Whatever It Takes
by Jessica Pack
Published: May 28, 2019 by Kensington Books
Genre/Category: Women’s Fiction
Read For: NetGalley Review
2 ½ stars
Book synopsis from Amazon: Sienna has no memory of her late mother, yet every significant day of her life—birthdays, the first day of high school, graduation—has been marked by a letter written during her last weeks of life. Sienna knows her father feels grateful to be able to offer up these connections to the loving, talented woman his daughter never got a chance to know. Yet for Sienna herself, the letters have become a dreaded burden, a reminder that every milestone is less than it would be if both parents were still living.
A month before her twenty-fifth birthday, Sienna finds a lump. Facing a cancer diagnosis, Sienna begins to ask questions about her mother’s terminal illness—questions that reveal unsettling inconsistencies and voids in the stories she’s been told. The deeper she digs, the more the image of her mother as a contented homemaker warps into something much darker and far more troubling. If Sienna’s dad lied about this, what else did he lie about?
What does it mean to be a good parent? What role does the past play in who we are? And to what lengths should one go to protect a child? Like the best of Jodi Picoult, Whatever It Takes delves into these fascinating questions of family and identity with power, insight, and love.
Review: If a book has any type of medical premise, I am usually drawn to it, so I was glad to have gotten a copy of Whatever It Takes from NetGally for review.
Unfortunately, it didn’t quite meet my expectations. I was really upset with the main character Sienna and how she handled her diagnosis and treatment, as a medical professional this was just frustrating beyond belief. That is just my personal opinion. I also didn’t feel any type of emotional connection to any of the characters and struggled to read at times because of this. So much of the novel seemed so unnecessarily drawn out, yet the premise had such promise. This book just is not what I was expecting when I read the synopsis, I was hoping for so much more.
Eventually you finally get to the mystery of Sienna’s mother, but by the time you get there you may have already given up reading. The ending does actually have a bit of a twist to it, but even then, you don’t feel completely fulfilled when finished. I understand this author has other books published, and this is a title written under a pen name. From what I gather her other books have a decent following, so I would be willing to give one a try. This one just didn’t do it for me, but there were other reviewers that seemed to disagree, so if you’re on the fence……
Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for the copy of this book and the opportunity to review this book for my honest and unbiased opinion.