Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Leaving Time, by Jodi Picoult, ends 12/5

Virgil starts to laugh. "You're telling me you are a hack?"

"It's worse. Because I wasn't always." I look at him. There is a green mask around his eyes, a reflection from the mirror, as if he is some kind of superman. But he isn't. He's flawed, and scarred, and battle-weary, just like me. Just like all of us.

Jenna lost her mother. I lost my credibility. Virgil lost his faith. We've all got missing pieces. But for a little while, I believed that, together, we might be whole.

We cross into Delaware. "I don't think she could have picked two worse people to help her if she tried," I sigh.

"That's all the more reason," Virgil says, "to make it right."

I am a huge fan of Jodi Picoult's books, and this one was no exception. She does extensive research to make sure her books are factually accurate, and because of that, each one is very detailed about something specific: in this case, the main character's mother, who is missing, was a scientist who worked among elephants.

Official synopsis:

For more than a decade, Jenna Metcalf has never stopped thinking about her mother, Alice, who mysteriously disappeared in the wake of a tragic accident. Refusing to believe that she would be abandoned as a young child, Jenna searches for her mother regularly online and pores over the pages of Alice’s old journals. A scientist who studied grief among elephants, Alice wrote mostly of her research among the animals she loved, yet Jenna hopes the entries will provide a clue to her mother’s whereabouts.

Desperate to find the truth, Jenna enlists two unlikely allies in her quest. The first is Serenity Jones, a psychic who rose to fame finding missing persons—only to later doubt her gifts. The second is Virgil Stanhope, a jaded private detective who originally investigated Alice’s case along with the strange, possibly linked death of one of her colleagues. As the three work together to uncover what happened to Alice, they realize that in asking hard questions, they’ll have to face even harder answers.

As Jenna’s memories dovetail with the events in her mother’s journals, the story races to a mesmerizing finish.

First off: this book has a major, major twist at the end that I didn't see coming. It's not original, per say, as I've seen it done in movies and books before, but the clues leading up to it were miniscule.

That being said: Jenna Metcalf is 13 and looking for her mother. When she was younger than 5 years old, a woman was trampled to death at her mother's elephant sanctuary, and foul play was suspected. Her mother was taken to the hospital, and later disappeared. Jenna currently lives with her grandmother, and she seeks out Serenity, a psychic, and Virgil, an ex-cop who is now a private detective, to help her with her search.

I know a lot more than I probably need to know about elephants after reading this book, but that's also what I love about Picoult's books: they're so detailed, that after a while you almost forget its fiction. Picoult did extensive research about elephants, since Jenna's mother, Alice, as well as her father, Thomas (who now resides in a home), worked at an elephant sanctuary when she was young. 

The story is also written from different POVs, as Picoult usually does, so we are able to get inside the minds of Alice, Virgil, Serenity, and, of course, Jenna.

Although this novel is rather lengthy (400+ pages), I'd recommend it to anyone who likes a good story, or anyone who is a fan of Picoult's work.

4 stars out of 5.
{To purchase this novel, click here}

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this novel for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.


I have one hardcover copy of Leaving Time for a lucky reader to win.

Enter via the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway will end on Friday, December 5th, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be notified via email the next day, and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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