Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Two Roads Diverged in a Wood and She ... Took Them Both?

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Despite three positive test results, Molly Sullivan still can't believe she's pregnant.  It's not that the 30-year-old doesn't want to be a mother.  She does.  Just not now.  Especially when the baby's father, Scott Berkus, has only been a casual, on-again-off-again boyfriend.  Things get even more complicated when Scott sinks to one knee at a New Year's Eve party and—very publicly—asks Molly to marry him.  It's a perfect proposal that couldn't have come at a better time considering the secret Molly carries inside her.  She should be deliriously happy.  So, why is Scott's question making her feel unsure?  Shouldn't she be jumping at the chance to wed her gorgeous, wealthy boyfriend, despite her reservations about his slovenly ways and old-fashioned ideas about marriage and parenting?  She can't turn him down when it means facing an uncertain future as a struggling single mom.  Or can she?  With so many things hanging in the balance—her beautiful home, a job she loves, and the little person growing inside her—Molly has to make the right decision.  But which path is the best one for her and her unborn child?

All of us have probably found ourselves at a crossroads in life, pondering choices as befuddling as Molly's.  When we come to these junctions, how helpful would it be to be able to get a peek down each road, just to see what that path has in store for us?  All the Difference, a debut novel by Leah Ferguson, gives us that chance, if only in a fictional sense.  In alternating "Yes" and "No" chapters, the author describes what happens to Molly, based on her answer to Scott's question.  It's a fun device that gives a familiar story an interesting twist.  The back-and-forth does get a little confusing, but overall, I enjoyed the format.  The characters, on the other hand, drove me crazy.  Bottom line:  Both Molly and Scott are too selfish and immature for marriage and/or parenthood.  Scott's as cliché as they come.  With no redeeming qualities whatsoever, he's too flat to feel real.  Molly's not much more likable.  She's sympathetic in some ways, but also whiny and self-centered.  Maybe it's because I was the full-time mother of three children by the time I was 30, but a lot of her actions/reactions made me roll my eyes.  So, yeah, I wasn't too wild about either Molly or Scott.  So, while I liked this novel's unique format, I ended up not loving the characters or the story.  In the end, it was just an okay read for me.

(Readalikes:  Reminded me a little of Pivot Point by Kasie West)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language (no F-bombs), sexual innuendo, mild sexual content and vague references to the use of illegal drugs

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of All the Difference from the generous folks at Penguin.  Thank you!

4 comments:

  1. Well dang! It was sounding all cute and fun, but if you can't relate to or like even one character, it's just not worth it.

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  2. I do like the device of seeing both sides of the decision but I suspect I would have the same issues as you. Whiny and self-centered at 30 would just make me want to spend most of my time yelling at Molly to grow up. I think I'll pass on this one.

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  3. Ah this sounds similar to Maybe in Another Life which I read this year. I do enjoy the format so it still might be worth it for me to try - Great review!

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  4. Oh to have the conundrum of having to decide whether to marry my gorgeous, wealthy boyfriend or not! LOL. The plot device in this one definitely sounds fun. Too bad the characters sound like they make you want to not care one way or the other.

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