The Girl Who Stopped Swimming

by Joshilyn Jackson | Mystery & Thrillers |
ISBN: 0446579653 Global Overview for this book
Registered by candieb of Austin, Texas USA on 3/2/2008
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12 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by candieb from Austin, Texas USA on Sunday, March 02, 2008
Synopsis

Laurel Gray Hawthorne needs to make things pretty, whether she's helping her mother make sure the literal family skeleton stays in the closet or turning scraps of fabric into nationally acclaimed art quilts. Her estranged sister Thalia, an impoverished Actress with a capital A, is her polar opposite, priding herself on exposing the lurid truth lurking behind middle class niceties. While Laurel's life seems neatly on track--a passionate marriage, a treasured daughter, and a lovely home in suburban Victorianna--everything she holds dear is suddenly thrown into question the night she is visited by the ghost of a her 13-year old neighbor Molly Dufresne. The ghost leads Laurel to the real Molly floating lifelessly in the Hawthorne's backyard pool. Molly's death is inexplicable--an unseemly mystery Laurel knows no one in her whitewashed neighborhood is up to solving. Only her wayward, unpredictable sister is right for the task, but calling in a favor from Thalia is like walking straight into a frying pan protected only by Crisco. Enlisting Thalia's help, Laurel sets out on a life-altering journey that triggers startling revelations about her family's guarded past, the true state of her marriage, and the girl who stopped swimming.

Richer and more rewarding than any story Joshilyn Jackson has yet written, yet still packed with Jackson's trademarked outrageous characters, sparkling dialogue, and defiantly twisting plotting, THE GIRL WHO STOPPED SWIMMING is destined both to delight Jackson's loyal fans and capture a whole new audience.

Journal Entry 2 by candieb from Austin, Texas USA on Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Okay, first let me say that Audible.com does not have this book yet and it's making me crazy. I even checked and they don't have any of the other authors books on their site anymore. I don't really listen to CDs, so this is driving me nuts! I always listen to her books while I'm walking. *grump*

Okay... I'll stop ranting now...

This is not my favorite book by this author. The story was good, but I felt like it was missing some of the more crazy characters that Jackson is known for. It is definitely worth a read, don't get me wrong - but I just kept waiting for the nutball characters to show up. They were all a little crazy, but there wasn't those one or two that were just completely nuts, ya know?

This definitely was pretty deep and I honestly didn't see the little twist at the end coming. My favorite book by this author was Between, Georgia and my favorite audiobook was Gods In Alabama. This book comes in 3rd. I wouldn't know about the audiobook since audible DOESN'T HAVE IT YET. Not that I'm bitter.

But... read it. It's still good, it was just different from what I was expecting :)

Journal Entry 3 by candieb from Austin, Texas USA on Tuesday, March 04, 2008
BOOKRING INFORMATION (US ONLY):

1 - Once you receive the book, please read it, journal it, and PM the person next in line for their address within 30 days of receiving this book.

2 - This is a book ring, meaning that I hope this book makes it back to me. If you have any problems getting a response from a ring member, please PM me.

1 - Reddiemom
2 - cheesygiraffe
3 - chambejd
4 - msjoanna
5 - breeze144
6 - HoserLauren
7 - AceofHearts
8 - SimplyCee
9 - tenneh
10 - Bibliocrates
11 - Elsi
12 - rebeccaljames
13 - Do with as you wish!

Journal Entry 4 by candieb at Bookring in Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, March 04, 2008
RELEASE NOTES:

Giving this to Reddiemom when I see her - she doesn't use bookcrossing anymore I don't think, so I'll make a note when I get back and send it to Cheesy :)

Journal Entry 5 by candieb at Bookring in Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Released 11 yrs ago (3/19/2008 UTC) at Bookring in Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

Mailing out to the cheese :)

Journal Entry 6 by cheesygiraffe from Florence, Alabama USA on Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Received yesterday. Thanks! I will read this as soon as I finish what I'm reading now.

Journal Entry 7 by cheesygiraffe from Florence, Alabama USA on Friday, March 28, 2008
I agree with ya Candy, it's not as good as her first 2. I was a bit confused at times what actually happened to Molly but things started straightening out in the end. And yes there was one crazy character, Thalia. But she was a bit by her lonesome.

Journal Entry 8 by cheesygiraffe from Florence, Alabama USA on Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Mailed today to chambejd.

Journal Entry 9 by chambejd from Millbury, Massachusetts USA on Monday, April 14, 2008
This arrived today and I'll get to it soon. Thanks for sharing this, candieb!

Journal Entry 10 by chambejd from Millbury, Massachusetts USA on Thursday, April 24, 2008
**SPOILERS BELOW**

I was really excited about reading this book before I started it because I thought the synopsis on the dust cover sounded good. I really enjoyed the first four chapters but then it just went downhill for me. I was looking forward to way more involvement with the ghost. Her ghost sightings/interactions were very, very weak. I was so annoyed by Thalia and by Laurel's dependence on her when she is so incredibly obnoxious. I wanted to scream at Laurel to just do the things that she seemed to think she needed her sister to do. The mother and father were annoying. Why adults can't stand up to their parents is beyond me. I continuosly thought of Shelby as an 8 year old instead of a 13 year old. She just wasn't a real person to me since she had such a little bit part in the story that when she disappeared I didn't care if she was found or not. Stan was an interesting part to the story but there was no definite clarification on why he was in the neighborhood in the middle of the night. I suppose you could assume that he was servicing a client, but that is just an assumption (and you know what happens when you assume). DeLop seemed so exaggerated, even to a rural Georgia girl like me. The ending was pretty good but I had wished for a better outcome for Bet. It is unfortunate that Laurel was so focused on herself or her own immediate family that she couldn't take the time to see that Bet needed love and not just toss her worth out the window because of her family and where she lives. A disappointing read.

This book is going in the mail today to msjoanna. Thanks, candieb, for sharing it with me!

Journal Entry 11 by msjoanna from Columbia, Missouri USA on Monday, April 28, 2008
This has arrived in NYC. It's been snatched up by my husband, who read and enjoyed Between, Georgia when I got it from a bookring. When he's finished, I'll read it, then pass it along.

Journal Entry 12 by msjoanna from Columbia, Missouri USA on Monday, May 12, 2008
This book was perfectly readable and I admit to staying up too late to finish it. But none of the characters really stood out the way that certain characters in gods in Alabama and Between, Georgia did. The characterizations of the children in the story were completely flat and ghosts were added to the story almost as an afterthought rather than an integral part of the plot. Why bother? I'd recommend this book only for die-hard Jackson fans. But if you haven't read her other two books, read one of those instead of this one.

I agree with chambejd that Shelby seemed younger than her age and that she seemed almost like a non-person in this book, which definitely made it hard to care about her or her actions. The epilogue also seemed sort of pointless to me, but I'm usually against epilogues that try to wrap everything up with a neat bow.

I'll be sending this to Breeze as soon as I get to the post office -- probably today, but maybe not until tomorrow. (mailed 5/13/08)

Journal Entry 13 by Breeze144 from Ajax, Ontario Canada on Friday, May 23, 2008
Arrived here today! Can't wait to get into it...I loved her first 2 books! Hope I can finish this before the June meet-up to pass on to Lauren...

Thanks for sending it all the way up here msjoanna!

Journal Entry 14 by Breeze144 from Ajax, Ontario Canada on Saturday, May 31, 2008
LOVED! I agree with previous JE's that this isn't as stunning as Jackson's earlier novels but still a fantastic read. I love how she creates the small southern towns and delivers the attitudes so smoothly. Also, loved at the end of the 'acknowledgements' when she wrote "Thank you for reading".

Will hand deliver to HoserLauren/Ace at our June meet-up!

Thanks for sharing!

Journal Entry 15 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Sunday, June 15, 2008
Received from Bree today and I'll start into it as soon as I finish my current book!

Journal Entry 16 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Thursday, June 19, 2008
Laurel Gray grew up in a poor neighbourhood with her parents and older sister Thalia. The Gray parents take the kids out of the neighbourhood but there are still family secrets and connections to the town, including what happened when Laurel's uncle was shot in a hunting accident. Laurel becomes pregnant during college after a single night with David and they get married, though there seem to be some lingering questions in Thalia's mind as to whether they belong together or not.

Laurel is woken in the middle of the night by a ghost beckoning her to her backyard. What she finds is her daughter (Shelby)'s best friend floating dead in the pool while a cousin from the poor neighbourhood is staying over. As questions are asked of Shelby and her cousin Bet, Laurel starts to question her past and the ghosts that haunt her. She struggles to keep her life together, keep her past from interrupting the present, and keep her husband and sister from killing each other.

Like Jackson's other novel I've read, Gods in Alabama, the plot sucks you in right away and you keep turning the pages until you're done. While I didn't find Gods in Alabama like this, I did find The Girl Who Stopped Swimming to be like a Jodi Picoult book where it's a family crisis and the characters and their personal problems are the premise of the book.

It's not the most believable book in the world, and I found some of the twists to be predictable, but that didn't take away from the entertainment value of the book, which was high! A great book!

Journal Entry 17 by wingAceofHeartswing from Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Sunday, June 22, 2008
Laurel can see ghosts. When the ghost of her teenage daughter's best friend wakes her up, Laurel's perfect little world is turned topsy turvy. Laurel does not know how to protect her daughter(Shelby) from the police investigation or even how to find out what Shelby might be hiding.

Her computer geek husband calls in re-enforcements in the form of her insipid parents. Laurel feels she needs her abrasive sister Thalia to find out some answers. Laurel is a wishy-washy character. Thalia is the complete opposite.

The answers Laurel gets are about a lot of family skeletons; the death of her uncle, her mom's growing up in a slum and her husband's true feelings about their marriage.

Although this book is not well written the story line did grab me and carry me along. I wished that Laurel would finally grow a backbone. I loved all the little twists and turns the story took. I have not read Jackson's other books so can not compare this one.

Journal Entry 18 by wingAceofHeartswing from Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Monday, June 30, 2008
mailed today from Clarksburg, West Virginia

Journal Entry 19 by SimplyCee from Baltimore, Maryland USA on Saturday, July 05, 2008
Got it! I'll put this one at the top of my TBR.

Journal Entry 20 by tenneh from Verdon, Nebraska USA on Friday, August 01, 2008
Received today - will get to it asap!

I really enjoyed this one as much as Gods in Alabama. I agree the characters needed more fleshing out but I thought the storyline was good. I did feel sorry for Bet but that was part of the story - you were supposed to feel Bet got a rotten deal (in my opinion anyway).

Journal Entry 21 by tenneh at Falls City, Nebraska USA on Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Released 11 yrs ago (8/14/2008 UTC) at Falls City, Nebraska USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

going to Bibliocrates

Journal Entry 22 by Bibliocrates from Fort Collins, Colorado USA on Wednesday, August 27, 2008
I caught this book in my mailbox here in Trinity, Alabama this afternoon. Thankfully, it did not get soaked in the rain, unlike several other parcels that were left out on my front porch! Anyway, thank you for sending this book my way tenneh. I absolutely loved the last two books by Joshilyn Jackson and can't wait to dive into this one!

Journal Entry 23 by Bibliocrates from Fort Collins, Colorado USA on Thursday, October 30, 2008
I have sent a PM to Elsi for an address and should be posting it on in about a week. I'm sorry for the delay, just started the book and am enjoying it very much...

Journal Entry 24 by Bibliocrates from Fort Collins, Colorado USA on Friday, November 07, 2008
My favorite book by Joshilyn Jackson is still gods in Alabama, but I enjoyed this one too.

Thank you for sharing candieb, will post on to Elsi shortly along with some teas for the -November Tea Exchange- via BookObsessed.com, as she is my partner this month.

Journal Entry 25 by Bibliocrates at Sanger, Texas USA on Friday, November 07, 2008

Released 10 yrs ago (11/7/2008 UTC) at Sanger, Texas USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

This book is on its way to Elsi to continue the ring, hope you enjoy it :)

Journal Entry 26 by elsi from Sanger, Texas USA on Monday, November 24, 2008
Arrived during the past two weeks. Hubby brought 10 unopened packages to me and I had a ball unwrapping them this afternoon. I'm looking forward to reading this book and passing it along.

Journal Entry 27 by elsi from Sanger, Texas USA on Tuesday, March 03, 2009
I read this book in early January and was sure that I had mailed it on to Becky, but I found it on my kitchen table on Friday morning -- all addressed and ready to mail out. Took it to the post office yesterday and mailed to Becky in Cincinnati. Should be there by the 9th of March at the latest.

Journal Entry 28 by rebeccaljames from Cincinnati, Ohio USA on Wednesday, March 18, 2009
I received this book today. I am looking forward to reading it. I will get to it as soon as possible. I am a college student and tend to lose track of time so if I keep it for longer than I am suppose to please send a friendly reminder to get it moving along. Thank you for sharing.

Journal Entry 29 by rebeccaljames at Cincinnati, Ohio USA on Tuesday, March 22, 2011
I just finished this book today. I am sorry it took me so long to read. I developed a medical condition and moved twice since receiving this book. I will send this book to the next person as soon as I get an address. Thank you for sharing.

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