5 out of 5 Stars
*I was provided a copy of The Ones That Got Away by the author in exchange for an honest review. I am not compensated for my honest opinion.*
Ever wonder what the process of writing is like for an author? How a book flows from the beginning stage to the final product? What goes through an author’s mind as they write? The Ones That Got Away gives you a perfect look into the changes a book, individual characters, and even entire plots go through before reaching its readers’ hands.
This book is not a straightforward novel in itself. In fact, this is the only book in The Fish Tales series that can’t be read on its own. In this fourth installment, Ms. Laqueur takes us on a journey from the beginning stages of the first book, through the evolution of the characters and plot, and even provides scenes from other characters’ points of view. It’s an eye-opening and amazing bonus for readers like myself who can’t get enough of these characters or the words Ms. Laqueur writes.
Even though this book breaks all traditions with its style of providing varying plots and different points of view, there wasn’t a single moment while reading it where I didn’t want it to just go on forever. We meet Erik when he was a football player and Daisy before she became Daisy, and this is interspersed with Ms. Laqueur’s personal comments about how the characters turned into who they were in the final version. We go from two shooters in the theater with no real purpose to James with his gun and his anger, yet we delve even deeper into James’ psyche with scenes between Will and James that were only alluded to in the first two books. We even find out more about Will’s guilt over the whole situation and the role he played in setting off the chain of events that ruined so many lives.
Speaking of Will … In all my reading, I’ve never met a secondary character I wanted so much more of until Will, and Ms. Laqueur delivers Will (and Lucky) in spades here. It takes great talent for an author to make her readers fall so in love with a character, provide that character’s entire story in a secondary plot line, yet still have readers clambering for more.
As usual, this book also brings great emotion. Even in alternate scenes—the “could have beens”—I was still left close to tears or in tears on many occasions, and not always in a sad way. Ms. Laqueur’s words just garner that kind of reaction, even when they aren’t part of a linear plot.
Bottom line, if you’re a fan of The Fish Tales, you won’t want to miss this book. And if you’re not? What are you waiting for? Start with The Man I Love. You won’t be sorry.
All of my reviews of Ms. Laqueur’s books can be found by selecting her name from the Author Spotlight tab at the top of the page.