Doesn't help I've never had a real, formal interview. I've read on prostate cancer yesterday (which is the professor's field). I'm planning to read his articles as well as get more information on what he's working on at the moment... and tomorrow, I'll review my Master project... I wonder if I'm expected to present it?!?!?
ps - OTT again, but did you see? I finally updated my sidebar LOL :)
So onto the review now!! To start, I have to thank Dev for reading, enjoying and reviewing this book. I've said it already and I'll say it again, there's nothing better than having someone with the same reading tastes as you! It's just awesome! :)
Twisted Creek by Jodi Thomas
published by Berkley in April 2008
Bad luck's been biting at Allie Daniels's heels all her life, so when she inherits a tiny cafe in a small Texas community she's sure there's a catch. But Allie brings her grandmother along, and the cafe gives Nana a chance to do what she does best - cook. As the pair settle in to make the best of what surely must be a mistake in an old man's will, the people of the town drop by. Lonely folk discover there's always a "table for one" available, with down-home food to warm the soul. An old maid, a shy young man, and a drifter, slowly become the family Allie never had. When trouble comes, Allie finds she's not alone anymore -- and that, sometimes, the only cure for bad luck is the courage to love.
Genre: contemporary romance
The Story: Day after day, Allie Daniels try to make the ends reach and it's getting more and more difficult. Abandonned by her selfish mother at the age of 3, Allie was raised by her grandparents. After the death of her grandfather and the loss of the farm, Allie has been trying to provide for Nana and her; however, it always involved small jobs and moving around a lot... till she inherits a tiny cafe/general store from Uncle Jefferson. Problem is, she doesn't have any uncle Jefferson. Nonetheless, she and Nana travel to Twisted Creek, Texas to take possession of the cafe. Although she fears that at any moment, the lawyer will tell her 'Oh, it's been a mistake,' Allie and Nana still settle down and she is surprised to see that everyone in the small community has been expecting her... and Allie starts to hope and dream again, maybe she has found her place?
My Opinion: This was a great book and I simply loved it. Ms Thomas penned a very good storyline that flowed seamlessly. I was totally engrossed in the book and the characters.
I liked Allie. I thought she was really humane and could be any woman out there. She doesn't have a tragic or dark past, but it doesn't mean life has been easy or good to her. Due to all her struggles as a provider, Allie is a very realist woman. She isn't cynical or negative, doesn't blame the world for her misfortune or plays victim. At the same time, she doesn't dare dream, because she's afraid she's going to be disappointed. As a result, it's very nice to readers to see her settles in such a small community and finding her place, finding people with whom she belonged. I also enjoyed her relationship with Nana a lot, because for so long, there was only each other to rely on. Nana is also an exceptional woman in my opinion... and so I was so sad for Allie, to see and realize how old Nana was getting... In my opinion, you can't help but admire Allie and Nana for surviving.
I also liked Luke Morgan a lot. Luke is the hero... He's an ATF agent on vacation who came to Twisted Creek to investigate Jefferson's death. Jefferson was Luke's grandfather's best friend and was very present in Luke's childhood. He doesn't understand how someone who's live by the water all his life could drown 'naturally.' I enjoyed Luke's quiet personality. I think that his being just exuded strength and protectiveness and he and Allie simply match together. There is a romance going on between the two and although it is very subtle, it is present and I enjoyed it.
There's also a whole cast of characters called the Nesters, people who live at Twisted Creek all year. Some are hiding from reality, others are waiting... They were all interesting characters and again, felt very humane. What hits me the most is that it was their choice to live such a simple life... people might think of them as losers, but they are strong and have their own reasons.
As for the storyline... Ms Thomas mixes it up a lot. There is a little mystery, a little romance, but it mostly focuses on the characters and their relationships. To me, it was just fun to see Allie and Nana settling in and the people coming together. I enjoyed the slow-paced and thought it really fit the book. The setting and ambiance in Twisted Creek reminded me a little bit of the Virgin River trilogy by Robyn Carr... not the storyline or characters, but how isolated and secluded the two 'towns' were and how people came together as a community to support and help each other.
So yes, I loved it :)
My Grade: A. I really recommend Twisted Creek if you're looking for something a bit different, something slower-paced and focused on characters. Even those who didn't enjoy Virgin River so much, you should give a try to Twisted Creek... because although the setting is similar, the feeling when you read the book is different :)