Jenna Cooper was only a few days old when her father was murdered and her family was shattered. Now fifteen, she daydreams of a picture-perfect sitcom family as she struggles with the gritty realities of her life. When Jenna finds out that Travis Bingham, the man who shot her father, has been released from prison, she becomes obsessed with tracking him down and confronting him. But her search reveals that there may be more to her father’s murder than she has been led to believe–and will her relationships with her family and friends survive her obsession?
I figured out pretty quickly that this book was just not for me. There were many points where I was tempted to give up on it, but once I start a book, I feel like I need to finish it – after all, there’s always a chance that it will get better.
The summary of Whatever Doesn’t Kill You sounded promising: a girl tracks down her father’s killer and confronts him about it. However, this confrontation didn’t happen until 3/4 of the way through the book. The reasons that Travis Bingham had for murdering Jenna’s father were surprising, though the fairly easy way with which she accepted this information led to an anticlimactic ending.
When it comes to writing, I’m of the opinion that characterization is more important than the actual plot. You can have an interesting premise, but if your characters fall flat, it’s (most likely) going to be a dull read. Such was the case with Whatever Doesn’t Kill You. Try as I might, I just couldn’t connect with any of the characters. There was only one character that I actually liked – Henry, a five year old boy who was by no means a main character and only made a few appearances throughout the book.
Overall, this book was just not my cup of tea. That being said, everyone has different reading tastes, so don’t let that discourage you from giving it a shot!