3 February 2012

When I See You - reveiw

Before I even start with the book today, I would like to take a second and wish the author of When I See You, Katherine Owen, a very happy birthday! I hope you get totally spoiled today.

If you'd like a quick synopsis of the story, here's the one off Goodreads:
Jordan Holloway and Brock Wainwright share a past connection and devastating loss that intricately ties them to one another. But now, both must find their way to a new and different life and discover for themselves that moving on begins with letting go, making promises, and keeping them, most of all.
All right, on to the book. There is a pattern I follow when I start a new book. Kind of like a ritual, I guess. Something I do without even thinking. First, I look at the front cover for a minute and try and see it all. Then I flip the book over to read the back cover. You know, the blurb and/or review comments and/or the author's bio. So, I picked up When I See You and the front cover is nice enough; kind of soothing in earthy tones. Then I flip the book over ... and am totally blown away! It is NOT what I expected. There is a small - very small - author bio at the very bottom of the cover. But the rest of it is beautiful! Why has no one (that I know of) thought of this before? Is there a reason the back cover can't be a highlight? Why should the front cover get all the
attention? On to opening the book. The first thing that pops out is that the whole book is a study in feminine pretty: the font of chapter headings, the graphics, the little quotes ... it is all very appealing to the eye.

As for the story, there was a pretty even balance of good and bad points but the weight of the good outweighs the weight of the bad. Here's what I mean: on the negative side there is almost too much tragedy in the protagonists lives. Jordan and Brock have an inordinate amount of bad karma going on. One has to wonder what these two have done to incur the wrath of every god out there. What pulls this story out of the hellish mire it could be stuck in, is this amazing thread of almost palpable hope that winds it's way through the narrative. No matter the depth of tragedy, Jordan pulls herself up by the bootstraps and carries on. Brock is a little more apt to wallow (he is a man after all) but he also manages to find his way through. The good out weighs the bad.

The characters and relationships in the book are, for the most part, well developed and believable. The only relationship in the book that I didn't feel, was the relationship between Jordan and her young son Max. She seems rather disconnected from him. This can be explained by the fact she spends almost the entire book going through a grieving process, however. And I was so impressed by Katherine Owen's portrayal of grief. It was honest and took time to plough through; it wasn't pretty or easy. I did wonder at the role of sex in the process but, never having been through it myself, that may also be real.

There were also quite a number of editing errors throughout the pages. Normally, I won't even read a book with more than one, or maybe two, editing errors but I found myself overlooking these because I was so caught up in the story. Having read two of Katherine's books now, I can say with great certainty that she is a fantastic story teller!

Character Development         5
Editing                                     4         
Sex                                            3 – not overly explicit but there is quite a bit of it
Violence                                  0
Romance                                 5
Readability/Flow                     5

A Taste from page 36:
We lay side-by-side, like two people married to each other for too long, not exactly touching, but singularly aware of the other. I see his mouth turn up into a familiar grin as he feels my continued stare. Having served together for the past three years, we're known as the best snipers on our team. We've become somewhat revered among our Special Forces unit and always draw the short straw for sniper duty. If I'd had a brother, I would have wished for someone like Ethan. I know he feels the same. We're close. We have been since we were eight and found ourselves sitting next to each other in Mrs. Clausen's third grade class.


  1. Now I want to look at that book and see how they did it :)

  2. I want to see this book too. Thanks for sharing your interesting ritual, but that anticipation of starting a book is really something to be enjoyed.

    Lately, I have gotten into the habit of not even reading the blurb before I start the book. I have been groping my way to the plot, which will probably explain my run of sad stories lately:)

  3. I've never read a book by this author but I'm going to research her books since you've read 2 of them now. I like the sound of this book although I imagine it's very sad. I like the fact that the characters are well-developed and believable. I hope their lives improve and the bad karma stops by the end of the book!

    This was a great review! Thank you!

  4. BookQuoter - I do need my rituals!
    Amy - it is very sad!

  5. Fantastic review Dana. I agree that the front cover gets too much of the attention some times. I love your honest review. This one sounds a bit too tragic for me but I'm glad the author is such an amazing storyteller.

  6. Once again, thanks for reading and reviewing "When I See You" and the birthday wishes! I appreciate your fair and honest assessment of my work. You're the best!

    Katherine Owen
    Author of When I See You


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