Synopsis: When Rose reports for Fenton County jury duty she figures she’s lucky to get out of a morning working at the DMV. Instead, despite a disastrous encounter with the new assistant district attorney, Mason Deveraux, she’s picked as a juror on a murder case. As the trial progresses, she realizes an ominous vision she had in the men’s restroom proves the defendant is innocent. And there’s not a cotton picking thing she can do about it.
Or is there?
As if things weren’t bad enough, Rose’s older sister Violet is going through a mid-life crisis. Violet insists that Rose stop seeing her sexy new boyfriend, Arkansas state detective Joe Simmons and date other men. Rose is done letting people boss her around, but she can’t commit to Joe either. Still, Rose isn’t about to let the best thing in her life slip away.
Review: I received both Twenty-eight and a Half Wishes and Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons in exchange for my honest review as part of the ATOMR book tour. I read each book in one sitting per book. Yeah, they were that good. The synopsis for the book is pretty good, so instead of laying out the plot, I'm going to tell you why I loved these books.
To start, the tour is for the second book Twenty-Nine and A Half Reasons. I asked for the first book to read as it was a new series - however, someone picking up the book without having previously read Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes won't be lost. Denise Grover Swank does an excellent job of rehashing and catching the reader up on what occured in book one without it being an information dump.
In Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes our heroine Rose has had a vision of her death, while working at the DMV. She has a fight with her momma for the first time ever - having previously being the good girl that always does what she's told and takes everyone's abuse. She takes off to grow a backbone and relish in her small victory of standing up for herself. While she is out someone murders her mother, and not only does Rose have to live with the guilt of having her last words have been in anger - but she is also considered to be the suspect by the moronic small-town southern cops. Enter Joe - who at the time was a deep under cover cop. He and Rose develop a relationship which has rocky moments as she struggles with whether or not to trust him as she becomes further ensnared in a situation that occurs as a result of mistake identity. In the end there are some major bombs dropped but with the help of Joe and her family Rose is able to get through it.
So now that we're caught up on book 1 and you have the lovely goodreads synopsis of book two above, let's talk about Rose. Rose is a spunky little thing, who is just learning about who she really is a person. Her momma kept her so repressed and lonely that she never really figured out who she was as a person and what she wanted to do with her live. In book one, she made a list of 28 that she wanted to do with her life before she died – and had began zealously crossing them off. In book two Rose continue to grow as an individual which comes with ups and downs, and major lack of support from her sister, Violet – who wants her to give up Joe and start dating other people. On the one hand, I think that Rose should experience life – and not settle before she is ready – however, if she really is into Joe, her sister should let her make mistakes and learn from them. That’s how life happens after-all.
While I like Violet – she is compassionate, a good mother, and funny – she is also trying to control Rose – but in a more loving way than Momma. Violet also needs to lighten up a little bit. I love how in book one Rose gets her to play in the fountains, and Violet gets to experience a taste of freedom. Violet married right out of school and even though she has what Rose refers to as the perfect life, Violet herself hasn’t really had the chance to really live, and I think she is projecting that onto Rose.
Moving on to Joe. In the first book, I really wanted to punch him from time to time. I understand he couldn’t blow his cover – and that he wasn’t sure which side Rose was on – but there were times he acted like a complete ass or handled things inappropriately, knowing that Rose hadn’t ever dated – or before him even been kissed. I do like Joe though – so I’m a little unsure of how I feel about Mason arriving on the scene.
I really got a kick out of Neely Kate. I love her spunk. I really hope that there is more of her in the next book. She’s the kind of friend that I would love to have.
The writing was pretty clean and more refined than book one. The dialogue between characters was done really well. World-building was pretty good – and believable. I live in a small town – so I can totally relate to the everyone knows everyone else’s business and incompetent law enforcement.
Overall 4 stars – and I can’t wait for book 3!
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