Whatever It Takes by Jessica Pack

Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Expected publication: May 28th 2019 by Kensington Books
About the Book:
Sienna has no memory of her late mother, yet every significant day of her life—birthdays, the first day of high school, graduation—has been marked by a letter written during her last weeks of life. Sienna knows her father feels grateful to be able to offer up these connections to the loving, talented woman his daughter never got a chance to know. Yet for Sienna herself, the letters have become a dreaded burden, a reminder that every milestone is less than it would be if both parents were still living. A month before her twenty-fifth birthday, Sienna finds a lump. Facing a cancer dignosis, Sienna begins to ask questions about her mother’s terminal illness—questions that reveal unsettling inconsistencies and voids in the stories she’s been told. The deeper she digs, the more the image of her mother as a contented homemaker warps into something much darker and far more troubling. If Sienna’s dad lied about this, what else did he lie about? What does it mean to be a good parent? What role does the past play in who we are? And to what lengths should one go to protect a child? Like the best of Jodi Picoult, Whatever It Takes delves into these fascinating questions of family and identity with power, insight, and love.

I wanted to love this book, but it was just okay for me. I appreciated the story and it was an easy read and certainly wasn't the worst book I read. I found it hard to remain engaged with it, thus it took me several days to read it from beginning to end. I was disappointed in the characters. While they were written very well, they were diminished in their representation.

While the characters were well written, no one particular one stood out, even out of the main characters. There seemed to be no particular plot line except ruined or falling apart relationships. The novel leaves the reader with quite a negative feeling toward relationships and marriage other than friendship. Almost as if there is a time limit to each. And to be honest, I found the book to be somewhat disappointing. The characters felt rather two dimensional, lacking any real depth and needed to be fleshed out a little more. The reason for the three stars is because I did like the writing and the idea behind the story, plus some of the story takes place in my home province and I know the area in the book quite well.

Thank you NetGalley, Kensington Books and Jessica Pack for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an impartial review; all opinions are my own.

#WhateverItTakes #NetGalley


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