Monday, March 12, 2012

Book Review: Another Piece of My Heart

By Melissa Amster

I have read all of Jane Green's novels and had been looking forward to the publication of "Another Piece of My Heart" ever since I learned it was in the stages of being written. Like with all of her other novels, it was worth the wait!

Andi would like to be a mother, but instead becomes a stepmother when she marries Ethan, a single father of two young girls. Sophia, the younger daughter, adores Andi and treats her as if she were her birth mother. Emily, on the other hand, is full of angst over her father's remarriage and in turn makes Andi's life miserable. In her quest to be rebellious, Emily makes a decision that has a huge impact on Andi's life, as well as her own. When this happens, it changes everything they both know about family and love.

As soon as I started reading "Another Piece of My Heart," I found it impossible to put down. Ms. Green writes with such beautiful and delicate flair that I could have devoured the entire novel in one sitting, if I had the time. I always love her use of description, which makes me feel I'm in the same room with her characters. I can just taste all the delicious sounding food and touch the gorgeous looking furniture and decorations. She makes everything sound so lovely to visualize, bringing about the desire to shop at a homegoods store. (If I actually did this after reading one of her novels, I would do major damage to quite a few credit cards!) The dialogue was strong and realistic throughout the story. She didn't mince words when Emily and Andi had one of their fights. Both Andi and Emily were easy to sympathize with and it was difficult to take sides once Ms. Green brought Emily's thoughts into the story. It was also nice to see other opinions scattered throughout, like those of Sophia, Ethan and even Brooke, Ethan's ex-wife and the girls' birth mother. I loved the portrayals of all the relationships in the story, whether they were about romance, friendship or family. Andi's friends, Drew and Topher, stood out as a wonderfully portrayed gay couple. They reminded me of Bob and Lee from Desperate Housewives. (It also leads me to wonder if she modeled them off of Wade Rouse and his partner, Gary.)

The only concern I had is that this didn't completely have the feel of a Jane Green novel. Maybe it's because her novels have grown with her life, but I felt like "Another Piece of My Heart" had been written by Kristin Hannah instead. (I also felt this way with "Promises to Keep" at times; see my review.) I love Ms. Green's voice, whether it is spoken aloud or through her extremely talented prose. However, I worry that her writing voice may get lost in her ability to sound similar to other authors.

"Another Piece of My Heart" was a fantastic story about the bonds of family and I enjoyed every moment of it. I am already looking forward to Ms. Green's next novel, which I know will be equally, if not more, amazing.

(Top left: US cover/title. Bottom right: UK cover/title.)

More by Jane Green:


Rea's Book Reviews said...

I used to Love Jane Green books i haven't read any of her more recent books must pick them up xXx

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I am reading Another Piece of My Heart now. I absolutely love it! I could not put it down. I read more then half of it yesterday. lol