Tuesday, 14 July 2015

The Lives Between Us

Author: Theresa Rizzo
Genre: Modern Fiction, Romance
Type: e-book Advanced Reading Copy (ARC)
Source: Directly from author
Publisher: Rizzo Publishing
Paperback Page Count: 441
First Published: July 1, 2015
First Line: "Skylar Kendall darted into St. Francis Hospital's revolving door, made one complete revolution, and burst out of the entrance again."

Book Description from GoodReadsHow far would you go to save the one you love?

Reporter Skylar Kendall has run from commitment all her life, pushing people away before they leave her, until her niece worms her way into Skye’s heart and settles in tight. Skye relaxes into a career she enjoys and relishes being a doting aunt.

Then her niece becomes gravely ill. Unable to bear yet another loss, Skye is determined to find a cure, but the girl’s only hope lies in the embryonic stem cell therapy Michigan Senator Edward Hastings repeatedly opposes. When Skye fails to find alternative treatment in time, she vows to end the senator’s political career.

Curious about the woman behind the scathing articles on his best friend, Mark Dutton pursues Skye. Dating Mark gives her access to Hastings’s life and secrets that would launch Skye's career and satisfy her need for retribution… Only she hadn’t counted on falling in love.

Can she avenge the lives lost to politics at the expense of her new love and friends?

My Review: Count me in for a book that sparks a debate on a sensitive issue and has some heart.  When author Theresa Rizzo offered me her book that focuses on stem cell therapy to read and review I thought that this would be a good fit.  

Rizzo brings up the hot topic of using embryonic stem cells (as well as cord blood stem cells) for medical treatment and covers several viewpoints on the issue without bogging her readers down in too much medical detail.  I admit that I only knew the basics of this issue and Rizzo brought to light the many different sides and morality of this debate.

This wasn't a heavy read and actually took on a much more romantic twist that I was initially anticipating.  I'm all for some romance but a little less emphasis on Skylar and Mark's love life and more focus on the emotion and ethical debate would have been my preference.  The romance took more of a hold of the story towards the middle and I found it to be a bit distracting with some of the dialogue between them felt weak and didn't add to the overall plot.

My main concern with this book is Skylar.  She's a hard one to get behind. I liked that she adored her family but she often came off as brash and while she does mature a little throughout the book overall she wasn't very likable.  And while she had a good reason for not supporting Senator Hastings views on the stem cell issue, her deep hatred of him seemed too intense and too personal.

It was actually Senator Hastings' family that really intrigued me and, I felt, got to the heart of the ethical and emotional results of stem cell use.  The Senator, his son and especially his wife Noelle were my favourite characters and felt like they handled the issue with heart and believable emotion.

The ending.  All I will say, without jeopardizing the plot and my feelings towards one of the characters, is that the epilogue will give you a lot to think about.  While it is a little vague I kind of liked wondering where this character stood and why s/he made certain choices.

No matter which end of the spectrum your thoughts and feelings lie on this issue, Rizzo brings up some good points to think about regarding stem cell therapy.  There are no villains in this book just people trying to figure out where they stand on this very controversial issue as it pertains to their own lives.  Overall, this was a lighter book than I was expecting but it kept my interest. I think that fans of Diane Chamberlain (or those who want a lighter Jodi Picoult read) would enjoy this book.

My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Disclaimer:  My sincere thanks to the author, Theresa Rizzo, for providing me with a complimentary electronic copy of her book in exchange for my honest review.


Theresa said...

Thanks for the thoughtful review, Laurie! Glad you enjoyed the story!

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

You are very welcome, Theresa. I enjoyed learning more about stem cell therapy and all that entails.

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