This is the first Jodi Picoult book I’ve read in many years. When I was in my late teens, early twenties I was obsessed with her books, devouring them one after the other and buying her entire backlist. This was a bit of a trip down memory lane for me as a result, one I looked forward to to see if her books still held the same magic for me. Jennifer Finney Boylan, the co-author for this book was a brand new one for me, and I was interested to see how the two worked together.
My feelings were a bit mixed in the end. Not to say her books don’t still hold the same intrigue and ability to get the reader flipping through pages intently to see where the drama is going to end up. But either my taste has changed a bit since I was an avid Jodi Picoult reader, or this one just didn’t catch me quite the same.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it, and there were still those moments where I’d get extremely invested in what was happening and need to know more, but at the same time I would feel like I needed breaks from the book, like it was too much to take in all at once at times.
The story is told in alternating view points between Olivia, the mother of the accused, and Lily, the victim in a case where they are trying to determine if her death was accidental or murder. Asher, Olivia’s son, and boyfriend to Lily, is on trial for her murder throughout the course of this book. Olivia’s chapters follow the progress of the trial, with her brother Jordan defending Asher. Lily’s chapters unravel more of the story leading up to her death, revealing bits and pieces of her life and secrets, as well as her relationship with Asher prior to the incident that results in her death.
I did really enjoy the flip back and forth from present to past and having more and more details unravel between the two. Not to mention getting to know more about Lily, who obviously isn’t in the present, where only the people who knew her can give their side of things. So having that opportunity to learn about things from the actual victim really added to the story. And of course, as always, the author provides a tense court experience with the uncertainty of what really happened and who might or might not be guilty.
Again, there was just something about it that didn’t entirely suck me in, because I had moments where I either just wanted to be finished or wanted to take a break and read something else. But for the Jodi Picoult fan, and the fans of court dramas, this would be a great read and I do recommend it. I just had mixed feelings on it, though I still found myself wanting to find out the truth and rooting for the characters. In typical Jodi Picoult fashion, there is a twist at the end that I won’t go into details on. All in all, I say this book is worth a read, though for myself it likely won’t be one I come back, it was worth it to get a taste of an author I haven’t read in many years though. And I do enjoy the odd courtroom drama and this didn’t disappoint in that manner.
Mad Honey is available now for purchase on Amazon