Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Book Review: The One Who Got Away

By Cindy Roesel

Jessica Strassner, author of THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY, has a three-legged dog that eats the fourth leg off all his dog toys before he plays with any of them. I think that is totally cool, because I am a dog fanatic. What does it have to do with Jessica’s writing? Nothing. But it is definitely something I think we should all know about her. Now onto the review of this novel...

It’s been said that everyone has one person in his or her life, the one who got away. For Lucy, that person is Jackson. Imagine though, getting a second chance. Lucy does.

Lucy’s BFF, Kate, has a 30th birthday party which has also turned into their high-school reunion. The surprise guest is Jackson. In high school, Kate, Lucy and Jackson hung out and were inseparable...especially Lucy and Jackson.

Reunited after a decade, the old feelings between Lucy and Jackson are rekindled, but Lucy’s now in a long-term relationship with Matt who is at the party and Jackson is in town with his wife, Sloane.

Lucy and Jackson have a few minutes together, but end up having a moment - you know, the one when everything stands still? Once time starts again, Jackson promises to call or email, saying he’ll definitely be in touch and then he’s gone.

“It was a lot harder seeing him than I thought it would be.” Her (Lucy) eyes filled with tears, and before she could raise a hand to wipe them away, Kate reached for her and pulled her into a hug.

At the same time, Jackson was on a plane back to New York City with his wife, downing the first of many gin and tonics, thinking about how Lucy was indeed the one who got away.

Jackson has barely returned home before he’s emailing Lucy and they are texting each other regularly. It isn’t long before the tone of the emails become questionable between all parties involved. I was fascinated by how Strassner utilized social media throughout THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY in order to manipulate various relationships in her novel.

There comes a point when reading a novel when you either commit to the characters or unfortunately pass on them. Depending on your ethical morals, it may be somewhat challenging to sift through the relationships in THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY, but I think it’s worth sticking with the characters in Strassner’s novel. They are a fun, quirky bunch with their share of flaws searching for the same thing we’re all hoping to find in life – love!

Ultimately, the questions that need to be asked and answered are: Should Lucy stay in an unhappy and boring relationship with Matt that is going nowhere? Should Jackson stay with his wife, Sloane who is basically using him as a fertility bank? I appreciated how Strassner was able to illustrate true friendship in a chick-lit novel, while Lucy was navigating these difficult issues. It would have been easy for some people to toss her aside, but they stepped up when she needed them most and she was fortunate to have true friends stand by her.

I’m certainly not going to give it away, but I loved the ending. I just think it should have come a little sooner. Because, like a fairy tale, "the one who got away" from my life came back and we were going to be together and live happily ever after, but maybe in a different way than we originally planned.

Jessica Strassner is the author of a previous novel, HERE WE GO, and is currently working on her third novel, hoping to have it completed by December. We wish her luck and success!

This is Cindy's first official review as a Chick Lit Central associate. We look forward to reading many more from her!

Jessica is visiting Chick Lit Central tomorrow and has an e-book of "The One Who Got Away" to share with a lucky reader anywhere in the world!


Anonymous said...

I'm really looking forward to reading Jess's book having heard a lot about it.

CJ xx

Dee DeTarsio said...

What a great review! (Nice job, Cindy!) I'll have to check out The One Who Got Away--thanks!! Take care, Dee

Lisa said...

Sound like a great read. And awesome review Cindy!

Linn B Halton and Lucy Coleman said...

Great review and well done Jessica, book no. 2 selling like hot cakes!

Janice said...

This sounds great - exactly my kind of read. Can't wait to read it!
Janice x

Becky Gulc said...

fantastic first review Cindy! sounds like a good read

Jen Tucker said...

Cheers Cindy! You did a wonderful job reviewing this book. Another one I must get my hands on. XOXO Jen

Gail Allison said...

Fab review Cindy! Looking forward to hearing more from you!!

Melanie said...

Great review. Look forward to reading it.