Someone Else's Love Story

Someone Else's Love Story

4.0 61
by Joshilyn Jackson

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Someone Else's Love Story is beloved and highly acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Joshilyn Jackson's funny, charming, and poignant novel about science and miracles, secrets and truths, faith and forgiveness; about falling in love, and learning that things aren't always what they seem—or what we hope they will


Someone Else's Love Story is beloved and highly acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Joshilyn Jackson's funny, charming, and poignant novel about science and miracles, secrets and truths, faith and forgiveness; about falling in love, and learning that things aren't always what they seem—or what we hope they will be.

Shandi Pierce is juggling finishing college, raising her delightful three-year-old genius son Nathan, aka Natty Bumppo, and keeping the peace between her eternally warring, long-divorced parents. She's got enough complications without getting caught in the middle of a stick-up and falling in love with William Ashe, who willingly steps between the robber and her son.

Shandi doesn't know that her blond god Thor has his own complications. When he looked down the barrel of that gun he believed it was destiny: It's been one year to the day since a tragic act of physics shattered his world. But William doesn't define destiny the way others do. A brilliant geneticist who believes in facts and numbers, destiny to him is about choice. Now, he and Shandi are about to meet their so-called destinies head on, making choices that will reveal unexpected truths about love, life, and the world they think they know.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Friendships and relationships are tested by tragedy in this witty and insightful sixth novel from the author of Gods in Alabama and A Grown-up Kind of Pretty. Single mother Shandi Pierce is paralyzed with fear when she and her young son Natty are caught in the crossfire of a convenience store stickup gone bad. That is, until the dashing William Ashe steps between Natty and the gunman. Smitten by her erstwhile savior, Shandi buddies up to William, hoping their friendship can become more, but is stymied by complications in the form of Shandi’s disapproving best friend Walcott, William’s cohort Paula, Shandi’s ever-feuding divorced parents, and William’s own heartbreaking and as-yet unresolved past. With a deft wit and a series of stellar twists, Jackson creates a conventional love story that is also something more: an exploration of what draws people together, and pushes them apart; a commentary on faith’s ability to unite or divide; and a reminder that “death brushing past makes people hungry to connect to other people.” What emerges is a novel at once funny and touching, whose characters’ many flaws are overshadowed by all the ways in which they look out for one another. The final denouement of Jackson’s roller-coaster love story will leave the reader both thoroughly sated and hungry for more. (Dec.)
Kirkus Reviews
Jackson's novel perfectly captures the flavor and rhythm of Southern life as a young woman preparing for college finds herself caught up in a real-life drama. Shandi has a miracle baby. His name is Nathan, but she and her BFF, Walcott, call the precocious 3-year-old genius Natty. As Shandi moves out of her mother's home to her successful physician father's condominium in Atlanta, she, Walcott and Natty become caught up in an armed robbery. It's during this robbery that Shandi meets William Ashe, a giant of a man with a palpable, lingering sorrow. When William takes a bullet during the robbery, Shandi decides to take on William and starts caring for him on the day he leaves the hospital. In due course, she discovers that William's suffered a tragic loss and finds herself fighting both his memories of happier times and his best friend, Paula, who makes it clear she wants Shandi out of the picture. However, Shandi is coping with a dilemma she thinks William can help her resolve: discovering the identity of the man who fathered her child. Shandi conceived Natty after being raped at a college party years before and still has enough of his DNA to possibly deduce his identity. William, a research scientist, has both the tools and the know-how to narrow down, if not figure out, just who her attacker might be. Jackson draws on her own Southern roots to paint this pitch-perfect portrait of a girl from a small town in Georgia. She traces Shandi's struggles to figure out what, if anything, William really means to her. Wrapped in a thoughtful, often funny and insightful narrative that brings Shandi and those in her satellite to life, Jackson presents the reader with a story that is never predictable and is awash in bittersweet love, regret and the promise of what could be. A surprising novel, both graceful and tender. You won't be able to put it down.
“An inspiring story of love, faith and redemption...All of the characters... are so vividly drawn, they fairly leap off the page.”
Susan Elizabeth Phillips
“That rare woman’s novel that is sure to please readers of popular fiction as well as literary fiction. A terrific pageturner!”
People (3 ½ stars)
“Witty, cleverly constructed and including a truly surprising twist, Someone Else’s Love Story turns out to be a nuanced exploration of faith, family and the things we do for love.”
Omaha World-Herald
Someone Else’s Love Story is worth reading, even studying. Expressions of love come in many forms, as Jackson shows.”
Atlanta Magazine
“Finely drawn characters make the miraculous plausible, from the opening hostage scene in a North Georgia convenience store to an ending that hits the mark of ‘surprising yet inevitable’ mastered and articulated by Flannery O’Connor.”
Dallas Morning News on SOMEONE ELSE'S LOVE STORY
“A surprising novel, both graceful and tender. You won’t be able to put it down.”
Greenville News
Someone Else’s Love Story is never predictable, full of humor and heart and characters you can’t help but love.”
USA Today
“[T]here is love at [this novel’s] heart… there is much to gain from a closer read.” (3 out of 4 stars)
Wichita Falls Times Record Review
“Joshilyn Jackson is a brilliant storyteller and has a unique gift of bringing quirkiness to her characters and a lot of twists and turns to her tale.”
“There are scenes that will make you gasp, pause or even tear up as Jackson’s characters fumble toward imperfect enlightenment. Someone Else’s Love Story will delight and surprise with its unexpected compassion, empathy and humanity.”
“This charming page-turner serves up a twist I never remotely expected, followed by an utterly satisfying conclusion.”
Library Journal
Destiny. That's what Shandi Pierce is convinced brought her and scientist William Ashe together during a robbery at a Circle K store in rural Georgia, and that is what's going to help her answer a question that has been plaguing her for years. However, as their stories become more entwined and secrets from their pasts are revealed, Shandi wonders if she even wants the answer at all. VERDICT Jackson's sixth novel (after A Grown Up Kind of Pretty) is original and amusing, and the plot takes an unexpected turn with the introduction of a new character late in the book. Unfortunately, the clunky transitions among narrators and jumps between the past and present distract at times from the story. Still, Jackson's many fans and those who love authentic Southern fiction should enjoy this title. [See Prepub Alert, 6/3/13.]—Amber McKee, Cumberland Univ. Lib., Lebanon, TN

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Joshilyn Jackson is the New York Times bestselling author of six previous novels, including gods in Alabama, A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty, and Someone Else’s Love Story. Her books have been translated into a dozen languages. A former actor, she is also an award-winning audiobook narrator. She lives in Decatur, Georgia, with her husband and their two children.

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Someone Else's Love Story 4 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 61 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book and it's true to life story. A very clever story with suprises through out. A truly greaf read. I would also like to lend my voice to those who object to Plot Spoilers and kids who enjoy being stupid in book reviews. Why can't you text your trash like other kiddies do? If you have a review to post please there are others. who would just like to know if you like or dislike and why. Thanks.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a huge fan of Joshilyn's strong, Southern characters and this book brings even more. Carefully crafted storylines + flawed but intriguing characters make this a must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
More twists and turns than you'd expect from a romance-type novel, but that made it better. I loved the prose, and the complex character relationships. Will be reading more by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book should be listed in the teenager/young adult section. I am going to have to suffer through 50 more pages to finish the whole story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book would have been so much better without the f word. It is so unnecessary and used way too much. 3 stars for foul language.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Easy, enjoyable read with a twist.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Intelligently written book; very moving.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There isn't actually a lot I can say about SOMEONE ELSE'S LOVE STORY without potentially spoiling everyone who might read it. It may seem like a pretty straightforward Southern love story, but Jackson plays with your expectations from the very first page. What I can say is that it has a compelling pair of narrators in Shandi and William, and an amazing supporting cast. I would happily read a whole other novel about Paula's life, or Shandi and Walcott's childhood friendship. I want to explore the possibilities that still exist between Shandi's maritally and religiously separated parents. It discusses the values of both religion and science in equal measure, and it's one of the only books containing a "miracle" that doesn't make me roll my eyes. And if none of those things interest you, it also has two of the most rewarding love stories I've read this year, and the funniest sex scene I've read in the history of ever. Even if adult contemporary isn't your thing at all, you should definitely give this a look.
FKM More than 1 year ago
An out of the ordinary book. Interesting and believable story with surprising twists.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed and devoured this book. It was the first book i have read by this author and definately will read more of her work. It is a book of love stories, friendships and the little miracles of life. Her characters were quirky and believable and I sure didnt see the ending coming.
cheekys_dance More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I have read from this author. I thought it was exceptional.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings A crazy love story that started in the most craziest of ways and sure had the ups and downs, but I can't divulge where it ended!  (It's too good to spoil!)  Shandi is a young single mom and throughout the book I had to keep reminding myself of how young she was because she definitely didn't act like it at times.  William is a scientist to the core and may lack in the social skills, but definitely doesn't lack in the book smarts.  These two along with a few others are held up in a convenience store and that is where the crazy love story started. Shandi was a great character, there were a few moments where I thought she repeated herself and once had an enlightenment, but went back to doing the same thing she did before.  There were a few times where I wanted to smack her and say wake up!  William was the same way, he had some moments where I really gravitated towards him and then he would have a moment where I greatly disliked him - thankfully the good outweighed the bad!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed the story at the beginning....but the ending did not satisfy. Could have been much better. Very disappointing!!!
LOK More than 1 year ago
I shouldn't have loved this book, because it has, on the surface, some trigger plotlines for me--violence/danger, especially involving women and children. But I loved loved LOVED this book. There were one or two places where I thought, "hmmmm, not QUITE buying it," but then it would move an inch to the left and I'd buy in again. And in several places the hairs on my arms stood up, which doesn't happen when I'm scared, but when something is said JUST PERFECTLY, or a plotline hits just the right note. I love Joshilyn's books. And I am SO SO SO hoping that there will indeed be a sequel, because there wasn't enough closure for me. I can't decide who in this book I would hug first if they were all in a room and I walked in and got to meet them. Well, after Natty, that is. Must go read My Own Miraculous now!
Reviews-By-Ann More than 1 year ago
One of the truly great writers of our day. Someone Else's Love Story is my third Jackson title, and she nails it like an Olympian every time. I love her rich, southern voice, the characters whose voices I recognize in my head, the twists to her plots that--in the end--land just where they should. Her characterization of grieving, autistic adult William is brilliant. Shandi is a twenty-one-year-old mother of a three-year-old genius. She has more than one secret to uncover like her virgin conception and who she really loves. I closed Someone Else's Love Story with a sense of awe, a rarity for a person who reads as much and as critically as I do. 5+ Stars
me2nc 4 months ago
I really enjoyed this one. I kept expecting the story to go one way, the predictable way, and when it didn't it kept me intrigued. It's nice to read a story that you don't know the ending to when you have just started it.
Anonymous 11 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Religion is always super present in her books and it us just unecessary and frankly annoying. Ok booj but would not read again. Felt pushed together and then end abruptly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Chrissy_W More than 1 year ago
Did I enjoy this book: I really didn’t enjoy this book. Maybe it was the hype, maybe it was the other reviews I read, maybe I hoped for more of a chick lit/women’s fiction/romance story, but I felt a bit disappointed after reading Someone Else’s Love Story. For me, this book was okay. Some parts were promising, but they just weren’t enough to make me like this book. I didn’t like the point of view shifts between Shandi and Will. They didn’t flow, and sometimes it was just too hard to follow. I just had a hard time picking the book up to finish it. But I did finish it. I think I was hoping for something bigger to happen at the end. Someone Else’s Love Story had a lot of potential. Unfortunately, it just fell flat. Would I recommend it: I wouldn’t recommend it. Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange  for an honest review.
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