Book Review: Leaving Time

Could love be not grand gestures or empty vows, not promises meant to be broken, but instead a paper trail of forgiveness? A line of crumbs made of memories, to lead you back to the person who was waiting?

leavingtime_jodipicoultTitle: Leaving Time

Author: Jodi Picoult

# of Pages: 398

Published: October 14, 2014

Rating: 3 Hearts

Synopsis:

For more than a decade, Jenna Metcalf has never stopped thinking about her mother, Alice, who mysteriously disappeared in the wake of a tragic accident. Refusing to believe that she would be abandoned as a young child, Jenna searches for her mother regularly online and pores over the pages of Alice’s old journals. A scientist who studied grief among elephants, Alice wrote mostly of her research among the animals she loved, yet Jenna hopes the entries will provide a clue to her mother’s whereabouts.
Desperate to find the truth, Jenna enlists two unlikely allies in her quest. The first is Serenity Jones, a psychic who rose to fame finding missing persons—only to later doubt her gifts. The second is Virgil Stanhope, a jaded private detective who originally investigated Alice’s case along with the strange, possibly linked death of one of her colleagues. As the three work together to uncover what happened to Alice, they realize that in asking hard questions, they’ll have to face even harder answers.

As Jenna’s memories dovetail with the events in her mother’s journals, the story races to a mesmerizing finish. [Goodreads]

My Opinion:

I have been highly anticipating this novel. I bought an e-reader, so I could read the prequel. I went to a meet-and-green with Jodi. I have a signed copy of the book. But I have to admit that it is not my new favorite. I just didn’t love it. Being an avid Picoult reader, I love how she never fails to deliver a twist ending and I must say that this one really threw me for a loop.

What I liked:

I found the incorporation of elephants to be a refreshing addition to the story. It was packed full of facts that I thought were very interesting. I don’t want to give too much away, but a couple of my favorites facts are that elephants hold grudges and have trunks that stretch like accordions.

The relationship between Thomas and Alice in the beginning. Thomas was so nerdy and cute with his glasses fogging up when he came to Africa for the first time; plus his adorable little trick with the origami elephant. “It was almost as if there was a tear in the fabric I was made of, and he was the only color thread that would match to stitch it back up.”

The twist ending was completely out of the blue… well at least for me. I won’t give it away. I will say that I don’t think it was one of her most creative plot twists, but it was definitely one that I didn’t see coming. I always try to figure out where she is headed, but for some reason what she picked never crossed my mind. Which was a nice surprise.

Jenna and Virgil’s friendship was really genuine to me. There is just something about a washed up, old detective and a preteen hanging out and having some good laughs that is just so sweet. I love weird, unexpected friendships and this one had moments that really made me smile. As the story progressed, I really liked how he became protective over her, like the father figure she never had.

What I disliked:

The characters in general were not very likable. There is a preteen, a psychic, and an ex-detective. Yep, I know, a bit cliche. Then add the missing mother and crazy father who both happen to be scientists, and throw in the extended family consisting of the three others who work with elephants. Jenna– I felt for her wanting to find her mom and everything, but I thought her character was a bit far-fetched. She was thirteen years old, but came across more like eighteen. She just seemed to be a bit too mature and was just way too street smart and book smart to be taken seriously. Serenity– I am not one for psychic stories, but I liked her the most from the beginning. I felt she had the most character development and I could really see her story being real (minus the actually believing in psychic things). I found her to be funny, confident, and maybe I’m biased, because she drove a yellow VW bug and I am obsessed with those. Virgil– I don’t care much for drunk characters, but I thought it was a bit lazy to create a character with the alcoholic ex-detective stigma. He was just too easy and not very original. Alice– the mother; I thought she was great in the prequel and in her younger years having so much attitude and spunk, but I started to dislike her as the story progressed. Thomas– I liked him in the beginning and I never actually came to a point where I hated him, but I felt he was doomed from the start. He was extremely smart, had a mental disorder, his disorder causes him to have an abusive lapse, and then ends up being cheated on. “A bruise is how the body remembers it’s been wronged.” Poor guy. I would crack too.

 Infidelity is not something I necessarily like to read about. I understand that not all relationships are perfect, but even when things get tough, I don’t think it is ok to just peace out and find the next best thing. Or not peace out and just do in secret. The relationships were pretty messed up in this story and I partially blame Alice for this; she didn’t really seem to understand what marriage means. It seemed to me like she gave up too easily.

The storyline is really quite confusing. It was so full of theories and subplots that I just found it to be really hard to follow at times. Once I made it past the halfway mark, it started to pick up speed and make more sense. But then you hit the last fourth of the book and the twists start coming out and the confusion comes back.

What I thought overall:

It was a good novel, but not a Picoult masterpiece. If you want to learn a little about an amazing animal, while reading an interesting book about a young girl searching for her long lost mom… then I would definitely look into it. It provides some great laughs, lots of interesting facts, and a few smiley/teary moments. Was this my new favorite Jodi Picoult novel? No. Will I read her next book? Yes. Do I recommend reading it? Yes (specifically for avid Picoult readers).

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Future Read Friday #1

Future Read FridayThis is an original P4P meme that will highlight one lucky book each Friday that I have been wanting to read. It can be any book, any author, and any genre. There are so many books I want to get my hands on and I add books to my TBR list every day. Here, I will just be discussing the books that I am most excited about reading whether I have wanted to read it since I was a kid or it just came out this year.

defendingjacob

defendingjacob_williamlandayI love a good courtroom drama book and from what I hear, Defending Jacob by William Landay is just that. It came out at the beginning of 2012, but I just discovered it browsing through Barnes and Noble not too long ago. I have gone to buy it multiple times, but continue to get side-tracked and distracted– then I end up buying something else.

Defending Jacob is about a respected and upstanding man, Andy, who has a great job and a happy family. Well that is until his son his accused of murdering another classmate. Although Andy loves his son and wants to believe the best in him, he slowly finds out that he doesn’t know his son at all. As the case progresses, Andy will have to face some things he would rather just sweep under the rug. With his marriage falling apart and trying to understand the acts of his son, this book questions where your loyalties lie in a situation like this.

Needless to say this book sounds incredible to a law and order/family drama junkie like myself. One of these days I will get around to reading it!

Read about it on Goodreads.

Is this book on your TBR list? Have you read it? If so, what did you think?

xofarah

Three on Thursday #1

Three on Thursday

Today, I am going to be introducing my first [kind of] original meme here on P4P. It is called Three on Thursday and is going to feature three things that I have been obsessing over during the past week; it could be about books, movies, music, food…. really the options are endless. It is going to be based off of the meme from bookmark lit called Five on Fridays, but I have changed it to a measly three things and bumped it up a day.

Muddy BuddiesThese have just appeared on my radar when the guy sitting next to me in class ripped open the bag and the heavenly smell wafted over toward my nose and I just had to have some… and I did. Now these aren’t the classic Chex Mix smothered in peanut butter covered in powdered sugar, because trust me if I didn’t have the awful peanut allergy I would be eating those every day. No, these are the brownie supreme– Check Mix smothered in chocolate covered in chocolate powder. It is utterly delicious! There is another kind called cookies in cream that I am dying to try. Pretty much my new addiction.

Gilmore GirlsThis is currently my Netflix addiction! I remember watching an episode every once and awhile when it was actually on TV and my mom would be watching it and then recording all the reruns that abcfamily played, so that I could see them all in order, but adding the whole series to Netflix was just such a great move that I am soooooo happy about. I am in the middle of season 4 and hope to be done by December. Favorite quote so far: “If you’re going to throw your life away, he’d better have a motorcycle!” Why thank you Lorelai Gilmore for those lovely words of wisdom!

4Boot SocksYay for boot weather!! I am normally not a fan of the cold or of winter, but right now this is technically Texas’s fall, so I am going to make the most of this fifties/sixties weather. I have just discovered the trend of boot socks and I just can’t get enough. I just think it is sooo cute. I am currently trying to find boot socks in all sorts of different colors and designs. It is fashion sense like this that makes dressing for the cold so much more bearable.

bootsock1bootsock2

xofarah

WWW Wednesdays #1

WWW WednesdaysWWW Wednesdays are hosted by Should Be Reading and is a meme where we discuss what we are currently reading, just finished reading, and hope to read next.

WWW Currentlyleavingtime_jodipicoultI am super excited about having just started Jodi Picoult’s new novel, Leaving Time. I have been highly anticipating its arrival for what feels like forever and now it has come. I started it on Monday and am about 60 pages into it. Not quite my favorite yet, but I still have miles to go and anyone who has read a Picoult novel knows there is usually a surprise toward the end. I can’t even imagine where this one is going to go, but I am so ready to find out.

WWW Finish

largerthanlife_jodipicoultActually, the last thing I read was Larger than Life. I read it in order to get myself pumped for Leaving Time (not that I wasn’t already). It was my very first novella to ever read. Normally I avoid books that are shorter than so 100/150 pages or so, but obviously I had to make an exception for the prequel to Picoult’s new novel. I have decided that not reading novellas is a stupid “rule” if you will. I don’t think I will read them all the time, but I feel that they have the potential to give good insight to the novel they either preface or follow. Larger than Life was a fabulous read and could have had a full blown story all to itself. It really did the job in getting me prepared for what was to come in Leaving Time.

WWW Nextcityofashes scorchtrialsThe next book on my agenda is going to either be The Scorch Trials or City of Ashes. I finished The Maze Runner a couple months ago in order to see the movie and although I didn’t like it much in the beginning, toward the end I was really getting into it. It seems to be that way with me and Dystopian book series– the first one is really good, the second keeps you on your toes, and the third one is a complete train wreck. City of Ashes is the second book in The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. Although some people really didn’t like the books, I read City of Bones over the summer and really enjoyed it as well as the movie, so I plan to finish the series.

xofarah

Top Ten Tuesday #1

Top Ten TuesdayIt’s Tuesday and as I looked around it seems that almost every book blogger has participated in Top Ten Tuesday, so I will too. Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is: Books I Want To ReRead.

Collection1

  1. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray — I remember reading this book like it was yesterday, but sadly I do not remember the other two books in the trilogy. I would love to spark my interest in this series by rereading the first one again.
  2. Allegiant by Veronica Roth — This book was awful. I hated it. I may be part of the few or part of the many, but it was not one that I liked. (I could go on a really long rant), but with the movie coming out in a couple years, I figure I might as well refresh my memory and see if my view on the ending to the amazing beginning has changed.
  3. Harry Potter (all of them!) by J.K. Rowling — Harry Potter means so much to me. I will be forever in love with this series and all that it brought to me when I was younger and that it continues to bring to me today. For being such an obsessed child, I have never reread the Harry Potter series *gasp* but I have wanted to for awhile.
  4. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins — For the same reason that Mockingjay is on this list, I really didn’t like how The Hunger Games trilogy ended and kind of despise the last book, but with the movie coming out soon, I feel a refresher will be needed.
  5. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger — Good ole classic that was a high school required reading. I feel like they ruin the best books this way. I didn’t like this book, because I was forced to read it, but I feel like if I was to give it another shot on my own terms, I could possibly like it.
  6. The Clique by Lisi Harrison — Yes. I did put this on here. By no means do I want to reread the entire series (I never made it past book 5 the first time), but I just remember them being such a huge sensation during my Elementary and Junior High years and it is so small it would take about an hour to reread. I would just love to relive all the hype for just a moment.
  7. The Pact by Jodi Picoult — I am an avid Picoult reader and huge fan. I have not read very many of them more than once, but I feel like to really process all of the information they need to be read twice. This was one of the first Picoult novels I read and that was years ago and I have been itching to read it again and see what perspective I latch onto this time.
  8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky — I read the book awhile ago and had mixed feelings about it. Now that the movie has been released and I enjoyed it and I may consider giving the book a second try.
  9. The Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen — Sarah Dessen novels have a special place in my heart. I read them on the weekly basis back in my early years of high school and part of me is still attached to them. This one was always my favorite and I would love to revisit it.
  10. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer — Yep I did it and I have NO shame. I was completely against Twilight when it first became a big thing in my Junior High, but because of unforeseen circumstances I ended up reading it and loving it. Now that the hype has gone down I would love to them again… if not all, at least the first.

xofarah

…and so a book blog was born.

Hello there.

My name is Farahlise, but you can call me Farah. I am an avid reader and lover of books. Lately, I have been thinking a lot about my “passions” and really the only think that came to mind was reading. The thought of starting my own blog has been peeping into my head every now and then, but today I decided to just take the plunge and do it… which is how Passionate for Paperbacks came into existence.

I am very excited to become involved in the book blogging world and am not sure exactly where to start (so please forgive me while I dabble in this and that). Mainly, I plan to post reviews on the books I am reading as well as participate in a few weekly memes.

What I am most excited about is discussing books with other book lovers. For some odd reason, I do not really attract bookworms as friends, so I feel that this will be a fantastic outlet for me to express my thoughts and feelings about particular books and weird bookish things, but also gush/cry/squeal/swoon/rejoice/fume, honestly every emotion, with other people who know how I am feeling.

If you happen to come across my little pinch of the universe (and make it all the way down this kind of long post- sorry!), I would love for you to leave me a quick little message with you a link to your site, so that we can become friends. 🙂

Please don’t be shy!

xofarah