Publisher: Orca Books
Publication Date: March 1, 2013
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 was six days old when Travis Bingham murdered my father.
I learned that I don't connect with Jenna as a person. She felt very flat to me, and I didn't understand 98% of her problems, because I haven't come from a home like hers. In general, I have problems believing most books about people who are teased, their dad's dead and they can't let it go when it happened at six days old.
You see, that just seems a little far-fetched to me. Chances are that Jenna would've never even had the chance of "meeting" her father's murder.
Not only that, but I hate that Jenna blames all of her problems on one pivotal moment that happened when she was six days old. Oh, Travis Bingham killed my dad and that's why I'm teased. Oh, Travis Bingham killed my dad and that's why my sister's on drugs. Oh, Travis Bingham killed my dad, and that's why my mom is in a nursing home and my brother is stuck in a dead end job.
Do you see what I mean? She just goes on and on blaming him for everything that has ever gone wrong in her life. I don't understand that mentality, to be honest with you. Nobody is responsible for anything that happens to you except you. Sometimes situations are different, but most of the time it's all you.
I liked the mystery of why Travis killed her dad, but it was resolved in such an anticlimatic way-- I didn't feel like we really got the whole story there. I was very surprised about what he had to say, though.
All in all, Whatever Doesn't Kill You just wasn't a book for me. I think that maybe you should give it a shot, though!