Cover Image: Destiny

Destiny

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Elizabeth has a terrific accident skiing. She keeps on bumping into Powell throughout their lives although they don't realise it until much later in life.
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The unfortunate thing about Destiny by Jackie Smith is that it’s just massively boring. The story follows the fairly average lives of a young writer and an artist. Nothing about the two characters really stood out in any real way and they were more annoying in their averagensss than anything else. Elizabeth was alright until a traumatic event that left her personality to become one of constant lashing out. Powell was portrayed as sweet and loving, but his internal thoughts about Elizabeth often made me want to gag. 

The whole story felt very cliche at times, following a serendipitous plot line where the main characters meet at various points in their lifetime and it’s never the right time for them to be in love until it is. I think the idea had a lot of potential, but fell apart in numerous places. 

The worst piece of this novel was it’s pacing which offered far too many time jumps and left the reader feeling as though they were simply getting a summary of the two characters’ lives. I frankly hate summaries and have never once believed they make good books. Naturally, a giant summary of two people’s lives is bound to get dull quite often. Smith also had a very hard time setting her story, leaving gigantic inconsistencies in the time period. From the lack of washing machine (it hadn’t been invented yet) to the fact that only a short time later Powell was buying a car with a cassette player and about a year later, Elizabeth had a cell phone....nothing really adds up. These inconsistencies ultimately made the book even worse. 

Destiny held great potential, but I just don’t think the execution was good enough.
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This was an ok book in my opinion. Elizabeth and Powell meet many of times, but just don't really connect until they are reunited in college.  They are the perfect couple until tragic strikes and it all goes south.
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This is a coming of age story.  The main characters are believable and very likable.  It has a lot of diffrent angles to the story as well'  Not only are two young prople falling for each other but during this time an accident happens that causes a long separation for them.  During this time While Elizabeth is recuperating, Powell has lost touch with her and knows nothing about her trauma.  In the mean time Powell continues on to school and becomes a writer.  I don't want to give any more away, but this is a very good book and I highly recommend it.
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Destiny by Jackie Smith was both heartbreaking and heartwarming.  I truly enjoyed this story of love, loss, and finding each other again after a lifetime of experiences.
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This was just a sweet romantic story, a story that told us about the life of Powell and Elizabeth.  I would classify this as a good holiday read, when you just want to enjoy the story. I enjoyed reading this book as well as the different narraters

Recommended for all the romantics out there.

Thank you to Black Rose Writing and Netgalley for the copy
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I found this book very difficult to get into, but I persevered and am glad that I did.  The more I read the more involved I got with the story, to the point of finding it difficult to put the book down.
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In this sweet story, we follow Powell and Elizabeth through each of their lives.  Despite their many differences and the distance between them, their lives cross multiple times.  Each time this occurs, it is a pivotal moment in their lives.  Will their paths ever cross for good?  

Powell is accident prone and struggles to fit in the role his father would choose for him.  He seems to have a “little black cloud” following him.  He works hard and strives to be the author he has always dreamed of being.  However, even when things are going well there seems to be something missing from his life.  

Elizabeth is the golden girl.  She is the only child of loving parents who believe she can accomplish anything.  And most of her life, she can.  When things couldn’t seem more perfect, she is in a tragic accident, and her luck seems to change.  Will she be able to deal with her new path in life?

For much of the book we are looking at their separate lives with these small snippets of crossovers.  However, when they are together they are sweet and seem to complement each other well.  They seem to have a natural comfort with one another and truly enjoy their time together.  Elizabeth brings out a fun, carefree side in Powell that we rarely see otherwise.  Powell seems to ground Elizabeth and help her see herself in a more well rounded way.

I enjoyed this story which also contains a story within thanks to Powell’s writing.  The characters were interesting and not what you typically get from stereotypical love stories.  I liked that they were both successful and independent.  Their individual stories were interesting and Powell’s writing added a bit of mystery.  My main complaint is that it included multiple timeline issues and errors that had me going back and forth to figure things out.  It was very distracting for me as a reader.

For example, in chapter one Smith writes, “The automatic washing machine hadn’t been invented yet, and Jeannine had an old wringer washer she rolled to the double kitchen sink on laundry day.”  This made me think he was growing up in the 40’s or 50’s since wringer washers were more common then (even though the automatic washer had been invented).  However, when they are teens, cell phones are popular and common for teenagers to have (and text with).  Later, in chapter two there was an error with Elizabeth and Beverly’s ages.  In chapter nine, it says Margie was murdered when Powell’s mom, Jeannine was a little girl (before she moved there at the age of 10).  However, Smith writes that, “Powell, stunned, remembered Douglas, a popular student in high school when Powell was in elementary school.  Even at his young age, he knew about the star quarterback Douglas Phillips.”  Yet, she writes that, “The Phillips boy hung himself a couple weeks before she was murdered.”  Powell couldn’t remember him, because he would’ve died before Powell was even born.  There are other examples of errors, but I’m sure you get the idea.

Overall, I enjoyed this story, but it needs another round of revisions.  If these types of errors won’t bother you, it is a story worth checking out.

Thank you, NetGalley, for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for this honest review.
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A real tale of serendipity. I enjoyed how the main character's paths crossed over time and the twists and turns added to the story. 
One issue I did have is that I was completely confused by when the story was set. To begin I thought it may have been in the 50s but next thing the author is talking about very modern technology yet only a 15 year time lapse had happened. This bothered me throughout.
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I received this book free of charge from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review of the book.

I really liked this book. It was such a sweet love story. Powell and Elizabeth first meet when they are about 12. They don't realize it when they meet again in college. 

Powell is a rather bumbling young man who always seems to have a black cloud hanging over him. Elizabeth is the golden girl. When they are at college there is a terrible accident and Elizabeth leaves college. Years later they are reunited, once again.. 

It was easy to fall in love with the characters and root for them. 

The only issue I had was with some of the inconsistencies early on in the book. Powell's family used a hand wringer for washing clothes.  It was made to sounds like this was in the late 50's or early 60's. A few chapters later, he was buying a truck with a cassette player in it. Meanwhile, Elizabeth was buying a car and had a cell phone. I wasn't quite sure what was going on there.

There was a little bit of a murder mystery that kept me guessing. 

I kind of wished that the author had kept going with the story for a few more months or even years in time. I would have liked to see how things turn out for them. Maybe that is the sequel.
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Destiny - By Jackie Smith

Destiny begins with Powell, the second child of Jeannine and John Montgomery. 
Unlucky or just accident prone , Powell meets Elizabeth after their families are involved in a car accident. 

Total opposites , their destiny's collide when they fall in love attending the same university. 

A interesting storyline, even though the chapters tend to lag. The characters lack cohesion.  

3 stars

I received this ARC through Netgalley for a honest review.
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I enjoyed this I loved the writing I also loved the premise and I also loved the characters and the romance between the characters
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Very simple and predictable story.  Felt like it was a young adult novel.
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It is so rare and so frustrating to put down a story without finishing it that I actually came back to this book twice more just to see if it had changed. Unfortunately, it hadn't, and the book and I finally had to part company forever somewhere in Chapter 4. 

What could potentially be a beautiful love story between two very different people was destroyed by the author's complete inability to set the book anywhere in history. Powell is born at a time when "the automatic washing machine hadn't been invented yet," and his mother used "an old wringer washer." I gave long pause when Powell had tooth implants after falling out of a tree, but carried on. I stopped again when Powell bought his first car, a 15 year old Ford truck with a cassette player. At this point I felt compelled to do my own research to confirm that the span of time between the automatic washing machine and the cassette player being available in a car was far greater than the 16 years of Powell's life that had passed thus far.

But I pressed on.

I finally gave up when Elizabeth - a year younger than Powell - was buying her first car. Her mother's concern was that she have a cell phone in the glove compartment. And her father didn't want her to text and drive. Fast forward a few paragraphs; they are at the store buying a "hands free" system. Now...I might not have lived through the 20's, the 30's, or even the 40's through the 60's (any of these being possible time periods when a middle class woman might have used a wringer washer on laundry day), but I did start my life in the 70's. I got my first cell phone in the 90's, started texting after the turn of the millennium, and went completely hands free some years after that. 

I didn't want to assume the backdrop to this story was that bad. I wanted to believe Jackie Smith simply had a decade or so muddied in her mind. I actually flipped through the rest of the book and all of the Amazon reviews looking for clues, hoping this was a "Lake House" type story, where Elizabeth and Powell actually lived in separate decades and were supernaturally star-crossed lovers. Alas, it appears that while Smith may have a strong grasp of family dynamics and personality traits, and even small medical challenges like "ganglion cysts," she has completely missed the boat on trying to set a scene in any plausible manner.

I tried to finish. I really did. But no amount of pleasure derived from finishing a good story makes up for hitting these massive potholes trying to get to the end.
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I loved this book from the beginning! The characters are easy to fall in love with. There is the clumsy Powell and the brilliant yet beautiful Elizabeth. This novel is easy to relate to and was a quick read. This is because the story line was easy to follow and the writer used very clear language. It is also kind of like an emotional roller coaster, As you may have already read from the synopsis, both Powell and Elizabeth went to the same university (Northern Ohio) and dated for some time. However, when a terrible accident occurred, Elizabeth has to withdrawal from the university and does not contact Powell for several years. I cried at some parts and rejoiced at other parts. Beautifully written, this book is a gem and a must read for all. I would most definitely consider purchasing another book  written by Jackie Smith. This book encouraged me to reach out of my comfort zones and not take anything in life for granted. Smith has a way of portraying true emotions through the characters and allows the reader to learn from their hardships, struggles, and major life events. This is truly a must read.
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a good read
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