Wednesday, June 20, 2012

#BookReview: Skipping a Beat - Sarah Pekkanen

@litfangrl here once again ^_^ 

What do you do when all of a sudden the rules of your relationship change? Julia and Michael are high school sweethearts from an eeny meeny town in West Virginia. Growing up in near poverty, both Julia and Michael vow to “make it” and leave their little town in the dust. Armed with a beat up car and a little over $600 in savings, they head up to Washington, D.C. with dreams larger than the sun. The stars align and within a few years of arrival they’re both in high powered careers—Michael being the bigger breadwinner having created a $70 million dollar flavored water empire.

Julia has become accustomed to living the high life, despite the marriage to her husband being in shambles. While all appearances from the outside point to bliss, inside both of these people are just roommates at the point where we make their acquaintance. This all changes in a matter of minutes, though. Four minutes and eight seconds to be exact. In the middle of a board meeting, Michael collapses and is legally dead for four minutes and eight seconds. Julia rushes to be by his side at the hospital and is taken aback when she gets to him.

After his brief brush with death, Michael awakens to renounce all of his worldly possessions. His multi-million dollar empire? He’s putting it up for sale and donating the profit to various charities. The beautiful mansion? Gone…on the market. Julia’s flabbergasted and reacts in a way that is reprehensible, yet wholly understandable. She rejects Michael’s new lease on life and demands that he comes to his senses. In response, he asks for three weeks to prove that he’s a changed man and to get her to see things his way. After far too much protest, Julia finally relents. The reader is then taken on an emotional rollercoaster that will leave you wiping tears from your face, if you're the crying kind, heh.

Admittedly I am an emotional gal. I get worked up over the simplest things from commercials to plots on insipid television shows. So when I tell you that I was crying about a book, you can usually take it with a grain of salt. I mean, I weeped for 15 minutes after finishing Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper. Like full on, mouth gaping, chest heaving sobs. The tears evoked from Pekkanen’s Skipping a Beat were a bit different. I didn’t even realize I was crying until I saw the tears on Kindisha. I kind of expected the ending, but it didn't make it less emotional for me.

Pekkanen’s writing style is engaging. I’ve been following her on Twitter for a while now and have been meaning to get around to reading her works. I am SO glad I did. She writes characters who are rich and well rounded, even the secondary characters manage to draw you in and make you care about them. In fact, a secondary character was my favorite from this book. I would love to know more about her life and her journey at some point. As far as the main characters, I loved Michael all the way through, despite his shortcomings when his business first began taking off. I went back and forth with Julia, though. In the end, though, I felt deeply for her and wanted to know how her journey would progress beyond that last page. Brava, Sarah Pekkanen. I'ma fan. : ) I look forward to reading more from this author!

Unlike the great, Reads4Pleasure--I have no audio post script for my post. From reading about the plot (or if you've read the novel), what would you suggest?

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