Monday, March 25

Book Tour & Review: Head Case by Jennifer Oko

This review is for the book Head Case by Jennifer Oko. We are introduced to Olivia Zack right after her death. And in a series of flashbacks and current scenes she explains the events, decisions and reasons that lead up to her death. It is an unlikely tale, dealing with superstars, Russian Mobsters, and pharmaceutical companies. Olivia sets up each scene and provides a running commentary on where things went right or wrong and why things happened the way they did.
I went into this book wanting to like it. After all, a ghost is basically solving her own murder. Perfect mix of paranormal and mystery, right? Eh, not so much. The story is told mostly from Olivia and her best-friend/roommate Polly, who is a celebrity publicist. While Olivia flips back and forth between current events and the events that led up to her death, she gives us a running commentary on what and why stuff is happening. I was not a big fan of this. But then, I can not stand the commentary on a DVD either. Who in their right mind could enjoy a movie (or in this case book) with someone talking over all the action and dialogue and basically ruining the feeling of immersing yourself in the story. Not me anyway. I have never really understood the concept of "telling" a story versus "showing" a story, but this one felt very "tell"-y.
Another problem I had was connecting with the characters. I never felt any real connection with them. To be quite honest, I really didn't care that she was dead. Awful, right? I can't quite put my finger on why I didn't like them, but there it is. They just seemed like spoiled, little rich girls who were so used to doing what they wanted and disregarding the consequences. In a lot of instances, I felt they really deserved what happened to them. 
Overall, I just couldn't get into the book and lose myself in the story. It felt too much like a Brussels sprouts story, you know, one that is good for you, but just doesn't taste all that great. But that could just be me, after all, some people actually like Brussels sprouts. Anyway, I only gave it 2 stars on Goodreads.
Meet Olivia Zack, neuroscientist, pharmaceutical consultant—and murder victim.

A humorous mystery from an author whose work has been called "simply riveting" by The New York Times and "sharp and fast-paced" by Publisher's Weekly—it’s Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones meets Carl Hiaasen’s Nature Girl (with a dash of Janet Evanovich’s One for the Money) as Olivia embarks on a postmortem quest to deconstruct the events that lead up to her mind-altering death.

A comic satire of the influence of the psychopharmaceutical industry on American life, HEAD CASE takes Olivia and her estranged friend and roommate Polly Warner on a collision course involving ethically challenged executives, spotlight-hungry celebrities, third-rate mobsters, and drug-dealing babushkas. A smart and savvy page-turner, HEAD CASE explores the meaning of personal relationships, emotional intelligence, and mental health while taking the reader on a synapse-stirring, neurotransmitting rollicking ride.
Book Tour Info: 
Be sure to check out each of stops on the tour!
March 25, 2013 – Books For Tomorrow
March 26, 2013 – Musings & Ramblings
March 27, 2013 – Cozy Mystery Book Review
March 28, 2013 – Brooke Blogs
March 29, 2013 – Melina the Reader
March 30, 2013 – Mochas, Mysteries & More
March 31, 2013 – Cozy Up with Kathy & Jayne Ormerod & Shelley Reads & Reviews
If you haven’t already checked out Head Case, head over to Amazon and check it out.

Author Bio:
Jennifer Oko’s first book, Lying Together: My Russian Affair (written under her maiden name, Jennifer Beth Cohen), was published in 2004 and received numerous positive reviews. The New York Times Book Review called Lying Together “riveting” and twice named it an Editors’ Choice. The San Francisco Chronicle raved, saying it was “a heady cocktail” and “a quick, juicy read.”

Her second book, a satirical novel about morning television news entitled Gloss, was a Marie Claire “pick of the month” in 2007 and chosen as a “hot summer read” by USA Today.

Currently working as a freelance writer and media consultant, Jennifer is a “recovering” journalist and award-winning television news producer. A graduate of Columbia University’s Journalism School, her career has taken her across the country and around the world. She now lives with her husband and two young children in Washington, DC.

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