This has been a LONG time getting to the top of my too be read pile. I joined "Blogging For Books" last year some time in a hesitant start to this whole review blogging thing I'm doing. I waited, and waited for the book to come in, but it never showed up. Here now, with my resurgence of doing these reviews, I had them send me another copy so that I can finish what I started.
Claudia, Casio and the several other players and cheerleaders were on a bus back from a game when, while they were stopped for a train, a masked gunman boarded the bus taking the life of their cheer director and friend, BJ. Other than minor injuries, no one else was hurt except for BJ. The relationship between Claudia and her teacher had gone past the normal boundaries and they had become close friends. Flash forward 10 years, Claudia is still haunted by what happened on the bus, Casio, now a police officer, is having trouble with anger management. Claudia's husband is the ADA and has been given new evidence by Casio that gives him a reason to reopen the case to hopefully find the killer. Is there a killer on the loose? What is Claudia hiding and why doesn't she want the case reopened? Does Casio ever get help with his anger issue? READ THE BOOK!
This book was rather hard for me to get into, unfortunately. The book is basically written from the perspective of about 4 characters; BJ, Claudia, Vic and Casio. I guess I'm just a simple guy and having to read these perspectives was just a bit much for me. The plot was pretty straight-forward, although there were some side stories that I thought distracted from the main plot (the affair that Claudia's mother had). There are several underlying themes that were spelled out in the book; Spousal Abuse, infidelity, faith, etc. just to name a few.
So is this a "man's book"? I would have to say probably not. Not that I think all men are as easily confused as I am, but I would rather have a book that just tells the story. Having it told by different perspectives was a major turn off for me.
I really liked The Crossing by Serita Jakes. I especially liked Vic and Harper, so it made it difficult for me to connect deeply with Claudia and Casio. I did like them, but not as much as I did Vic and Harper. I also liked the flashbacks back to the bus. They weren't jarring at all. Although they were haunting, they were also necessary to understand the trauma Claudia and Casio lived through. I would definitely recommend this book. There was good tension in almost every scene. It also kept me asking questions throughout the book. Each scene ended with a hook that kept me wanting to read more. The book had surprises right up to the end. I'm looking forward to reading more books by Serita Jakes.
The book has an interesting premise: an unsolved murder of a teacher on a school bus. The murderer climbed aboard a bus and shot and killed a school teacher, injuring others as well. The students who survived were traumatized. The incident occurred in a small town, at a railroad crossing. Many of the high school students involved still live in town ten years later, trying desperately to put the past behind them. Unfortunately, that does not seem possible.
The book is pretty well-written, although I would have preferred a less pat and hurried ending. Although the resolution is plausible, it feels forced, almost as though Ms. Jakes realized she only had a few pages left to tell her story. I liked the book, overall. There were some characters that seemed extremely stereotypical, but others were well-developed. The idea that God can be working through the many persons in our lives - even those who are not Christians - is a positive one, and it is developed well, with a nice balance between faith-based and secular themes.
In the end, I would recommend the book to anyone who wanted a nice, clean mystery novel. It was not overly sweet or overly trite, although it was a little of both. With a more sedate and less sudden ending it would have been even better. I liked the premise, enjoyed the story, and cared little for the ending. I would have preferred some loose ends to the abrupt open and shut finale provided here.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255
The Crossing by Serita Jakes was far better than I expected. After the first chapter I wasn't convinced it was going to be interesting but the story took off from there. An excellent book that leaves you guessing. I couldn't put the book down, as Jakes created many twists in the story.
This book has a few different story lines, so it could be confusing to figure out at first. Jakes did a wonderful job in weaving God's love into a story so full of pain. I will advise that this isn't a lighthearted novel in the least and does have some graphic parts to it. I will be interested in reading more from Serita Jakes in the future!
"I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review"
The Crossing by Serita Jakes is an intriguing and captivating story from the minute you start reading it. I happen to love novels which are fast paced. This book does not disappoint.
However, it isn't a light hearted book. The premise is about teacher and cheer leading coach by the name of B.J. Remington who was shot and murdered on a bus after a football game. Unfortunately, the murder wasn't solved. So her close friend's husband (an ADA) decided to reopen the case after a decade to bring closure for his wife Cynthia (B.J.'s student and close friend). Cynthia witnessed the murder that fateful night and thus suffered from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) as a result. The twists and turns of this murder investigation and all the relationships involved was suspenseful to say the least. The book also addressed another important topic; domestic violence.
I have to admit that this book surprised me. I really didn't think I would like it as much as I did. I literally couldn't put the book down because I wanted to know what would happen next. However, reading this book left me somber and thinking deeply about things. I happened to relate and identify with things that happened to some of the characters in this book. So, it brought up a lot of "stuff" for me to sort through, process and come to terms with in my own life. Yes, this book is written as fiction, however, I believe it's based on real life scenarios which can't be ignored and swept under a rug, but addressed for what they really are. This story doesn't have a happy ending, which is true to life as well.
I highly recommend this riveting and thought provoking book. I commend First Lady Serita Jakes for her courage in writing such a creative, relevant and poignant novel.
In conclusion, I want to thank Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers for sending me this complimentary book and for the opportunity to review it.