Monday, August 9, 2010

My review: HOMETOWN GIRL by Michele Ashman Bell

**ATTENTION** Michele is running a contest in conjunction with her blog tour. If you are interested in winning a $50 Visa gift card for use anywhere, click HERE to be directed to her blog to enter. Michele will only select winners who have entered on her blog.

From the back cover: Jocelyn Rogers’s life is in a rut. Maybe she should step outside her comfort zone and move to Milford Falls, where she has inherited her grandmother’s house. With the encouragement of the other Butterfly Girls, Jocelyn musters her courage and starts a new life.
However, when she arrives in the small town that holds both good and bad memories for her, she discovers the house in worse shape than she expected, and getting repairs done is anything but easy—especially when it comes to dealing with Jack Emerson, a man who seems to be agitated by Jocelyn and everyone else within a fifty-mile radius.
To make matters worse, she has begun to worry that moving back to the place where she once spent a troubled summer will expose the deep personal secret she has kept hidden for fourteen years. But Jack also has a hidden secret that has prevented him from getting close to anyone in a long time. And now it seems that interfering neighbors may prevent both Jack and Jocelyn from moving forward with their lives.

My take: I’ve only read two of Michele’s books, but I’ve really enjoyed both of them. In fact, this one had me up until 2am because I couldn’t put it down until I knew what had happened in the end. I didn’t find Jack nearly as crusty and unapproachable in the book as he’s made out to be on the back cover, however. I liked him from the start, but that could be because I knew I was reading a romance, and he was THE GUY.

Jocelyn’s secrets are big, and they run deep. So do Jack’s, which is why I think I enjoyed watching them work their way to one another. So much of this book reminded me of my own life. I could, at this moment, move to a small town (with my family) and take up residence in a grandmother’s house—that is also likely in need of a great many expensive repairs. I have moved recently, and found—like Jocelyn does in the book—a friendly, welcoming ward who also seem to be everywhere I go. And some of the moments she shares with Jack remind me of my husband.

I’ve learned I’m an emotional reviewer. If a book brings an emotional response from me, then I’m going to like it. Even if it makes me cry. Hometown Girl had several touching moments, but enough laugh out loud moments to keep me going. I had a great time staying up all night to read it—even if I was a zombie the next day!

You can hit up your local bookstore for a copy, or try AMAZON.COM, DESERET BOOK



Michele Ashman Bell said...

What a fabulous review! I'm amazed at how connected you are to Jocelyn. I really appreciate you taking time to read the book.
Hope to return the favor someday!

Anonymous said...

I just stumbled onto your blog, took a look around, and decided that I like it here. Consider yourself followed!
I like the way you review--very honest. I don't get the feeling you're talking the book up just so that you can get chummy with the author and her fans... It made me actually want to go out and buy the book! I'm big on characters, so I'm glad you took the time to talk about them.
I look forward to hearing about your writing adventures, and hope to be able to learn something I can apply to my own writing.
Put it on Paper