temporaryworlds (temporaryworlds) wrote in bookish,

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#78 Second Glance by Jodi Picoult

Spencer Pike has sold his property in Comtosook, Vermont to a real estate development company, property that the local Abenaki tribe claims is actually an Indian burial ground, and shouldn't be built upon. No one takes them seriously until strange things start to happen, such as a snowstorm of rose petals. Second Glance is the story of a haunting, and how it impacts the lives of people connected to the town, including Ross, a paranormal investigator with a death wish; Eli, a local, part-Abenaki police officer; and Lucy, a young girl who can see ghosts.

Second Glance is the October selection for the readwonderland  book club here on livejournal (if you're interested in the book, you should join us). It's an appropriately spooky book just in time for Halloween. I found it to be a solid novel that plays both the paranormal, and realistic aspects at a satisfying level. Once I got the large cast of characters straight, I could not help but get caught up in their individual, and interconnected stories. Another thing I found interesting about this book is the fact that it feels like three different books, but not in a way which makes the story feel choppy. Divided into three sections, the first part reads like ghost story, filled with many creepy moments. The second part tells us the story behind the haunting, flashing back to the 1930s. This was the part I found the most surprising. I had no idea that there was such a prominent eugenics movements in Vermont during this time period, so it was fascinating to learning about that. The last, and most lengthy part of the novel is a mystery storyline.

Although I enjoyed Second Glance on a whole, there were a few times where I struggled with the book a bit. The writing is, for the most part, very solid. Still, there were a few times (typically when dealing with big ideas like love or heroism) where it felt very cheesy to me. I picked up Second Glance knowing it was a ghost story, so I was prepared to readily suspend disbelief on the supernatural side of things. Unfortunately, there were a few moments where I had a hard time swallowing some of the more practical aspects of the book (for example, we have a 100+ year old man who acted a little too spry for his advanced age to me, and I felt a lot of the characters feel in love with each other a little too easily). I also had some issues with the predictability of the book.

Ultimately, the issues that I had with the writing, believability, and predictability of the novel did bother me at times, but I still felt that this book was rather solid. There are tons of interesting ideas presented in this novel, and I enjoy how Picoult doesn't always give us clear answers, leaving it up to the reader to make up their own mind. I am happy that I read this book for the book club this month.

Rating: four stars
Length: 424 pages
Source: Lewiston Public Library
Challenge: This book is not part of any challenges
Other books I've read by this author: My Sister's Keeper

xposted to temporaryworlds , bookish  and goodreads
Tags: xxx author last name: i-q

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