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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Summer Reading Thing 2007: Counting Stars

I pre-ordered this book and yet with the insanity of adjusting to summer vacation had a hard time finding time to get into it. The author Michele Holmes, is a wonderful writer and her first book is a sign of good things to come in LDS fiction. Counting Stars is one of the books that reflects a growing trend in what readers want from LDS fiction--we want meat. We want emotion, and conflict and a book that shows good, yet imperfect people--people like us. Counting Stars does a great job of this.

The story is about Jane; plain-Jane, thirty-something
-single-Mormon Jane, Hopeless-romantic-lonely-Jane. A girl who wants more than she has and doesn't know where to look for it anymore. And then suddenly her life not only changes when she answers a personal ad in the paper, but it is rolled down a hill at break neck speeds. Suddenly, lonely Jane, is not so lonely. And yet the new circumstances of her life are NOTHING she could have imagined. Through the story we see Jane's nature reflected in the lives of many people, you truly do laugh and cry and unless your kids exhaust you like mine do, it will keep you up at night. The last fifty pages of the book were incredible--don't plan anything for that last little stretch--you'll be late if you do. I can't tell you a single thing more or I'll give something away, and I hate giving things away.
Suffice to say that I enjoyed the issues she tackled--those are my favorite books, the ones that delve into the hard situations and this one is definitely one of them and it's been a long, long time since I've read a book that required Kleenex.

My complaint (because I don' t think it's fair to be less than honest in a review even when I love, love, love the person that wrote it) was that the middle 100 pages seemed so slow down for me. Certain motivations didn't seem to be carried through as well as I would have liked and the pacing was different. The beginning and end were fast and tight, which is probably why I noticed the difference in the first place.

I'm excited to see Michele's next book and loved that the first chapter of the sequel is included in the book. I definitely recommend Counting Stars, it's a great book.


Karlene said...

Great review. I'm leaving on vacation tomorrow and that's one of the books I'm taking with me.

Don't forget to go over to the Summer Reading Thing Reviews Mr. Linky and link back to your review. :)

Michele Holmes said...

Thanks Josi! I had the footsteps of a few great writers (you know---those edgy, tackle the tough topics type) to follow.

Anna Maria Junus said...

I liked how you weren't afraid to say what you didn't like about the book.

It's a book I will be looking for.