Monday, May 4, 2009

REVIEW: "The Last Bridge"

Title: The Last Bridge
Author: Teri Coyne
Release Date: July 28th, 2009
Summary (B&N):
For fans of Jodi Picoult and Sue Miller, a dark, edgy, page-turning debut about the lengths one woman will travel to escape her past. After a ten-year absence, Alex “Cat” Rucker returns to her Ohio hometown because of a letter left on her mother’s kitchen table—a suicide note, carefully preserved in a bag, that reads: “He isn’t who you think he is. Love, Mom”
Thus opens this stunning debut novel from author Teri Coyne, who, with wry humor and sharp wit, follows Alex’s journey through the traumatic experiences of her youth and the haze of her adult life.While Alex tries to repress the memories of her brutal childhood—an abusive father, her estranged (and possibly illegitimate) brother, and the first love who would do anything to save her—she must face just how shattered she still is. At each step Alex confronts her biggest fears, realizes the impact of her choices, and inches closer to redemption. Can she embrace her vulnerabilities, talents, and desire for love, or will the revelations of her mother’s cryptic note prove too overwhelming for her to bear? The Last Bridge is a perfect blend of suspense, despair, and romance—and at its heart lies the question: are we a product of our experiences or our choices?
My Thoughts: The story itself was fairly dark, and not my usual type of book. However, it was still written nicely, and though I can't say that I hated it, at the same time, I can't honestly say that I was blown away by it. If anything, my opinion on the over all book is almost neutral. It was okay, not horrible, but not amazing. Nothing wrong with it, but it just depends on the individual person as to whether or not they will enjoy it. I know many other reviewers that really loved this book, and that's fine-- I have nothing against them, because even though I didn't give it a 5 star rating, I can't pin point what it is that made me think "okay" and "not bad"after finishing it. Maybe it just wasn't my type of book? After all, I usually prefer fantasy and romance, and this book had neither. True, Coyne tried to pull Cat's small love story in to it, but it didn't really work, in my opinion, and I think she knew that, which is why there was only a minimal amount. Maybe it's because Cat had so many things to over come and realize about herself, that there was no way for her to fall passionately in love right off the bat, without having to work towards that first? I hope that makes sense, it's hard to explain what I mean without spoiling too many things for future readers and/or taking up pages of explanation... Again, I can't really say why this was only a mediocre book for me, so I don't want to try bashing something that I have no real problem with. Instead, here are the things that I did think turned out fine: ~The characters. Though I had my own troubles dealing with Cat's personality/attitude sometimes, they were believable, and I applaud Teri for making them seem so real. They were flawed, sure, and they had troublesome pasts, but that's how real people are. ~The writing. True, there were a few places where I thought the writing was a bit rough (not as in grammatical errors that you expect to find in an ARC, but the actual flow of the story), but I can't judge, I know that my own writing isn't always perfect either! Over all, it was an easy read, and I finished it in only a few days (in between the twenty other things I have to do on any given day). That by itself should show that it did have the ability to keep my attention, and I wanted to finish the book. ~The conversations. Cat had a bit of a sarcastic bite, and I enjoyed reading some of the humor, both between the characters and in the rest of the writing. 3/5 STARS! As a new author, Teri Coyne managed to snag my attention with the book, and as a first novel, she did a wonderful job. :) The story was very brutal, but honest, since things like that happen more than I'm sure we want to believe. And I'm sure that when Coyne has another book published, I'll check it out as well, to see what she plans to give the readers next time.
Enjoy!
Until Next Time, The Book Queen

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