Book Review: Defending Jacob

Defending JacobDefending Jacob By William Landay

Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Pages: 448 pages
Published: September 3rd 2013
Publisher: Bantam

Plot: Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney for two decades. He is respected. Admired in the courtroom. Happy at home with the loves of his life: his wife, Laurie, and their teenage son, Jacob.

Then Andy’s quiet suburb is stunned by a shocking crime: a young boy stabbed to death in a leafy park. And an even greater shock: The accused is Andy’s own son—shy, awkward, mysterious Jacob.

Andy believes in Jacob’s innocence. Any parent would. But the pressure mounts. Damning evidence. Doubt. A faltering marriage. The neighbors’ contempt. A murder trial that threatens to obliterate Andy’s family.

It is the ultimate test for any parent: How far would you go to protect your child? It is a test of devotion. A test of how well a parent can know a child. For Andy Barber, a man with an iron will and a dark secret, it is a test of guilt and innocence in the deepest sense.

How far would you go?

My Review: Man it’s been almost a month since I posed an actual book review. I’m just so happy that I finally finished a book this month. I am a little behind on my goodreads challenge but I know I will catch up eventually. Anyway, now back to the book. I ended up doing a buddy read for this with the lovely Jenna over at J.K. I’m Exploring! I’m so happy I ended up having someone to talk to about this afterwards.

I thought this book was decent. There were some aspects of it that I enjoyed which were the family dynamic and I liked that some parts of the book were court transcripts. The things I didn’t like about this book were the characters and how open ended everything ended up being.

This book is about a family dealing with their son getting accused of killing one of his classmates. I realized I love seeing families come together for these horrific dilemmas and seeing how they end up dealing with them. So you get to see how the family deals throughout the whole process. I always wonder what my family would do in these types of situations. I am thankful for books for allowing witness these scenarios without really dealing with them.

Another part of the book I enjoyed was there were a lot of court transcripts. I enjoyed seeing them talk to the different witnesses. I got to see the types of questions they would ask. I also got to see what questions were not allowed to be asked. It made me feel like I was a fly on the wall.

One of the things I didn’t really like about this book were the characters. I just felt like at some points characters acted a certain way because the author felt it would make the story more interesting. You basically find some information that one of the characters was hiding from the others. I felt after that information was reveled the character started acting a different way than they normally acted. I can’t tell you what because I don’t want to spoil the story. I just felt that was added in to make you question certain things. Another thing I noticed was that I felt certain actions that one character did should have been done by another character. I just felt like it made more sense for the other character to do. (I hope these two points make sense to you guys. I just don’t want to spoil nay parts of the book.) Sadly the only character I felt slightly interested in wasn’t one of the main characters. That character wasn’t in the book very often.

Lastly I felt the book left me with too many questions at the end. Sure I know some people like when the author leaves the story open ended. You usually can guess what the outcome is anyway. In this books case I felt like it really left me feeling empty. I have my assumptions but I feel it’s one of those situations I would like a set ending. That ended up leaving me very disappointed. I really wish the author wrote a little short story or maybe even a novella to clear things up.

Overall I thought this was a decent book. It did end up grabbing my attention after a slow beginning. There were a lot of good parts. I didn’t end up loving the characters but I could understand where they were coming from. I do wish the author changed some things around. I wish one character ended up doing the other characters actions. Sadly leaving it so opened ended left me with a lot of questions still. The more I think about it the more questions I have. I feel if the plot interests you and you don’t have a problem with open endings go for it. This book has a lot of good reviews on goodreads.


Have you guys read Defending Jacob? If so I would love to hear your thoughts on it in the comments below.

Also what are your thoughts on open ended books? Do you love them or hate them?

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3 thoughts on “Book Review: Defending Jacob

  1. I love how vague that explanation was 😂 definitely agree with all of that. I don’t read novels more on the crime side much so this was a refreshing change of pace and I might try more like it (and hopefully they answer my questions)

    Like

    1. I didn’t want to spoil anything that happened in the book but I still wanted to try to explain how I felt. Yeah I 100% feel you on how it ended up being a nice change of pace. I do hope to read more like it as well.

      Like

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