Anyway, the good news is I've been reading!! Yay me! and good books! LOL :) Nothing better :) I'm quite behind in my review and I have no idea if I will be able to catch up, but at least, I'll try :)
So this morning, the book I'm going to review is Rewriting Monday by Jodi Thomas. I fell in love with Ms Thomas' writing last year, after Twisted Creek, which was in my Top 3 best books read for 2008 :) So you understand why I rushed to the bookstore and got Rewriting Monday right?
Rewriting Monday by Jodi Thomas
published by Berkley in April 2009
On the run from a mistake that ended her career as a big-city reporter, Pepper Malone has come to the peaceful town of Bailee - which she thinks of as Nowhere, West Texas - to pull herself together before moving on.Genre: contemporary romance
Mike McCulloch took over for his brother as editor of the Bailee Bugle out of familial obligation. When Pepper bursts into his office and demands a job, her enthusiasm and energy hit him like a breath of freash air. What's brought this passionate reporter to his sleepy little town - and into his world? A long time ago, Mike learned not to expect much out of life, but Pepper has awakened something in him that he thought he had lost - something that feels a lot like hope.
When the paper comes under attack, Mike and Pepper must start to rely on each other, to trust what is in their own hearts and, most importantly, to believe in themselves...
Series: very, very loosely connected with Twisted Creek
The Story: Pepper Malone has never fit anywhere. Instead, she stands on the sideline and observes people - which makes her a good reporter. However, her career as a reporter is over in Chicago, after she's exposed her ex's family secrets. It doesn't matter to her boss that she did not sleep with her ex for a story, she still got fired. Then, when she got mugged by some hired thugs, she decides it's time she leaves Chicago and starts over. So she ends up in Bailee, Texas, where her grandmother has left Pepper a property. Of course, she did not expect the house to be a trailer... still inhabited by her great-aunt. However, beggars can't be choosers and Pepper decides to stay till she has enough money to move on... Thus, she asks for a job at the town's newspaper, the Bailee Bugle.
Mike McCulloch is the owner and chief editor of Bailee Bugle. He's lived his whole life in the shadows of his older brother, David, who was town's golden boy and his father's favorite. Mike had his life planned out, but had to abandon everything when his brother died and came back to Bailee to take the reins of the newspaper and raise his orphaned niece. Mike might not be passionate about the newspapers, but he will shoulder his familial obligations... As a result, he's been living an empty and lonely life... but it might all change with the apparition of Pepper. First though, they both have to save the newspapers who's been the target of someone's hatred.
My Opinion: I really enjoyed this book. What I liked the most was the setting, the pace and the voice. Rewriting Monday definitively has the same feel as Twisted Creek, very soothing and slow. Ms Thomas continues writing at the first person POV - Pepper, and the third person POV - Mike and other secondary characters... and she does it well because it works. It definitively gives an unique feel to her books and somehow, I think it helps feeling the small-town setting.
Once again, the story is about two characters finding themselves - who they are and where they belong. Don't worry though, the characters and settings are different enough that Rewriting Monday is not a repeat of Twisted Creek :) The intrigue was also good and quite suspenseful.
I enjoyed the characters, Mike and Pepper. They seem to be two lost souls - Mike doing a job that he didn't like and Pepper, never fitting anywhere. Both were strong characters that allowed them to ride over obstacles; however, they had their vulnerable spots. I like the attraction between Mike and Pepper. It was believable and at the same time, it was taken slowly. They had to learn to trust each other... It was also very realistic how Mike would be friendly one moment and cold another. I also enjoyed seeing Pepper settling in the small town, making friends... going out, even if it was Bingo night at the retired home LOL. I really liked Mike - especially that he was willing to give up everything for his niece :) He's a good man and Pepper is a good woman as well. She just needs to find herself a bit more.
What I found unfortunate in this book and what is bringing down the grade I'm going to give to it later is characters development. Ms Thomas had two great characters, but she didn't develop them fully. She could have taken it a notch higher, pushed a little bit more. If the book would have been 100 pages longer, I think it would have been perfect. It seems to me that the ending was a bit too rushed and Mike and Pepper realized stuff too easily at the end :( I felt something was missing at the end between them at the end and that's really unfortunate :(
I think part of the reason is that this time, there is a secondary romance between the bakery owner, Lorie Fuller, and her ex-huband, GBI agent, Heath Fuller. I really enjoyed their storyline and it was so funny when nobody believed that Heath was actually Lorie's ex-husband... since she's so nice! LOL :) I thought their relationship was nice and sweet... however, without them, I think that Pepper and Mike's relationship would have been more complete. Oh well, I guess you can't have it all.
Also, again, we have a very nice cast of secondary characters. I liked that they were not stereotypes of small-town people. They were endearing and sympathic and Ms Thomas really knows to what extent to write them :) Oh and I like how the title fits so well with the book... it's a very good title by the way :) and the cover is very nice :) I felt like I was sitting in the newspapers office :)
Overall, a very good book that I enjoyed a lot :) By the way, if you've been wondering if this book was a sequel of Twisted Creek, it is unfortunately not. It is however very loosely connected as in Luke does appear in the first chapter, but that's it. Hopefully, the next book will be set in Twisted Creek again :)
My Grade: B. Hmmm, it looks like I'm being very strict, but you can't help what you feel ^_^; I did enjoy the book a lot, like I said, but something was missing at the end. I thought it just went too quickly :( It's just not as good as Twisted Creek either; however, I do recommend it to everyone :) It's a very nice story and I really enjoy the mood and the writing style :)