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Where to Belong Paperback – August 31, 2011
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About the Author
A Midwesterner transplanted in Central Texas, W.J. Smith lives with her husband, two rambunctious cats, and an always hungry tortoise. When not writing, she works as a dental assistant, loves to read, dabbles in photography, and is envious of anyone with musical talent.
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After tragic death of her fiance, ex-com Madison is living a "normal" life in Chicago. Then she runs into her best friend that she left behind to escape the dangerous lifestyle they were leading only to find out he is in deeper and in danger. They decide to protect each other.
Soon things change when someone from her past resurfaces. Will she be able to protect herself? Or will she be forced into the old lifestyle once again? The stakes are high and she finds herself in a life or death situation.
A well written thriller. Madison is likable, flawed as she is. I really wanted to see her happy and have a good life. The choices she faces are serious and she must do what is right. But what is the right thing to do? There is drama, suspense, danger and thrilling moments. Overall I found Where to Belong an enjoyable read. I also like the cover art, great Chicago waterfront skyline.
Happily, Where to Belong did capture my attention and held it throughout the entire book. I enjoyed the characters. Madison was kind and thoughtful, if not terribly exciting considering she's a reformed con artist. Her lifelong friend and former partner in crime, Skyler, was also an attentive and generous person. Separately, their characters were fine, but when they shared scenes they both shined. The flashbacks to their childhoods and early adulthood helped show why they were so caring to one another, even with years of separation.
As much as I liked Madison and Skyler, I am a huge fan of stand-out secondary characters. In this case, it's Chase. Chase is Skyler's roommate and is funny and sweet and the best source of comic relief. He usually busted into the room during the worst moments, and had great reactions. Books always, always benefit from a character like Chase.
I'm not sure that general fiction is ever going to be my go-to source of reading again, but I have to say that it's nice to take a break from the vampires and demons and ghosts and poor teens trying to make it in a post-apocalyptic world. Where to Belong was a nice, worthwhile escape.
"I've walked around all these years only pretending to have a life. It hasn't been anything I thought it would be. It's empty. Hollow."
*I received this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review.*
Told in both the present and past, Madison and Skyler's relationship is fleshed out in such a way that it's impossible not to fall in love with them. They're great characters, and they truly love one another, though it takes them far too long to realize it. Caught up in a web of deceit, both must find a way to break free from the underbelly of crime and the lord that dictates their every move, and the tale is fast-paced and highly interesting, if not completely plausible. I really enjoyed this story, but some aspects left me scratching my head--one such is the amount of time it takes for a car to sink in a large body of water. It's far faster than one would think, and so there is a scene that left me a little unbelieving, but that's few and far between in terms of the integrity of the story. It's one of love, and I truly enjoyed it.
However, there are a number of glaring editing errors in the Kindle version I read, enough to make the read a little haggard and less enjoyable had it flowed seamlessly together. But to be fair, this novel was queried for review nearly two years ago, so it is possible a newer edition with a more thorough editing is already available. I do hope so--and if not, it's an easy enough fix should Smith choose to do so. That being said, the version I read contained a very compelling story, but the typos did take away from some of my personal the enjoyment overall.
(Please note: I use the rating system of Goodreads, which is different from Amazon. My overall personal review is that I liked it.)