll either enjoy the deceptive plot twist or you’ll hate it. Fast paced and filled with colorful characters, Plain truth will grab your attention until the very last page and the very last sentence. The amount that Jodi Picoult must have put into studying the Amish culture had to have been enormous because everything fit together so seamlessly and seemed extremely believable. However, as she isn’t Amish I can only imagine that it was not completely correct.
                I really enjoy how Jodi Picoult takes cliché’s and twits them, giving them a new spin. You can almost guarantee that what you think is happening isn’t the truth. I really, really, love that about her writing, and Plain Truth doesn’t fail to deliver on my favorite aspect of Jodi Picoult’s writing.
                You can’t help but feeling for poor Katie Fisher, and the very real, and very ‘English’ problem that’s she has found herself faced with. You spend most of the book wondering what the heck is going on with her. She seems dazed and confused most of the book, spending time talking to a dead sibling and wondering alone in the night time often. She has her heart smashed open and is betrayed brutally by the last person you’d expect.
                Often times I found Ellie a little annoying, I did not enjoy her side romance at all and found it was a needless addition to the plot. However, like with most movies, most books need to have a romantic sub-plot line. It gives us something to root for.
                Thought the storyline shifted easily between the court-room and the dramatic events taking place outside in the main progressive part of the story line. Blended great and didn’t feel like an abrupt change.
                Really looking forward to reading my way through all of her books, and discovering different ways to look at things.

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Book Review: Salem Falls

Salem FallsImage
Jodi Picoult
Adult Contemporary
Published: 2002
Publisher: Washington Square Press
4/5
A handsome stranger comes to the sleepy New England town of Salem Falls in hopes of burying his past: Once a teacher at a girls prep school, Jack St. Bride was destroyed when a student’s crush sparked a powder keg of accusation. Now, washing dishes for Addie Peabody at the Do-Or-Dinner, he slips quietly into his new routine, and Addie finds this unassuming man fitting easily inside her heart.
Amid the rustic calm of Salem falls, a quartet of teenage girls harbor dark secrets – and they maliciously target Jack with a shattering allegation. Now, at the center of a modern-day witch hunt, Jack is forced once again to proclaim his innocence: to a town searching for answers, to a justice system where truth becomes a slippery concept written in shades of gray, and to the woman who has come to love him.
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Salem Falls is a fast-paced page-turner with more plot twists than a rollercoaster. Jodi Picoult is not timid with those taboo topics such as the short comings of the legal system, people’s harsh judgement, rape, incest, etc.; in fact Jodi Picoult often tackles subjects that most people don’t want to think about let alone write about. Her stories don’t always have happy endings and they’re so full of truth that it’s almost painful to be a witness too. It’s true that the good guy doesn’t always win, sometimes evil does, and sometimes what we all believe to be right really isn’t in the end.
Salem Falls really calls into question what we believe and why we’re inclined to believe those things. That’s what I really love about Jodi Picoult’s books: I love that they’re filled with interesting characters and situations. I love that there is always two sides of the story and I really, really love that sometimes the side that you’d believe was wrong isn’t really as bad as you think it would be.
This isn’t one of her stronger books despite how much I love what she calls into question. The characters lack some realism and dimension which is why I’ve only rated this four stars instead of five.  There are definitely aspects to the main characters that have left me wanting more. Jack and Addie’s relationship falls flat in a lot of places and though it’s sweet and romantic they’ve found each other I just find that they don’t fit well together. However, that being said, Addie’s faithfulness and righteousness are very heartwarming. I love it when you have a main female character that hasn’t fallen apart and become a complete mess on the floor, however there are definitely aspects to her story that don’t make much sense and parts were I seriously questioned her mental sanity!
Also, wow! What an ending, I definitely did not see the interaction between two of characters at the end. I also wasn’t expecting to be so creeped out and disgusted by the behaviour of some people more than I already had been at that point. Though part of the ending made me feel slightly uncomfortable in the wake of its truth it was important to the story and to the understanding of intent of one of the main characters. It definitely help explains why what happens happened.
salem falls quote

Super Awesome Book Sale Haul

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                Every year in the city I live in, there is a great, big book sale in one of the malls. There are literally thousands upon thousands of books available on sale for charity and you could spend more than a couple hours just browsing the tables.
                It’s also the time when I buy books I wouldn’t normally buy.  For example I bought two chick-lit books and though I really enjoy that genre sometimes I can’t usually justify spending a lot of money on them as it’s unlikely I’ll read them more than once.
                Another thing I love about this book sale is the option to buy into series that I’m way to far behind in to justify buying them all brand new.  This year for example, I bought the first five books in Katy Reichs ‘ ‘Temperance Brennan’ series (There is a total of 16 books so far!!) as well as the first book in her YA spin off Virals.
                I bought 20 books in the past three days and it was so cheap… it’s crazy. My Husband also bought a ridiculous amount of books as well… I’m sure his stack is bigger than mine however!
                Without futher adue here are the books I purchased in no Particular order.

1. Thirteen Reasons Why – James Asher (Young Adult)
2. Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury (Classic)
3. Trickster’s Choice (Daughter of the Lioness #1) – Tamora Pierce  (Young Adult)
4. The 100-year-old-man who climbed out of the window and disappeared – Jonas Jonasson (Adult)
5. Virals (Virals #1) – Kathy Reichs (Young Adult)
6. Nineteen minutes – Jodi Picoult (Adult)
7. Mercy – Jodie Picoult (Adult)
8. Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt (Classic)
9. My Favourite Goodbye – Sheila O’Flanagan (Adult)
10. The Difference a Day Makes – Carole Matthews (Adult)
11. The Manhattan Hunt Club – John Saul (Adult)
12.  Deja Dead (Temperance Brennan #1) – Kathy Reichs (Adult)
13.  Death Du Jour  (Temperance Brennan #2) – Kathy Reichs (adult)
14. The Cloud Atlas – Liam Callanan (Adult) — Not to be confused with classic
15. Deadly Decisions (Temperance Brennan #3)- Kathy Reichs (Adult)
16. Grave Secrets (Temperance Brennan #4) – Kathy Reichs (adult)
17. Fatal Voyage (Temperance Brennan #5) – Kathy Reichs (Adult)
18. Wicked Appetite – Janet Evanovich
19. The Garden of Good and Evil – John Berendt (Adult)
20. The Angels Game (Shadow of the wind #2) – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Book Haul: August (Kinda)

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                Hey everyone! I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted a book haul but I’m here and I’m back in full action so I thought I’d update you on a few books that I’ve added to my personal library recently.
                Which books have you hauled this month? I’m always interested in hearing about new books and of course interested in what you’re reading!

Flesh and bone: Book 3 – Jonathan Maberry
Soul Screamers: Volume 3 – Rachel Vincent
Between the Lines – Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer
Omens – Kelly Armstrong
Shades of Earth: Book 3 – Beth Revis
The Third Twin – Ken Follett
Fall of Giants: Book 1 – Ken Follett
The Historian – Elizabeth Kostova
Inferno: Book 4 – Dan Brown

Book Haul: January 2013

I like many of you book lovers have a problem; I have one too… A problem that is so big that I’m doing a monthly book haul early…because I bought so many books and I’m actually now starting to have problems keeping track… I am really planning on not buying anymore this month and hopefully I’ll stick to that…despite the fact that “Shades of Earth” by Beth Revis is out… and I really want it… I’ve just bought so many books I have to slow down! Also I took photo’s of these on my Iphone at night… so quality is not so great.
Last Book haul: I have read 11 out of 15 (not to shabby 🙂
___Now on to the Book Haul!____
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1. Faerie Wars By: Herbie Brennan
2. Hollowmere: In the serphants Coils By: Tiffany Trent
3. The Alchemyst By: Micheal Scott
4. Poison Study By: Maria V. Synder
5. Red Riding Hood By: Sarah Blakley Cartwright
6. House Rules By: Jodi Picoult
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7. A Great and Terrible Beauty By: Libba Bray
8. Rebel Angels By: Libba Bray
9.The Sweet Far Thing By: Libba Bray
10. Beauty Queens By: LIbba Bray
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11. Labyrinth By: Kate Mosse
12. Sepulchere By: Kate Mosse
13. The Farm: By: Emily McKay
14. Anna Dressed in Blood By:Kendare Blake
15. Captain Blackwell’s Prize By: V.E. Ulett

Out of these I have read 8 of them. I have read A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels and The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray a really long time ago, but I’ll be reading them again sometime this year and putting reviews up for them since I enjoyed them so much. I also received Captain Blackwell’s Prize from a Goodreads.com giveaway but forgot to take a picture of it… I feel like I am missing a few others but hopefully not since 15 books is insane.
Also if anyone who happens to read this knows how to link books to a website like Amazon… let me know? I’d be very appreciative!

Book Review: House Rules

House Rules
Jodi Picoult
(Adult) Fiction
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            When your son can’t look you in the eye…does that mean he’s guilty?Image
  Jacob Hunt is a teen with Asperger’s syndrome. He’s hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, though he is brilliant in many ways. But he has a special focus on one subject – forensic analysis. A police scanner in his room clues him in to crime scenes, and he’s always showing up and telling the cops what to do. And he’s usually right.
             But when Jacob’s small hometown is rocked by a terrible murder, law enforcement comes to him. Jacob’s behaviors are hallmark Asperger’s, but they look a lot like guilt to the local police. Suddenly the Hunt family, who only want to fit in, are directly in the spotlight. For Jacob’s mother, Emma, it’s a brutal reminder of the intolerance and misunderstanding that always threaten her family. For his brother, Theo, it’s another indication why nothing is normal because of Jacob.
              And over this small family, the soul-searing question looms: Did Jacob commit murder?

 

            I love a good mystery that you have to try and figure out along with the characters in the book!
This novel is written from the various character points of view. This story gives you a good idea of each characters development throughout the story, you get to hear each of their own individual voices and how everything that happens in the novel affects them. I thought she did a fantastic job developing the characters and giving them each an independent voice.
The detail to which the author gives to Jacob’s obsession with crime scenes was fantastic. It was very detailed and exact just the way Jacob is. The Court room trails were also extremely realistic and interesting. I thought she did a fantastic job making the whole story fit together, as well as incorporating a vat of information about Asperger’s, Finger print collecting, and blood splatter. If you have an interest in Crime scene analysis then I think you would really enjoy all the little details and mini crime scene details posted throughout the book. I know I enjoyed that greatly, as I am a sucker for stuff like that.
It was very heart-warming at times, I loved ‘Emma’ Jacobs mother; she was a strong woman but was not without flaws. Theo Jacob’s fifteen year old brother made me feel for him so much, just wanting attention and not feeling like he’s getting it, he finds ways to act out; Theo I thought actually showed the most maturity and growth throughout the book and I found myself identifying with him through a lot of his feelings and thoughts.
This was the second novel that I have read by Jodi and I am looking forward to trying out a few more of her books in the future.