Book Review: Grind by Edward Vukovic

51m7qvaf84l-_sx322_bo1204203200_Genre: Contemporary, Literature

Page Count: 391 pages

Average Goodreads Rating:4.2/5 stars

My rating: 3.5/5 stars

Ziva has the ability to read fortunes in coffee grounds, passed down from her grandmother. She does it for her family and friends. But then Ziva uses her ‘gift’ for herself.

Throughout her life, her talent had been freely given to those desperate for a glimpse into destiny’s promise: love, loss, life and death, and everything else along the way.

 Ziva revels in the semiotic arts and their ability to bring joy and comfort to those she meets. But with the blessing of enlightenment comes the curse of knowing all that is toxic, harsh and flawed in the future. To tell or not to tell? When face-to-face with imploring eyes, begging to know what’s to come – are they sometimes better off not knowing?

First of all, can we appreciate how cool this cover is? It’s makes me want to drink so much tea and coffee. When Edward Vukovic offered me a free print copy in exchange for an honest review, I couldn’t pass it up, even though it’s a bit darker than the usual books I read for Lover’s Quarrel.

I knew this book was going to be good and it didn’t disappoint. Ziva’s an excellently complex and well-written character. And this book has the ability to pull you into its world with its excellent descriptions and smooth language.

Unfortunately, this can be a dark and dreary world that will sometimes leave you in unnecessary suspense. Time can also be a little wonky, too, due to the several points of view.

While there are many storylines, Ziva and Isaac are the main characters. Ziva’s an immigrant from Macedonia, trying to make a living working at a clothing factory so she can eventually gain independence from her brother and his wife. Isaac is a bar owner and amateur writer trying to get over the death the death of his own wife.

They by far have the happiest story and they work so well together. I wish the book focused more on them and less on other characters. Every time something important happened with them– Isaac asks Ziva out for coffee, Ziva appears on his doorstep, anything that foreshadows hope and happiness and excitement– storylines were switched. We were suddenly on Simon’s point of view, or Michel’s. And I could have done with less of that.

Especially less focus on Simon.

Simon’s a negative guy with a negative outlook. He’s like an Edgar Allen Poe story in the form of a person. He’ll make you hate life and he hurts everyone around him. Getting through his chapters took forever because he was so dreary.

Michel, a homeless man hiding from dangerous old contacts, had a pretty good storyline. Actually, it was really interesting and complex. If it were its own book, then it would have been a great book to read. But shared with Ziva and Isaac, is was a pain in the butt. And it really hurt both storylines.

Because both storylines were crammed into only 391 pages, they both suffered. I wanted to know more about Michel’s past and Danielle’s home life, and see more of the two of them. I also wanted to know more about Ziva and what happens with her and Isaac, as well as what happens with her work. Ziva’s brother was really well-developed in the beginning and then he just disappears. What’s that about? And what the hell are Ziva and Isaac going to do about the really fast development in their relationship? (I wish I could say, but it’s too much of a spoiler.)

While this is still an excellently written book with an intricate plot, Vukovic’s storytelling skill is not all the way honed yet. I have no doubt that this book will be followed by better books by him.

Buy this book at your local bookstore.

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