REVIEW: The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson

First, let me say that I am WAY BEHIND – like over a week – in getting this review written. My apologies! I’m not sure what happened — life got in the way!

On a recent stroll through Border’s I noticed this book and decided to buy it. It looked creepy and intriguing. Well, it was. The story starts with the heroine, Laurel, asleep in bed when she wakes to find her daughter’s best friend standing next to her. However, it isn’t her daughter’s friend, it is her ghost — and she leads Laurel to the backyard where her lifeless body is floating in Laurel’s pool. Thus starts The Girl Who Stopped Swimming, a breathless novel that takes you along on Laurel’s ride of being tormented by her past while having her daily ordered existence shattered. This novel has a lot of subplots in it — Laurel’s troubled family life growing up, Laurel’s mother’s issues, Laurel’s marriage, but mostly the focus is on Laurel’s extraordinary sister, Thalia, and her role in Laurel’s existence.

I really liked this book. Yes — I did have some issues with it. I felt Thalia was portrayed SO outrageously and SO over the top that at times she was unbelievable as a character. I also had two issues with the conclusion — SPOILER ALERT SKIP TO NEXT PARAGRAPH IF YOU’D LIKE!  First of all, the whole issue with Molly’s drowning and the part the house alarm played in it just rang false (no pun intended). I’ve never seen a house alarm that you can set and it immediately alarms without any sort of beep or delay. That didn’t work for me. A bigger issue was the ending — was Thalia just repeating history? Isn’t this another murder – or involuntary manslaughter? This was glossed over, and to my surprise the epilogue was a rosy happy ending with everyone with their arms around each other. Or was that the point? Was Laurel glossing over the bad things like her mother did? If anyone else has read this book – let me know your thoughts!

Overall, I liked this book and it was a great winter’s read. I liked the main character and I certainly kept thinking about this novel after I was through. I give it 3 1/2 Stars!

Let me know what you think!

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