Review: Christi Bell by Lori Lapekes

Print Length: 300 pages
Publisher: EsKape Press (August 25, 2015)

From “I’ve been watching you. You laugh too freely. You laugh when you need to cry. You make jokes when you need a listening ear.”

Even whimsical Christi Bell does what any sane young woman would do when a bizarre man wearing an army trench coat and goggles says such things to her — she runs. Still the haunting words resonate. The stranger seems to know her, to understand her. Only one man has ever known her very essence… and that man has been dead for exactly one year.
Despite friends’ warnings, Christi investigates. She discovers peculiar things, like the stranger lives in a beat-up old trailer that resembles her toaster. She begins to understand him. But is he a stalker or a protector? If a protector, from what is he shielding her? When Christi learns a disturbing truth, she banishes him from her life. Yet nothing erases the eerie knowledge that they are connected. Now she must find him before year’s end in order to banish her own demons…


My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

I finished this book today, but I'm still unsure as to my feelings about it. It wasn't that this was a bad book by any means, I'm certain it will do very well and appeal to a variety of readers. It just wasn't for me. 

I felt a disconnect to the characters and to the overall plot. The characters seemed to be very one dimensional, almost as though some of them were added as an after-thought to try and add more depth to an already perfectly good story. It also felt like the story jumped around a lot, making it hard for me to pay attention to what was going on. And there were other instances of information being freely given, and then seemingly being forgotten about later on. 

I think it would have been a good story on its own without the added story-line of there being a "predator" in the park, and the unnecessary arc that encompassed that. In my opinion the heart of the story is the grief and the crushing depression that is weighing on both Christi as well as Brent after Jared's suicide. These are two people who are carrying a lot of guilt and forgetting to live because of what happened to Jared. The emotion was real, the pain of these characters and how they moved throughout their day to day lives was real, the author didn't need to include all of the extras. I believe if she had focused more on Christi and Brent, and less on all of the other minor details, I would have found this story more engaging that I did. 

The author does have a fairly free-flowing writing style however, and as I said before, I do believe this book will do well with the right audience. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own. 


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