Thursday, March 7, 2013

Review: Spilled by J.E. Barrett

Yet another review done!  I seem to be on a roll.  I just finished Spilled by J.E. Barrett. This was a quick and enjoyable read. I enjoy stories following a group of people and seeing how their stories intertwine (as seen in the film Crash).

This book begins with Jane, a rather unlikeable woman running late to work. During her commute, she stops by Bagel Barn to pick up coffee for her coworkers. It is here that we meet most of the other key players in the story, though we don't know it yet. On her way out, Jane bumps into someone and spills her coffee, and her day goes from bad to worse.

Throughout the story, we check back in with Jane, who feels she is having the worst day ever. Things are much worse for the other characters in the coffee shop, and a few of them experience some life-altering events. Everything comes together quite nicely at the end of the book. It is a neat ending, but not too neat, which definitely makes for a more realistic novel.

The book was well-written and fast paced. It held my interest from beginning to end. Some minor editing is needed, but it is nothing too noticeable. One thing I noted is that the characters, while they were well developed and interesting, were very "black-and-white". I either loved them or hated them. I think that if they had a few more shades of gray, the story could be even better.

I am ambivalent about the ending. On one hand, I thought it completed the story arc nicely, closing again with Jane thinking about her day, On the other hand, I initially thought the penultimate chapter was the last one, and was surprised to turn the page and see a chapter 12. While the endings of both chapters were nice, chapter 12's ending felt a little more abrupt.

Overall, I thought this was a great story and a real page-turner. I would like to see more from this author.

My Rating: 5 stars

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