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Book Review: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

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Why This Book

I run a monthly poll on the ThisIsMyTruthNow blog via my Book Bucket List. Followers get to choose from a list of the twelve books I own and want to read in the near future. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman was selected as the book I should read in March 2018. I added it to the list because I really enjoyed his novel, Beartown, and thought this was the next logical step. A good friend of mine was interested in reading the novel, too, so we made this a buddy read. I’m so excited to discuss the book as if it’s our own book club.

ove.jpg

Approach & Style

I was going to order the book online, but I found it sitting on the shelf in my apartment building’s library room; how lucky am i? The paperback is 337 pages long and broken into ~40 chapters (not  numbered). Each has a title which explains what might happen in the chapter, and they mostly alternate between what is happening today in Ove’s life in comparison to something connected that occurred in the past. It took me 4 hours to read over a three-day weekend getaway to New Hampshire, but I forced myself to stop at 110 pages each day so it would last longer. It could easily be read in one sitting as it’s that good! The novel’s perspective is focused on Ove, and it is told in third-person omniscient POV. It was published in 2014 but as a Swedish novel, then brilliantly translated into English.

Plot, Characters & Setting

Ove is a 59-year old man who is cantankerous, ornery, difficult, mean and everything else that comes along with the type of men you’d see in the movie “Grumpy Old Men.” It opens with a bit about an iPad that is basically someone we all know (or are — I see my own future in a good 20+ years). But he of course has a heart somewhere, and we spend the entirety of the book seeing little pieces of it as we watch his journey to try to complete a final goal. We meet several of his neighbors and former friends, a few citizens of his community, and some strangers who all have an impact on Ove’s life, but are also touched by the time they spend with Ove.

It’s difficult to summarize more about the book without giving away big pieces of the plot, but it is a story that will make you cry and laugh at the same time on several occasions. Imagine a man you would not want to meet in person slowly tugging at your heart strings because you see and understand all he’s been through that’s turned him into the person we read about today. When you learn what his actual goal is, you’ll be shocked and struggle to accept that you want to support him in it. And when the things he’s always wanted but could never quite have suddenly start appearing in his life, you’ll know you can’t help but love the grumpy old man.

Key Thoughts

Fredrik Backman is hands-down one of my favorite character-building authors. Ove has so many levels to him you will lose count trying to guess what he might do in any given situation. His first reaction will almost always annoy you. His second will irritate you beyond belief… could he really have lost all humanity? But by the third or fourth time he encounters a situation, you see the tides turning. That’s where Backman excels. No matter how harsh he makes someone, the character teeters on the edge until they fall sweepingly into your arms as someone you now love and root for.

Despite reading the reviews and guessing enough of the high-level plot from the descriptions, I was not prepared for all the emotions in this book. The story captures different aspects of life and tries to make sense of them in reverse order. We aren’t reading Ove’s past in any logical format or order. It’s bits and pieces, re-told at appropriate points in his current life. In the opening scenes, he’s yelling at an iPad sales clerk… and we think he’s just an irate older man who can’t ‘get with the times.’ But when you learn everything that led up to it, you’ll find so many new connections. The order of the chapters is brilliant. You know people dislike one another, but not why. You find out way after you think you will, and it makes total sense. An author who can keep that going for 300+ pages is phenomenal.

I kept thinking ‘What if Ove meets the main character from The Five People You Meet in Heaven?’ Would they get along? They’re basically the same person, but completely different. From the plot to the story, the dialogue to the narrative, this book will capture your attention, enthrall your senses, tease you, torture you, and in the end, make you wish there were more. I can’t recommend it enough! You’ll even laugh out loud so often, people will look at you quite funny.

Summary

I am so thrilled with my second Fredrik Backman book that I plan to read all of his remaining works this summer. I have a copy of Beartown 2 which I will read next month, but then it will be My Grandmother Asked me To Tell You She’s Sorry and Britt-Marie was here. There are others, but those are up next on the spring and summer reading lists. I don’t think I could be disappointed as I am addicted to his writing style and storytelling abilities. He’s definitely in my top 10 favorite authors thus far in my reading lifetime.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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365 Challenge: Day 101 – Sullen

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Sullen: bad-tempered and sulky; gloomy; depressed

sullen

“I did not get the job.” Most of us have said that before, and if you haven’t, it’ll happen one day. It’s rare to always get the things you want, especially when it comes to big things like an apartment, a house, a date, or a job. And when that happens, you probably get a little upset or depressed. That’s how I felt yesterday afternoon and was hoping it would dissipate by the time I woke up this morning. But it didn’t, and I was feeling a tad sullen as I arose from bed.

A bit of backstory to set the stage for those who don’t yet know me all that well. When I graduated from college, just as the country was preparing for Y2K, I had an English degree with minors in communication, Spanish, education and business. I wasn’t certain what to do with my career, but I wanted to be a writer during some part of it. The weekend I drove home after graduation, I faxed my resume to a bunch of jobs and was called immediately to come in for an interview as a project administrator and technical writer at a local company in my hometown.  Seventeen years later, I had parlayed that initial position into 6 or 7 promotions, culminating in the SVP of Technology role in one of the sister companies, owned by the same family. For a variety of reasons, not necessary to go into here, I left that company and role last year.

I was going to take some time off, finally do some writing and decide what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. In that time, I wrote a book and it’s been well received by some friends, family and beta readers I met via the Internet. I created a bunch of websites and blogs, connecting with thousands of people. I’ve read hundreds of books and drafted 500 book reviews. I’ve gotten a break from the insanity of the corporate technology life I was leading, where I worked 80 hours a week and could never put my phone down or ignore my email. I felt really proud and accomplished for all that I’d achieved since leaving my position to focus on the things I’d always enjoyed but never had time for.

The Christmas holidays came and left, and I started to get a bit bored. I began searching for a literary agent to help find a publisher for the book. I started looking for a job again, for a variety of reasons. Boredom. Money. Keep up the skills. Money. Connections. Money. By February, I had the resume in a good place. I started networking a little more. And I went on a few interviews. None of the jobs felt right, but it was important to practice the interview skills and to be open-minded. Nearly 4 months later, I’m still searching. I had a really strong series of interviews in the last month and I know it had come down to me and another person. A call was setup for yesterday to discuss next steps. I wasn’t feeling strong about it, as something told me this was a great job but I wasn’t going to be selected. Took the call late yesterday afternoon. “I did not get the job.”

Sullen. A bit sad. Tired. Depressed. Concerned. Scared. Lots of emotions and thoughts rolling around in the old cage at the top of my head. First, to set expectations: I’m totally fine. I’ve been told “no” before, and I’ve been told “yes” before. This isn’t about money. I’m not worried that I’ll never find work again. I don’t take it personally. I’m not looking for someone to help or even tell me it’ll be OK. Today’s post isn’t really about me feeling sad or depressed as much as it is a voluntary acknowledgement that my mood was affected by the call not because I didn’t get the job, but because it made me feel like I haven’t progressed as much as I would have liked in the last 11 months since leaving my former position.

And as I come upon the one year mark next month, I’m reflecting on what I’ve learned. I started the 365 Daily Challenge to push myself to be honest and truly analyze everything going on in my life. I wanted to be more open and connect with people around the world. I needed input on how everyone else made decisions in their lives in the hopes it would trigger a moment where I would figure out my own. I am a very happy person. I am very lucky. I have a wonderful and supportive partner. I am healthy. I have friends and family. I have a good outlook on all these things going on. But today I felt sullen over the call… sullen because after almost one year, I’m still unsure what’s next.

Do I continue looking for corporate positions where the money is good and I have a very structured life? Do I stay on a path for another year with writing and take short-term jobs to pay the bills? Do I truly try to break into a different career where I love my job and have passion all day? Where’s this 365 Daily Challenge going? I actually feel that maybe I do have something of value to say to my friends and acquaintances who read my posts. I’ve been so happy writing the book reviews and reading, maybe that’s where my heart is for the future.

Most of all, I am grateful that I have all these positive things going on in my life. It’s rare that people have this opportunity to step away from reality and give an alternate life a chance. And that’s why I am keeping my minor frustration, depression or disappointment in check. But I’m still human… so today I am sullen. Tomorrow it will get better. And well… that’s good enough for me. Sorry for the dull and possibly depressing post today. But you’ll always find the truth on ThisIsMyTruthNow.

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Review: Bambi

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Bambi Book Review
Bambi, a children’s / young adult book published in 1923 by Felix Salten, is very different than the one we’ve seen from Walt Disney. Many have seen the cartoon versions, felt sad for the death and know it as a classic “growing-up” book for kids. But it’s really a whole lot more, if you choose to read the original version. And for that, it gets 4 of 5 stars for this reader. The book is not written as a children’s story, i.e. for a 4 or 5 year old to look and pictures, read the funny captions and laugh at the adventure of the animals. It’s a true coming-of-age story for a deer, told with all the ramifications of life’s expectations that eventually occur. Bambi has a beautiful relationship with his parents and family. He watches his friends play games and grow older. He seems courtship and love. He learns what it means to be afraid. He sees death. He learns to be a protector. It’s a full picture story, meant to show the realities of animals living in the forest. It’s a stronger story than I’d watched in the Disney films, but then again, I waited to read it until I was almost 13 years old.

It’s a definite must-read for kids, but probably not alone until they are at least 10. I don’t even think it’s a good one to read to your kids much earlier than that… you may want them to see the cartoon version first, as I think that has a lot of emotion packed into it… but I see the other side of the coin, where it’s important to teach reality to them, even at a young age.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

365 Challenge: Day 30 – Sensitive

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Sensitive: (1) having or displaying a quick and delicate appreciation of others’ feelings, or (2) quick to detect or respond to slight changes, signals, or influences

Being called “sensitive” can be both a compliment and a judgment, sometimes all at once.

  • If someone is sweet, caring and thoughtful, (s)he’d be called a sensitive person as praise, but it can also mean they’re too sugary and weak if their feelings are hurt quickly.
  • If someone is easily able to notice a change, (s)he’d be called sensitive to their surroundings, but it can also mean they are unable to tolerate change well.

At some point in my life, I think I’ve noticed all four of those interpretations when it comes to my personality or behavior.

  • I was very considerate, always called such a sweet and sensitive boy as a child. I was very innocent, but I’m much more worldly and mature now — a loss of innocence as one ages.
  • I can also have my feelings hurt rather quickly over some situations, potentially even holding grudges (a topic for another day). It’s much less now, maybe even quite rare for it to happen, but at one time, I was highly sensitive in a negative manner.
  • I’m usually sensitive to conversational or behavioral changes in other people. I notice the slightest alteration in tone or volume, if eyes are looking around or the subject starts to veer in a different direction. Perceptive is the way to describe it.
  • On occasion, I have been too sensitive to change, unwilling to accept it. I’d look for ways to hold on to the past, so as not to have to tolerate something different.

In the featured image is a picture of Augusto Cury, a Brazilian physician, psychiatrist, psychotherapist, writer and researcher in the area of quality of life and development of intelligence, who developed researches unrelated to universities focused on the theory of Multifocal Intelligence. The theory aims to explain the functioning of the human mind and the ways to exercise more dominion over our life through intelligence and thought. He said, “The sensitive suffer more, but they love more and dream more.” (Thanks Wiki)

This is not Cury, but Darwin talked about it, too.

I wholeheartedly agree with his statement, and I consider myself a sensitive human being. There are some areas where I am ultra sensitive, and a few where I’ve let those emotions weaken. Let’s cover a few examples:

  • I am unable to sleep on my left side, most of the time, because it enables me to hear and feel my heart beating. The sound of my heart beating scares me because I’m afraid one day, it will just stop. As soon as I sense one or two beats, I must shift positions, as I am very sensitive to that sensation.

So tempted to show a real one, but I didn’t!

  • For a long time, though I am neither Jewish nor impacted in any direct way (in my family) by the Holocaust, I was unable to watch or read anything about that time period. Perhaps I was impacted in a past life (I am very big on past life theories… another topic, another day), but the thought of an interment camp, the Nazis or the tortures are too much for me to think about. It took “The Book Thief” for me to become a little less sensitive.

  • When I do not win something, or I don’t get the job I wanted, or receive a rejection of any sort, I immediately tense up. My entire body shrinks a few centimeters, inside itself… I wince. I begin to hum in my mind, willing myself to accept it and move on. Accepting “no” is not easy for me, and it takes direct focus for a few seconds to a few minutes (and sometimes days depending on the importance of the item) for me to move forward.

How about you? Are you sensitive about any specific things… feelings… physical or emotional? Don’t leave me hanging out here all alone!

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay. I am 40 and live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post.

365 Challenge: Day 26 – Poetic

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Poetic: having an imaginative or sensitively emotional style of expression

Its original source, Latin, generally meant “things created,” as in words or writing. As humankind evolved, it took on a more lyrical definition for shorter works for fiction, sometimes filled with rhyme. We’re all familiar with famous poets, which I won’t note here, as there are too many to remember and too many to include. For the record, Emily Dickinson is my favorite poet, but Anne Bradstreet’s “The Flesh and the Spirit” is my favorite poem. I’ve provided a link below for you to read it when you have time, if it’s of interest. For me, the poem shows the two parts inside of me, as I’ve always felt like two different people. No, not as in split personalities… but as in two distinct driving forces, styles, needs, vibes, personas… co-existing in a single body, representing to the outside world 1 distinct person. I am Flesh. I am Spirit. How can one choose?

https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-flesh-and-the-spirit/

I’ve never liked the word “poetic.” It’s been used as a negative word all too often throughout history. Students often struggle with learning the art of poetry, whether writing their own verses or interpreting the poet’s words. It’s such a basic word and can be a simple example of creative writing. It can also be a treasure trove of lyrical beauty and infinite metaphors. But what does it really mean, really imply… when you take it for what it is: a set of words crafted with an intention, short enough to be interpreted in so many different ways.

For me, poetic has always been the way someone thinks about the words they choose. And given that I’m also a writer, as much as a reader and a blogger, it’s important that my prose be poetic, that is, in the beauty of the letters and language being used. A poem can be an expression of a moment’s thought, or it can be a year’s worth of emotional impact. Being poetic to me is about creating a sentiment I’m feeling or thinking about during those moments, and successfully sharing it with the reader at the same time.

It doesn’t mean the author of the poem is the subject in the words, or even has any connection at all — other than it being an expression in their mind of a situation. I stumbled across some poems I wrote a few years ago and spent fifteen minutes reciting them again this morning. I thought to myself on a few… “wow, these are a little awkward…” but soon found a few where I said, “oh, you do have some talent for pairing words and feelings in short verses.”

And since the 365 Daily Challenge is about discovery and expression, I’ve decided to link 6 of the poems to this post. Feel free to comment with how awful or brilliant they are!

By sharing them, I’m putting myself out there with some poems I’ve written several years ago. What I hope to gain from this is an ability to push myself back into dabbling in a little poetry again. Some of these need a little refreshment. Some need an overhaul. Some are good as they are. Perhaps this challenge will push me forward as I focus on my creativity and my pragmatic nature.

And if nothing else, it’s a quiet reminder of a time in my life where I focused diligently on creating and developing expressions of things going on in my life. From pain comes beauty. Whether it’s a break-up, a lost dream or a failure, words can help you maneuver through the situation until you heal. And while these poems were based on some experiences, they also came from pure imagination. Thanks for checking them out.

365 Challenge: Day 24 – Wistful

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Wistful: having or showing a feeling of vague or regretful longing

When I picture the word wistful, I think of nostalgia — staring into the sky and wishing for the past. I once posted that I am an old soul, but today’s topic is different. Wistful conjures more emotions, a gravitational pull or force towards something you wish you had, or perhaps once had and unfortunately lost. It reminds me of a Japanese word I came across and literally makes you feel the emotion when you pronounce it.

I am wistful over many things… memories of a happy time with people I am no longer close to or who have passed on… the innocence of being a child or not feeling the burden of worry and necessary tasks… different choices I could have made in life, wondering what could have been.

We all have these moments, sometimes it is fleeting, but others it is a significant portion of our day, consuming our thoughts until we feel feverishly impacted. For most of us, it is easy to control; we allow ourselves a few minutes to dip into the past and question “what could have been.” For some, they are caught up in an inability to accept what has happened and cannot function with where they ended up.

When I allow melancholy and a wistful moment to blossom, I often remember the decisions I made in life, thinking about the alternate options and if would I feel any differently than I do today. What if I:

  • Finished obtaining certification to become a teacher?
  • Stayed in California?
  • Began writing books when I was younger?
  • Had children?

The list could go on and on… not quite regrets, not quite desires… somewhere in the middle, showing me an alternate life. Wistful because I could see the beauty and growth of students learning and obtaining a good education…. because I may have moved up the corporate ladder even more quickly… because I may have been published at an earlier age… because I wouldn’t feel too old to consider starting parenting now.

When I get wistful, I often stare blindly at some object. Never anything beautiful or fanciful that would distract me. I’m not looking into an elaborate forest and wondering, or smiling at a opening flower. I’m looking at a blank wall or the corner of a floor, or even into the darkness, as I fall asleep in my bed.

To some, this may sound sad and overwhelming. To me, it is a way of challenging myself to always wonder about the alternative choices and options. A way of pushing myself to never give up. An opportunity for change, if I ever really want it.

I could return to school to finish getting that teaching degree. I could move back to California and push harder. I can’t change when my first book is published, but I can make it a larger focus to publish more. And I can still have children, as I’m really still rather young. But are these truly desires or just wistful moments to help me feel connected to decisions I’ve previously made, but possibly still contemplating?

I’m not being philosophical. I’m not playing Hamlet. I’m not even channeling my inner Freud. I’m allowing myself a healthy wonder to materialize from time to time, balancing the ability to feel the emotions (regret, sympathy, fear, happiness, acceptance) with the choices we make upon each split in the road of our lives.

But in those wistful moments, picturing the alternatives, focusing on the memories, breathing in the smells, hearing the sounds, sensing the past… it’s a rather calming sensation for me, even when I realize I might have made a different choice, knowing what I know now. But I wouldn’t change it. Not from fear. Not from religion or science. But because I cannot change it and see no reason to get caught up in thinking about it with too much deep concern.

Just enough to keep me always realizing each day is an accepted step, building towards a determined path, culminating in a unique journey that I claim as my own. But during that journey, it’s always valuable to remember playing a board game with my godmother who passed away from cancer, writing letters to a grandmother who felt lonely, and standing in field convincing myself to always let my words be the most powerful thing about me. And if a tear rumbles down my cheek, or a crack in my voice surfaces, or even a nervous giggle and a coy smile… it will always be worth it — to be wistful in that moment.

Review: If I Stay

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If I StayMy rating: 4 of 5 stars to Gayle Forman‘s If I Stay, the first of a two-book series and recently made motion picture. I first stumbled across this book when I saw the movie promo last year, and I recall thinking “oh, that looks like a great story.” I had just finished reading JoJo Moyes “Me Before You” series and felt they’d be similar in story and character. I went on my merry way, happily choosing from the physical books on my own bookshelf or my electronic digital subscriptions. (I always need to have 15 to 20 books on hand so it’s like a surprise when I choose a new book each time) And then, one day, while waiting for the dryer to finish in my building’s laundry room, I perused the small library next door (it’s awesome, my building shares books all the time and I constantly find new things to read!), and this book was sitting on the shelf. I grabbed it, tossed it in the laundry basket and well, went on with my day… but yesterday I needed to choose a new book and landed on this one, as I need to read it before I watch the movie perhaps this weekend. And it was an AMAZING choice!


Story

This is the hardest part to write in the review, as I’m not sure where to begin. This book was about so many things, so many, many things. I’ll keep it simple:

Mia is a beautiful, caring, intelligent and warm seventeen-year-old in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon, sharing her days with her grandparents, parents, younger brother, best friend, boyfriend and mentor. She’s an accomplished cello prodigy nearing graduation with a choice in her soon-to-be future: move to NY for Julliard or stay closer to her boyfriend who needs to remain in Oregon. The thing is… Mia is the teenager we’d all love to meet and be around; she’s just amazing as is her family and everything else around her. And you know the cliff is coming, as you’ve read the book jacket cover and know there’s a terrible accident. But then it happens when you least expect it — and everything changes. Mia is somehow separated from her body and she watches as she’s rushed to the hospital for surgery. As she sleeps in a deep coma, her separated self wanders the hospital halls to learn what else happened in the accident (no spoilers here, so I won’t say who was with her when it occurred, nor what happened to anyone else). One by one, her remaining friends and family visit her bedside, possibly to say goodbye given her grave condition, and as each person sits near her, Mia’s separated self tells readers who they are, how they met, exploring key moments in her life… you fall deep into this tragedy as Mia must make her own choice: to stay or go — but it’s not about moving to NY anymore, it’s about whether she will stay alive or go [die].


Strengths

1. Writing: It’s simple. It’s direct. It’s evocative. It’s endearing. It’s thought-provoking. You won’t be able to put it down.

2. Characters: The entire story takes place over one day’s events, but through the story-telling, Mia recounts how she knows each person over her 17 years… and every person is wonderful and stunning and real. I want to be a part of this group.

3. Emotions: You will feel a lot. You will want to know what happens beyond the last few words of the final chapter. Good thing there is a book 2, but your imagination will think a lot about what could have been.


Suggestions

Too short and I wanted more? (~235 pages)

The only reason I didn’t give this a 5 of 5 stars is because I felt like it should have gone on longer… I want to know more about her struggle to decide if she stays or goes… to know how each person feels other than thru her eyes and ears. Maybe it will come in book 2, but as its own unit, I wanted more.


Final Thoughts

This is what I call a “contained” book. The story could be read on its own, or it could have sequels and prequels. Your emotions will be contained by the bounds of what you’ve learned in its 235 pages, and you will walk away from it as a changed person. Not in any magnificent way, but in a subtle way… one where you think about your own life and how you’d make a choice of staying or going, assuming you were in a similar situation as hers. This book makes you think for a few minutes, hours or days… and you won’t forget it. Contained because you’ll experience a journey in the time you read it, put it down, and after you’re on to the next book, it’ll feel like the impact was contained to just those few days where the pages were in your hands and the words in your dreams… but far into the future, it will pop back in your head as you wonder how you would have handled it.

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