Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Defending Jacob by William Landay - REVIEW



UPDATE: DEFENDING JACOB by William Landay may be made into a movie via Warner Brothers! See this link: http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118053994?refCatId=13 Read it NOW before the movie! Movies can never live up to the book, so get your copy NOW! You can do so by clicking on the link at the end of this review!

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than twenty years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: His fourteen-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.

Every parental instinct Andy has rallies to protect his boy. Jacob insists that he is innocent, and Andy believes him. Andy must. He’s his father. But as damning facts and shocking revelations surface, as a marriage threatens to crumble and the trial intensifies, as the crisis reveals how little a father knows about his son, Andy will face a trial of his own—between loyalty and justice, between truth and allegation, between a past he’s tried to bury and a future he cannot conceive.

Award-winning author William Landay has written the consummate novel of an embattled family in crisis—a suspenseful, character-driven mystery that is also a spellbinding tale of guilt, betrayal, and the terrifying speed at which our lives can spin out of control.



My Take:
5-Stars, by far, and more! 
I absolutely LOVED this book! LOVED it! Wow! If there is only 'one' book you read this entire year, let it be this book, "Defending Jacob", by William Landay. Wow! 
You start this book with the 'Wow' factor, and you end this book with the "Wow" factor. The emotional roller coaster ride you will take with this family is just that, up, down and all around.
You cannot help but to become absorbed into these characters and feel what these chafacters do as they go through the legal system, and the quiet time at home, and all the other feelings that come along with an accusation such as this, that your own child, your son, has killed another child because of bullying. The realization that your own child could be a murderer, even though he claims he is innocent. You still find yourself wondering if your child is telling you the truth or not.
Andy and Laurie's relationship is stretched to the core as this family goes through all of this together. A nightmare they never would have given a thought to ever happening. A murder. Their own son, Jacob, 14 years old, is accused of the worst thing that a person could ever do to another human being. To actually 'kill' another person. To end a life. To murder someone. How could this have happened? 
So Jacob is accused of murdering a fellow student due to a case of bullying. This does happen to be a huge problem between our kids today that does not seem to be stopping. However, murder is not the answer to stopping it. 
Imagine being a parent to a 14 year old son like the character in this book is. What would you do if this were you? I could really relate to this story. When I read what this book was about, just the fact of envisioning my own son who also happens to be 14, of him killing another human being of his age is not imaginable, yet it has truly happened in this instance. I could NOT fathom it, it would be devastating. 'Why' would something like this ever happen? 
I have to say this story sure scared and shocked the heck out of me! Wow! It shocked and scared me as a person, and as a parent.
The character that had the hardest time with the Barber family's son being accused of murder was the mother, Laurie. I think we, as Mom's, think it's our fault automatically when bad things happen to our children or our children do bad things. We are so hard on ourselves. We ask ourselves if we have raised them right? Where did "I" go wrong? What could "I" have done better for this to NOT have happened? I think as Mothers we will always feel this way. Laurie, as a character, was a very believable and real person for me in this book. I could really relate to how she felt. I wanted to cry for her with ALL she was going through. Even when they sought counseling to try to be able to better understand  this situation, I would have done the very same thing. Like her, I could NOT fathom that Jacob, a 14 year old boy, my son, actually kill or even be accused of killing another human being? This then made me think of my son. How could ANY 14 year old boy KILL someone? NOT comprehensible. A 14 year old????
The Prosecuting Attorney on this case, Mr. Neal Logiudice, pronounced la-jOO-dis, boy, I wanted to slap him several times! He just gets on your nerves and grinds them! Andy knew exactly what Logiudices' every next move was going to be every single time, too. He continuously would repeat himself, and berate the witness, whomever it may have been. He had NO mercy, and it was Andy Barber, Jacob's father who trained him when he came to the District Attorney's office to work. Andy trained him well. 
I thought this book was very well written, it flowed easily from time and place, and I literally could not stop turning the pages while reading it as it was written so well. I could feel everything the characters felt. I was drawn into their situation.  I was glued to this book, to the story, unable to stop reading. Flipping page after page. This book deserves a 5-star rating and I easily give it that. I loved the twists and turns and the huge WOW factor that figures in on this story as I said in the beginning of this review. The WOW in the beginning and the WOW at the end! It was an amazing read!
This book being so absolutely outstanding deserves a second read through once you read through to the end! Wow! Something comes out and just hits you right in the face! Something you would NEVER expect! This book deserves a second read through after reading the end! Wow!
This book MUST go on your To Be Read List! If it doesn't, you don't know what you are missing! This book will be one of the best of 2012!
I received this book for FREE from the Publisher, Delacorte Press, through their Book Reviewers Program in exchange to read this book and write a review about it.  It is NOT required for this review to be either positive or negative, but, of my own honest opinion. “Free” means I was NOT provided with ANY MONIES to read this book nor to write this review, but to enjoy the pure pleasure of reading it. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html
Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

*This book is one of my favorite books of 2012. You HAVE to read this book! If you don't, you don't know what you are missing! Wow! I know I keep saying this, but wow!
William Landay can write! I have to tell you something funny. I got the ARC to read, but I was finishing up another book first. My husband grabbed this book, and I was waiting for him to finish it. I couldn't wait any longer. I bought the ebook!!! Yes, I did! I read the book faster than he did! I could NOT STOP READING THIS BOOK! It is amazing!

2 comments:

  1. I was wondering whether you would be happy to put up a link in my monthly series called “Books You Love”. The idea is for people to link up posts about a book they loved – it doesn’t have to be one they just posted about. It could be an old fave. I am hoping we will end up with a nice collection of books that can go on our reading lists. Here is the link Books You Loved June Edition

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Carole!
      I'm not sure what you mean by putting up a link? At your blog? A link to this review? I need you to help me out on this one, please! This is from a comment you left on Defending Jacob by William Landay here on my Blog, Laurie Here - Contemporary Fiction and MORE - Book Reviews Addy is http://www.lauriehere.blogspot.com
      Please let me know more about this so I understand exactly what you would like me to do!
      Thanks SO much!
      Laurie Carlson

      Delete

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