Author: Lisa Scottoline
Published: April 12, 2011
Genre: contemporary fiction
Hardcover: 384 pages
Source: borrowed from the library
My Rating: 3.5 stars
Synopsis (from goodreads.com): Rose McKenna volunteers as a lunch mom in her daughter Melly’s school in order to keep an eye on Amanda, a mean girl who’s been bullying her daughter. Her fears come true when the bullying begins, sending Melly to the bathroom in tears. Just as Rose is about to follow after her daughter, a massive explosion goes off in the kitchen, sending the room into chaos. Rose finds herself faced with the horrifying decision of whether or not to run to the bathroom to rescue her daughter or usher Amanda to safety. She believes she has accomplished both, only to discover that Amanda, for an unknown reason, ran back into the school once out of Rose's sight. In an instance, Rose goes from hero to villain as the small community blames Amanda’s injuries on her. In the days that follow, Rose's life starts to fall to pieces, Amanda’s mother decides to sue, her marriage is put to the test, and worse, when her daughter returns to school, the bullying only intensifies. Rose must take matters into her own hands and get down to the truth of what really happened that fateful day in order to save herself, her marriage and her family.
My Thoughts: There were so many things that I loved about this book! As I was sitting there reading it, I found it difficult to put down and was already starting to plan my review in my head. One of my favorite things about this book is that Lisa Scottoline jumps right into the action. There isn't a big build-up, no slow reveal of all the characters and their histories. Nope, she just puts you in that school moments before the explosion occurs. I LOVED it! She wasted no time in pulling you into this story! I loved the characters and found them to be interesting people. Rose is a woman who has finally found contentment in her life and is trying to find that peace for her daughter, Melly, who has port wine birthmark on part of her face. She is bullied about it, causing them to move to this new school district that was committed to anti-bullying. Rose is a real person. If I had a child, I would do the exact same things that Rose did to help Melly.
You may be wondering why I'm saying that I loved this book but only gave it 3.5 stars. Well, let me explain: as I was reading this novel, I knew it was going to be a 4 star book. The last one hundred or so pages really changed my mind, though. Instead of progressing through the issues that were already presented, Rose decides she is going to solve this crime and learn why the school was blown up. And it's amazing how quickly she does it: in about a week. I mean, come on. It was just a little too unrealistic for me. I wish that Scottoline had stayed with the course her book was on, because I would have found that so much more interesting. I still really liked the book, especially the ending, but where Rose goes to solve the crime, I was turned off just a little from the book.
I will definitely be checking out more of Scottoline's work. It was fast-paced, interesting, and something that I couldn't put down! I would recommend this to anyone who loves a good legal thriller (which part of this book was).