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Books Read in 2016: ‘Out of the Storm’ by Jody Hedlund (3 stars)

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Out of the Storm by Jody HedlundOut of the Storm (Beacons of Hope 0.5)
by Jody Hedlund
My rating: 3 stars

Book Summary from Goodreads:
Having grown up in a lighthouse, loneliness is all Isabelle Thornton has ever known–and all, she assumes, she ever will know. But when her lightkeeper father rescues a young man from the lake, her sheltered world is turned upside down.

Bestselling author Jody Hedlund’s Out of the Storm is her first ever novella and introduces readers to Beacons of Hope, a new series set in the 1800s amid the romance, history, and danger surrounding the Great Lakes lighthouses of Michigan.


My GR Status Update(s):
04/08 . . .marked as: currently-reading
04/10 . . .marked as: read

My Review:
From the wonderful things I’ve heard about Jody Hedlund’s writing, I have to think that this might not have been the best example of it.

While I thought the setting and premise were well conceived, I unfortunately did not much like any of the three characters who appear in the book. Isabelle is a perfect Pollyanna with little depth; Henry was a poorly drawn character who was supposed to be a redeemable rake but came across as more of an immature, party boy frat-bro; and Isabelle’s father was a caricature—supposed to be a loving, over-protective father but acting more like a cartoonishly evil bad guy.

While many of the scenes between Henry and Isabella were fun to read, and their banter was enjoyable, too much time in this short novella was given over to Henry’s bad boy antics—and in his trying to draw Isabelle into his attitude of fun before work—for me to believe his turnaround into someone who would work hard and rise up to the level of morals and ethics that Isabelle supposedly had. (Though with as naive and sheltered as she was, these were things that were learned habits and not necessarily something that came from deep within since she’d never actually experienced or done anything that would make her have to make choices based on an internal moral compass.) It was unfortunate that the time in which Henry was actually experiencing character growth was just glossed over briefly in the narrative. It’s hard to believe a change is real when I, as the reader, don’t actually get to see it happening on the page and am just told that it’s happening by the author.

What had me most confused, however, was watching the status bar at the bottom of my Kindle screen. When they kissed and then when they seemed to be reaching the ultimate conflict of the story and the meter showed that I was not even 50% of the way through the “book,” I kept expecting more to happen. But then it ended . . . and I discovered an excerpt from the first full-length book in this series—five whole chapters! No wonder I couldn’t get a good feel for how long (short) this novella actually was as I was reading it because half the length of what I downloaded wasn’t actually part of this story.

_______
My rating matrix:
5 STARS = one of the best I’ve ever read
4 STARS = a great read, highly recommended
3 STARS = it was okay
2 STARS = I didn’t enjoy it all that much, not recommended
1 STAR = DNF (did not finish)

View all my reviews on Goodreads

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Sunday, July 24, 2016 8:59 pm

    Adding lots of samples was a thing when I first got my Kindle (2012),but soon seemed to disappear. I think you’ve picked up why: it made the “actual” story seem artificially slow.

    I’ve read good and so-so from Jody Hedlund. It’s possible this isn’t the best example of her writing – it’s hard to get a lot of in-depth characterisation in with a short novella.

    Like

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