Shandi Pierce is in the process of moving into her father’s house with her toddler, Natty. On the way, they stop at a gas station convenience store and end up in the middle of a robbery. William Ashe is also at the convenient store, at the wrong place at the wrong time. Bonded by that event, Shandi falls in love with William. The robbery has made her reassess her life, what she is doing with it, and what she needs to do to protect her child. The robbery has also made William think about his life, which has recently been filled with unexpected and unspeakable tragedy. In the aftermath of the robbery, Shandi and William find that their pasts do not have to hold them down, and find themselves help each other in healing and moving on with life.
Someone Else’s Love Story is difficult for me to review because there were parts that I liked, but then there were parts that I didn’t really care for. I started out liking Shandi; she seemed smart, and while a bit naive, her innocence and maternal instinct make her likable. About halfway through the novel, though, her head-in-the-sand attitude about her rape had my eyes rolling. I can understand her being in denial about the whole incident, especially since she was drunk and drugged and therefore didn’t remember it, but she took her denial too far.
William Ashe is the opposite of Shandi. Where Shandi is unsure, dependent on her parents, and a bit wishy-washy, William is stoic, confident, and strong. While having two characters that are essentially polar opposites would be a bit jarring, Natty is the perfect character to bridge the difference. Even though he is only three years-old, he was by far my favorite character, and brought out the more human aspects of William.
I did like the fact that Someone Else’s Love Story wasn’t a cookie-cutter boy-meets-girl love story. It was an interesting read, and I was curious as to whether or not a relationship between Shandi and William would ever come to fruition, and if Shandi with herself over that one fateful college night. However, I couldn’t get a good understanding of Shandi, and thought some of her life choices were peculiar. Because she is a mother, she has that fierce maternal instinct, but at the same time, she isn’t emotionally mature. Someone Else’s Love Story isn’t a book I ended up loving, but I did like the writing, and am eager to read Joshilyn Jackson’s previous novels.