I really enjoyed reading Jessica Z. by Shawn Klomparens. I started reading it as soon as I finished Shawn Klomparens' 2nd novel, Two Years, No Rain. I am not sure what possessed me to read Two Years, No Rain first, as I got both novels at the same time, but that's what I went with. I really enjoyed Jessica Z. as much as I enjoyed Two Years, No Rain. Both novels get a very high rating in my books. I cannot wait to see what Shawn Klomparens has in store for future novels. I hope he keeps writing & publishing.
With a female character telling the story this time, we read about Jessica's world turning upside down after a terrorist attack in her home town. Her life turns upside down, and the things in her life keep changing. She meets an artist at a part, and ends up becoming his girlfriend and the subject of his next project. As I kept reading the story unfold, I was pulled deeper and deeper into this novel. Once again, I couldn't stop the novel in the middle of a chapter, I had to keep reading to the end before closing the book for the night, even as my eyes were drawing to a close. I found myself at times forcing to keep my eyes open in order to finish the chapter. I didn't want to leave any part of the section I was reading unread.
There were a couple of twists in the novel that I just didn't see happening before they actually happened. Nothing was predictable, and I really liked that about the story. I also found it very refreshing how real the women in the novel were, even though the novel was written by a man. There were times I actually had forgotten that this novel was written by a man, by the way the female characters rang true in their character and by what they were saying or feeling. I thoroughly enjoyed how they were portrayed. There is a point in the novel that I did start to cry, towards the end. I am not sure though, if it was because of my pregnancy hormones or if I would have cried anyhow, if I wasn't pregnant. This novel also makes you think a little about how random things in life could be and something bad could happen, at any place and at any time. Though, these deep dark thoughts didn't stop me from enjoying the novel at all. Though, it did make me a little frightened about terrorist attacks happening anywhere though. But I guess that's one guarantee in life you can't control if you're in the wrong place at the wrong time - if that makes any sense.
Don't worry - this novel isn't all gloomy like that. While there is some gloomy parts, it doesn't bring down the tone of the novel, I find. Rather, I enjoyed finding out the upside to everything after the gloominess.
I would probably give this novel a 4.5 stars out of 5, just as I did for Two Years, No Rain. I do not think I would read this novel again, however. It was enjoyed to read once, but not a novel I'd read again. I also would say that if this novel was turned into a movie, I would defintiely see it as well. However, unlike Two Years, No Rain, I'd probably wait until Jessica Z came out on DVD and go rent the movie, rather than seeing this one in the theater.