Christianbook.com Ratings and Reviews

Customer Reviews for Zondervan Someone to Blame

Zondervan Someone to Blame

In the wake of heartrending family tragedies, Matt and Irene Moore and their 14-year-old daughter, Casey, move to a small Pacific Northwestern town. When young drifter Billy's arrival in Breakers parallels a series of hateful crimes, unexpected circumstances entangle his life with the Moores. Will they all find grace and healing in unlikely ways? 352 pages, softcover from Zondervan.
Average Customer Rating:
4.562 out of 5
4.6
 out of 
5
(16 Reviews) 16
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (16 reviews)
5 stars
11
4 stars
3
3 stars
2
2 stars
0
1 star
0
10 out of 1191%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Someone to Blame
Review 1 for Someone to Blame
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

A Gripping Tale with Heart

Date:June 30, 2011
Customer Avatar
AlyciaMorales
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
The Moore Family recently moved to Breakers, a small town in the Pacific Northwest, fleeing the heartache of lost loved ones. Their family is fragile, and one wave crashing them against the cliffs could break them – unless the walls around their individual hearts came down.
Billy Thurber has recently shown up in town, as well, selling firewood off the back of his pickup truck. When he arrives, so does trouble. The people of Breakers don’t like the glare in his eyes or the attitude he carries. So when the trouble starts, all the fingers point to Billy…except for one.
Will one person’s compassion set Billy’s heart free from his past? Will the once-quiet town of Breakers find peace again?
In Someone to Blame, C.S. Lakin provides a full cast of characters with real issues. She provides just enough description for the readers mind to envision the coastal fishing town and the surrounding mountains, allowing the reader to imagine the rest. I enjoyed the small-town pace of the book. The action is just enough to keep one wondering what’s coming next, if anything else could go wrong, and who’s to blame for what the town is going through. Once the action peaks, it drops off again as evidence from the once sleepy town is revealed. But keep reading, because the end of the story is the best part of the book.
Lakin sprinkles revelations of God’s love, grace, and forgiveness throughout the story. The tale she tells moved my heart more than once.
Someone to Blame is a fresh story filled with twists and turns resembling the coastal roads it is set against. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and I give it four out of five stars.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 2 for Someone to Blame
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Great Story, Felt Like it Had an Agenda

Date:February 14, 2011
Customer Avatar
M1ssDiagnosis
Location:FL
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Having been through the tragic deaths of both their sons, the Moore family decides on a fresh start in a small coastal town. But they soon find they cannot escape the bitterness, unforgiveness, and blame still weighing heavily on each of them. But when a young, disagreeable stranger shows up in town around the same time as a spree of petty crimes and becomes persona non grata, the Moore family has a chance to learn about grace and forgiveness.
A gripping story with strongly sympathetic characters, this seems to be a compelling lesson about compassion, forgiveness, and wrongly judging others. However, I couldn't help but notice the author's liberal ideology seeping through to the subtext. She seems to strongly imply that America is to blame for most of the world's inequality, that our country looks for opportunities to exploit the disenfranchised, and that those who prefer country living and also treasure our Constitutional rights to protect our lives and property are actually trigger-happy vigilantes. This kind of "blame America" mentality and stereotyping seems to directly contradict with the larger moral of the story.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Zondervan as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
-2points
1of 4voted this as helpful.
Review 3 for Someone to Blame
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

The end is worth it

Date:January 29, 2011
Customer Avatar
Janna Ryan
Location:North Platte, NE
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Do you have any preconceived notions about people and circumstances? I think we all do and those notions will be tested as you read this book. Are we quick to judge, read the signs wrong? Probably. Here is a family that has been tested like Job, pushed past the point of breaking and they leave behind everything they've known and move to a new home. All they need is a fresh start to try and put the pain behind them right? As they settle in they are quickly presented with similar situations and it brings the past flying back in their faces. How will they deal with it. A hurting dad, a devasted mom and a daughter trying to keep the good memories from fading away - can forgiveness and healing really reign in this situation? I like the way C.S. Lakin wraps the book up, she pulls everything together and reveals little things that make the story open wide. It is a women's fiction book that will keep you guessing until the end.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 4 for Someone to Blame
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Don't Prejudge

Date:January 17, 2011
Customer Avatar
Sally
Location:Tampa, FL
Right off the bat, let me tell you that this is a good read!
No parent should have to bury their child, but the Moores have this burden. They decide to move, hoping that a new location will give them a fresh start. However, their feelings, memories, and guilt go with them. Although this may sound depressing, the book is not. The author reveals a bit of their past here and there.
The tension-laden plot is paced such that the pages almost turn themselves.
The characters are well-rounded--like folks we already know. That Billy Thurber gave me the creeps! Teenage Casey loves Shakespeare, and the author creatively intersperses connections to his literature into Casey's thoughts.
Although the classification is Christian fiction, it's not preachy; therefore, all readers should like this one.
I loved the way the author handles the final four chapters, revealing the previous three months. This settles all unanswered questions.
Don't miss this one!
Thank you to Bonnie at Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Zondervan Publishing for my copy.
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 5 for Someone to Blame
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

One of the best books I've read all year!

Date:December 11, 2010
Customer Avatar
Michelle Sutton
Location:Arizona
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Rarely do I find novels that make me want to stay up all night reading. Well, I didn't stay up all night with this book, but I did start early in the morning and read the novel through to the end. Yeah, without stopping. I couldn't put the story down, it was that good. Not just because the prose was amazing, or because the story flowed so well, but because the story had heart. That's something I miss seeing in a lot of books. It seems like a lot of authors would rather be safe and keep the message lighthearted and fun. That's no doubt a reflection of the current economy. People want an escape when times are tough like they have been lately. But not me. I like stories that make me think. Make me feel. Make me care. I love stories like this one. Ironically, the cover was a total turnoff for me, and my husband saw the book and said, "What a nice cover." So you never know. A lot of things are a matter of taste, I guess.
Anyway, I'd much rather read a meaningful "high concept" type of story like Someone to Blame. It carried so much impact as it hit my heart dead center. This story will knock you off your feet, especially if you think you stand. Think about pride coming before a fall. The message in Someone to Blame could knock the most sure footed (self-righteous) person off center. But that's a good thing when it makes you examine your own heart. I can totally see this book as a movie. One that would make it to the Academy Awards even. It had so much depth. I loved the fact that the story contained a number of points of view. It was so much more effective because of that perspective. Like God, you could see inside everyone's heart and mind. Unlike in other books I've read, this approach with multiple viewpoints didn't confuse me at all. It was clear whose head you were in with each chapter. That was so well done. I could literally hear the characters talking in my head.
As far as the story goes, it's difficult for me to tell the things that really touched my heart and made me think without giving away the story (I hate reviews that are spoilers.) So this is my pitiful attempt to reveal without revealing... Things aren't usually what they seem. It's easy to react on emotion and cause irreparable damage as a result. Don't let your heart get so hard that you stop caring about others. Reach out to those in need and don't worry about what it will cost you. That's it. So what do you think of that, eh?
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 6 for Someone to Blame
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Engrossing and redemptive psychological mystery

Date:December 9, 2010
Customer Avatar
Carla
Location:OK
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The Moore family in CS Lakin’s debut novel is a family in pain and transition. Reeling from the tragedies of loss – not just one child in the family, but two – they relocate in hopes of putting the past behind and moving forward. In a small coastal town in northern California they find that not only does their past intrude on their lives, but new problems arise – particularly in the character of Billy Thurber.
Thurber is a mysterious young man who seems to have arrived just as the town of Breakers has a number of unexplained incidents of theft and arson. The townspeople are quick to point fingers at Thurber. What ensues is a mystery, but often as Lakin builds her story world, the book reads like a book of true crime – laying the foundation and increasing the tension at every turn. Lakin is a master at crafting chapter-ending hooks, which pulled me deeper into the story. I cared not only about the Moore family, but the other townspeople as well, even Billy Thurber.
The middle of the story may have lagged a bit, but it provided crucial information that led quickly into high stakes and a fast-paced ending. This is not your run-of-the mill inspirational read in that it’s difficult to pin a genre on it, but that is often the type of story I’m drawn to. In the end, healing comes in an unexpected way, and my faith in human nature was restored. An excellent read.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 7 for Someone to Blame
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

It is an excellent read.

Date:November 17, 2010
Customer Avatar
Cookie
Location:Ridgeland, MS
Age:55-65
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
In Someone to Blame Susanne Lakin gives a depth of understanding to her characters that allowed me to grasp motives as well as actions, all the while leaving enough concealed to add mystery to the story. Her characters, as well as the plot, are believable. She portrays moral views skillfully, not by telling the reader, but by telling a story. In the end she ties the loose ends of mystery together neatly. It is an excellent read.
Culpepper Webb
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 8 for Someone to Blame
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Where there is loss there is hope!!

Date:November 8, 2010
Customer Avatar
Robin Prater
Location:Missouri
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
The Moore family moves into a small town after tragedy strikes. The tragedy no parent ever wants to experience. The family moves into this small town to escape, to try to cope with loss. This family is not only feeling loss, but, confusion and blame. Each member of the family goes through their own type of grief. They beat themselves up and each other. In this small town the gossip train is boarding and everyone is jumping on. As the parents are trying to gain some sort of peace, they are forgetting their very daughter who is hurting too. My heart broke for her. For the parents who could not come together through their pain.
This was a hard book for me. I must admit in the beginning I was caught off guard by moving so quickly through the story, but as I let the pages turn, the story began to flow. I think we could relate to every character in this story. Why? It is so well written, it's as though you see the heart of each character come alive after being in such pain for a long time. We see hope breathe life into this family after tragedy strikes.
I think for me, the lessons to take away are not to judge another. We are often too quick in doing so and we are not gaining any ground. We see this family go through every emotion possible. We see hope come alive. We see healing. The journey to healing is difficult for this family, but it is the journey that brings them together once again.
We must not forget the young man who drifts into town with evil on his mind. But does the town really understand him or are they just too quick to judge? He too has a story and it is one that will break your heart.
This is a story we all fear, but one we can all learn from. C.S Lakin does an outstanding job at bringing to light the pain of loss and the healing power of God.
This book was a gift from Zondervan for it's review.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 9 for Someone to Blame
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Memorable

Date:October 22, 2010
Customer Avatar
RichWords
Location:Cambria, CA
Age:55-65
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The thing I noticed about Someone to Blame is that I remember the characters after I finished the book--and there are quite a few characters. This means I saw deep into each of them, feeling and hearing their pain, desires, accomplishments. Many books I can't even remember the plot, let alone the characters.
CS Lakin paints a horrific scenario for any family, a situation that seems to have no hope of remedy--none that I could see, anyway. Then she goes about crafting the story to show how not only survival but real victory is possible. A tough job to show hope in dark times, but Lakin does it well.
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 10 for Someone to Blame
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Realistic Study of Personal Relationships

Date:October 6, 2010
Customer Avatar
Donn Taylor
Location:Texas
Age:Over 65
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Others’ reviews have described the book’s content. I’m impressed with the author’s accomplished craftsmanship in step-by-step development of painful relationships within a family and in a small town. The newcomer C.S. Lakin writes with the assurance of an experienced, well-published novelist, demonstrating that she knows the subtle difference between realism and literalism. This is a well-developed novel with a theme important to everyone. Its readers will be well rewarded and will wait expectantly for the author’s next book.
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 11 for Someone to Blame
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A lot more than I expected

Date:October 5, 2010
Customer Avatar
HollyMag
Location:Covina, CA
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
When I received this book from Zondervan Press I looked at the book cover and thought, “This is going to be a gut wrenching story and I’m going to hate it!” But I knew that was part of the bargain and Zondervan wants an honest review. So here we go.
As I read it I did find it to be extremely gut wrenching at times, here was family that had experienced tremendous loss. The type of loss every parent fears and prays they never have to face. Yet I was pleasantly surprised, I didn’t hate the book. In fact, I found myself wanting to see what was going to happen next. The author created characters that I could relate to while others stirred emotions within me, some of which were very strong. I found my heart breaking for Casey as a teenager facing these tragedies alone without real support from her parents. As a mother, I could relate with the pain Irene felt as she tried to cope with her pain and hold her family together. Most of the time I just wanted to shake Matt and ask him if he really was that big of an idiot.
Early in the story I was frustrated with how the author would give you just tidbits of the tragedies that the Moore family had endured. Of course this kept me wanting to read more and once she revealed the whole story I just cried. The author also brought to light a character flaw that almost all of us share, to think the worst of someone by how they look. We are quick to judge and assume that someone is up to no good just from their appearance. We fail, or maybe it’s just me to get to know the person and talk to them first.
I wouldn’t call this a “feel good” book. I found myself tearing up many times during the story, but I also found myself looking within and asking, “Am I really any different than the characters in this book?” Sadly, I had to answer no.
I’m not sure who to recommend this book to. If you want a story that will cause self-examination then read it. If you want a story that reflects way too many families in our country, then read it. If you want a happily ever after fluffy story, then you’ll want to take a pass.
Thank you Zondervan for sending me this book, it made me think. I felt the author did a great job dealing with a very difficult topic.
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 12 for Someone to Blame
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:September 27, 2010
Customer Avatar
Lisa
This is one of the best books I have read in quite awhile, and it is one of those rare books that I find, after finishing it, I wish I hadn't read it so I could read it again. C.S. Lakin does a masterful job with her characters....very rich and realistic. And she depicts that part of our human nature that want to unload the blame for all of our problems on someone else. The plot was riveting and the end was hopeful without being sappy. I love this book and hope anyone who reads this buys it and enjoys it!
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 13 for Someone to Blame
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:September 22, 2010
Customer Avatar
Ann Lee Miller
Lakin, in the tradition of Jodi Picoult, is a master at taking the reader into the hearts of her characters. Each voice is distinct, weaving a full-bodied story. I was lost to Lakin's sea-swept northern California town and it's quirky population. A family ravaged by grief takes center stage as they claw their way back to each other and emotional survival while their lives intertwine with a cipher--a young man no one understands. Someone to Blame is gripping novel that satisfies a reader's need to connect with a story and the characters who people it.
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 14 for Someone to Blame
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:September 21, 2010
As an author of over thirty books, many of them novels, I sometimes struggle when I read novels by other writers because I find myself second-guessing plots and even critiquing the writing. That didn't happen with this book. It is so well written and the plot so crisp and poignant that I forgot I was an author and just enjoyed the book as a reader--and a fan! Yes, I will definitely look for more books by this author. Highly recommended!
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 15 for Someone to Blame
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:August 11, 2010
Customer Avatar
Jeanette Morris
Small towns have big problemsor so it seemswhen a shifty-eyed drifter moves into Breakers, California about the same time as the Moore family, whats left of them anyway. Matt, Irene, and Casey need a new beginning, but moving to Breakers comes with its own brand of pain and mystery. Thefts, fires, vandalismwho is to blame? The fill-in sheriff cant seem to get a handle on it. The towns new pastor doesnt have any answers. The locals start pointing fingers. The Moores arent finding the peace they were looking fornot at all. I had been waitingimpatientlyto read Susanne Lakins contest winner, Someone to Blame, since Zondervan announced her name at Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference in 2009. What a joy to be chosen as a pre-release readerand what a thrill to read this fabulous, suspenseful novel. Definitely a page turner. Never boring. Believable characters in a plot that never seemed contrived. The theme of our human nature needing to look outside ourselves for the causes of bad things happening is well-developed and appropriately presented in the setting of a small coastal town among people who only think they know each other well, and know their own motivations even less. The Christian elements in the storyline weave through seamlessly and realistically. Bad things do happen to good people, to believers, and even to pastors families. None of us is exempt from calamity. The grace we both give and receive is what helps us survive it. The question Lakin raises is: can we accept the grace? Someone to Blame is scheduled for release in early September. I suggest you order a copy now before they sell out! Im looking forward to Lakins next, next, and next!
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 16 for Someone to Blame
This review is fromSomeone to Blame - eBook.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:September 22, 2010
Customer Avatar
Ann Lee Miller
Lakin, in the tradition of Jodi Picoult, is a master at taking the reader into the hearts of her characters. Each voice is distinct, weaving a full-bodied story. I was lost to Lakin's sea-swept northern California town and it's quirky population. A family ravaged by grief takes center stage as they claw their way back to each other and emotional survival while their lives intertwine with a cipher--a young man no one understands. Someone to Blame is gripping novel that satisfies a reader's need to connect with a story and the characters who people it.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.