Cover Image: Scott's Choice

Scott's Choice

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Member Reviews

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.   Thank you NetGalley.

Scott's Choice had such high potential.      The concept was unique.   But something fell flat for me.    
I expected it to pick up and get better, bu it never did.
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I was so in love with the concept of this novel as it was pitched: the parallel telling of two lives - well, one life, really, but the two different directions it takes as a pivotal decision about the future is made: one life with one character as the decision is made in one way; the second as the decision is made the other way. I was glad the book eased into it, beginning not by jumping into the cold water of two similar lives, but by telling the beginning, everything before the big decision. However, from the beginning onward, I found it too straight-forward, too focused on this one big moment. There were hardly any side plots or side characters not involved in the decision. There was no real fleshed-out story. It was all bam, bam, bam, one plot point after another to set up the decision, which ended up being too constructed and not natural.

As it continued and the two options / lives split apart, I was still utterly fascinated by the concept. However, the two versions ended up not being all too different, and that confused me while reading, because I did not know where I was / who I was with in any given chapter. I also found the whole thing very constructed and simplified. The actions of the characters were often anything but reasonable, too over the top, almost like in a soap-opera. Especially the bad guy was just too much rather than interesting or compelling. That made it ridiculous at times. So, while the idea is great, I found the execution lacking a bit.
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CJ Scott’s instincts are adventurous, but his father has drummed caution and steadiness into him. About to be persuaded into an arrangement he doesn’t want, a casual encounter one night opens his eyes to less confining possibilities than running a company and entering a boring marriage.

Life is full of crossroads. Have you not ever wondered what course yours would have taken should you have made a different decision at some critical point? Should you have joined the army? Should you rather have married the other person? Perhaps you should have stayed single, or become an accountant or a pilot, or joined the merchant navy. All those choices were in front of you at one time, what would your life have been like if you’d taken a different path?

This thriller is filled with suspense and adventure. It explores what would have happened to CJ Scott had he made the other choice that night. In two minds, he divides: C errs on the side of caution and the possibility of becoming rich, while J seeks adventure. The book contains two parallel stories, one for each persona, Cuff and Jonathan, but the other characters – his friends and enemies remain the same in both tales. The differences lie in the responses they give and the actions they take in relation to the separate characters of Cuff and Jonathan.

A complication in CJ’s life is Barry Castle, a bully from school who’s intent on revenge for the three years CJ caused him to spend in prison. But to the ex-con, CJ is one person. How do Cuff and Jonathan, as separate people with different approaches to life, deal with the threats they must face? Cuff has to handle his at home with tearful Lisa and Castle, while Jonathan first meets his on his travels with Gudrun in Bolivia and Peru. How does it turn out for these two men? Loyal to the end in both their lives is Martin.

Are there full circles somewhere in this? Should you follow your instincts instead of listening to the advice of other people?

Scott's Choice was just all over the place for me. It was difficult to keep up with. I gave it my best shot, but it fell to meet the mark. My brain just shut down. MaybeYA could enjoy it.
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This was a rare DNF for me at 50%. I tried really hard to stick with it but the story jumps around too much and I felt like regardless of which life Scott chose, he was just miserable. I don’t enjoy reading books like that. I have it two stars because I do like the concept of the plot, it’s just that the execution was a little lacking for me.
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CJ Scott is an adventurous boy. He takes on bullies that taunt him and helps a meek Martin out of a bad situation. Martin and CJ become good friends. The main bully, Barry Castle, also stays in CJ's life - but not as a friend.

Cuthbert Johnathan Scott (CJ) learns that Martin's dad is an airplane enthusiast. Eventually, in his early teens, Martin's dad, Terry, gives CJ flying lessons. This, to the point when he can fly solo. CJ loves to fly. However, on one of his maiden voyages, his plane had been compromised. CJ was lucky to have lived through the crash yet his excitement about flying doesn't leave him. Actually, he is excited that he accomplished the flight, alone.

On the other hand, CJ's father is stalwart in that CJ can only attend university if he goes into the pharma business with him. Also, after Martin's flight debacle, his father is outraged. 

CJ attends uni and he, again, faces Castle. This time it is more serious. ..

Eventually, CJ attends a course on business and meets a woman who brings his life to a crossroads.

Should Cuthbert do what his father wants and run a stable - but boring - business with a pushy wife?

Or... would "Jonathan's" need for adventure and excitement win out and let himself open to be treated as a pariah (rather than in chains)?

An in-depth look into choices we make in our own world. 

Precision characters and excellent plotline. A good read for young adults, as well, and for students to put up for discussion! Also a great read in the suspense genre.

Give this a try!

Many Thanks to BooksGoSocial and NetGalley for a great read!
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