Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Salem Falls - Jodi Picoult [and a new challenge]

Title: Salem Falls
Author: Jodi Picoult
Date Finished: March 12, 2008
Yearly Count: 12
Pages: 434
Rating: 4.25/5

Since starting my blog in June I've written about three other Picoult books and before that I had read three, so I'm not going to go into whole lot of detail with this one. I really enjoyed the book, which was almost a relief after feeling wishy washy about Plain Truth (review here). I just picked up her new book Change of Heart and hope to read it in a few weeks (or months--eeks!).

Salem Falls begins with Jack St. Bride being released from prison after serving time for a rape he did not commit. He leaves his old life behind and heads to the sleepy New England town of Salem Falls to start anew. Unfortunately, though, he finds himself in the middle of another rape case--one where the lines of truth are blurred and nothing is what it seems.

It's true that Picoult's books seem very formulaic, but the formula worked very well for this book. She was able to withhold enough secrets to keep me guessing and biting my nails through the entire book. At the end I even had to cover the text with my hand so my eyes wouldn't cheat--I LOVE THAT!! This is the first book I've read since The Book Thief (review here) that I absolutely could not put down. Part of the reason why this book was so interesting to me is because the girl who accuses Jack of rape is the priestess of a teenage Wiccan coven (forgive me for butchering the terminology if I am). I don't know very much about this religion and have only known one person who openly practices, but from what I know I find it to be fascinating. I can't pretend to know how accurate Picoult is in her descriptions (although she usually does her homework), but I was intrigued by this storyline.

While still not my favorite Picoult book, I would recommend it to fans of hers.

Gautami Tripathy also reviewed this book here

On another note:


I have joined another challenge. I'm feeling *really* good about my reading so far this year, so I thought why not! And I've wanted to stretch my horizons a bit. Plus, a new-to-book-blogging-blogger is hosting the challenge! How cool is that? Go to B&b ex libris to see Bethany's Orbis Terrarum Challenge and the rules.

I'm cross-posting a few books with other challenges, and my list is NOT set in stone, but here is what I've put together so far:

*Zorba the Greek (Greece)
*Half of a Yellow Sun (Nigeria/Biafran)
*A Long Way Gone (Sierra Leone)
*The Robber Bride (Canada)
*The Swiss Family Robinson (Switzerland)
*The Autobiography of Saint Therese of Lisieux (France)
*The God of Small Things (India)
*The Picture of Dorian Gray (Ireland)
*Anne Frank Remembered (Austria)


bethany (dreadlock girl) said...

oh wow! that is a good list. I have been hearing about Zorba over and over, and half a yellow sun as well. I will anxiously await your reviews!

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic list! I'll be looking to see what you think about the Sierre Leone book.

Katie said...

Hey Trish! Love your blog, and I love Jodi Picoult..I liked Salem Falls although it's definitely not my favorite. My Sister's Keeper is all-time fave; did you know the movie version begins production this month?! Anyway, my friend who I swap books with just bought Picoult's latest so I'll be reading it soon too (hopefully!) Can't wait to see how it is!

Jeane said...

Hi, I've tagged your for a meme.

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

*Bethany - I've had Zorba on my shelf for years, so this is a great excuse to read it! Thanks for the challenge. :)

*Verbivore - I've heard good things about A Long Way Gone so I'm eager to read it soon. Most of the books I've read about Africa are fictional, so it will be interesting to hear a different voice.

*Katie - I didn't realize they were making a movie out of My Sister's Keeper (which is also my favorite along with The Pact). Is it going to be a TV movie like the rest or big screen?

*Jeane - This one sounds interesting--I'll try to get to it this weekend.

Kim L said...

Well I'm glad to hear that this was a good book. I've read two of Piccoult's books so far, and though I see similarities to them, she manages to keep them intense.

heather (errantdreams) said...

I've found that formulaic can be okay, as long as the formula's fun and the author makes it interesting from book to book. One of these days I need to try a Picoult book.

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

*Kim L - Her books do have similarities, but usually the "crisis" is different and I am usually in for a good surprise. Which have you read?

*Heather - I would recommend her work. I don't think I've read so many books by the same author, but I haven't really tired of her formula--even though it is pretty familiar now. Her storylines are controversial and relevant, so I haven't tired of them.

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

*Christina - thanks for coming by! I really liked this one, too, but it's not my favorite. The Pact and My Sister's Keeper are my two favorites by her.

BookGal said...

I liked Salem Falls too but My Sister's Keeper is my fave so far. I'm finishing Plain Truth right now. I didn't read your review (yet) but I'm feeling kind of wishy-washy as well. I think I already know how it ends and I have about 60 pages to go.

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

*Bookgal - My Sister's Keeper is my favorite as well. Plain Truth never really captured me like her other books did (well, that and Tenth Circle). I'll be interested in your thoughts. I thought I had pegged the ending but was wrong--but then again not really surprised either. Oh well!

Karen said...

Love your challenge list Trish - are you enjoying the robber bride? I'm a huge fan of Margaret Atwood. I really liked your Jodi Picoult review - I am always so engrossed in her books too. I've just finished "Change of Heart" and I wasn't a big fan of the story or characters at all but I kept on reading!!

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

*karen - I am enjoying The Robber Bride but not as much as some of her others. *Sigh* I've heard negative things about Change of Heart, so I'm a little leery of picking it up even though I splurged on a hardcover. Thanks for coming by!

Holly said...

Not sure I missed this review earlier. :-) I really liked Salem Falls too and for the same reason that I found the Wiccan aspect very interesting. My Sister's Keeper is definitely my favorite Picoult book so far but this is a close second for me. I have to say The Pact was well written but a little too Lifetime Channel for me. :-)

Now I'm just trying to decide which one to read next when I decide its time for another Picoult book.

I hopped over to your other blog to check it out and your travel pictures are beautiful! Makes me want to take more trips!

Happy Reading!

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

Thanks Holly--everytime I think about the vacations I get a little restless. There are a few small ones that I haven't posted about yet, but I can't wait to take another *real* vacation!

I'd also recommend Keeping Faith by Picoult. I'm not sure which others you've read--but along with The Pact and My Sister's Keeper, these are my favorite four. Unfortunately I haven't heard as good of things about her newest book...hope she's not loosing her touch. Thanks for coming by!

Anonymous said...

This is my favourite Picoult. I discovered her in Sep 2007 and finished 8 of her books.

Tenth Circle is least favourite of all I have read.

Linking this review with mine here!

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

*Gautami - I really enjoyed this one, but it isn't my favorite. Tenth Circle is definitely my least favorite as well! I've put your link up!