Alright. This review is going to be a bit difficult to write.
The emotion of this book is astounding and it was easy to connect to and feel. Beaver wrote honestly and didn’t try to cover anything up. She laid it all bare and it was raw. The ending was tough to read, even though it was easy to see coming (and I mean that in a good way.)
I have a bit of a personal tie with this kind of story; however, my perspective is closer to that of Matthew’s. It was enlightening to get a glimpse into what the minds of my family and friends might be feeling at times. But at the same time, I understood Beaver’s desire (written mostly in the Author’s Note) to have an escape from reality. I’ve often wondered what it would be like to just get away from the real world and have a place to go that’s protected from the difficulty of everyday life.
There were a couple things that kept me from fully loving this book, though. As well-written as most of it was, there were times when I could tell a 14 year old wrote this. It was still done very well, but it just didn’t seem up to par with the rest of the book. The constant naming of different TV shows and movies pulled me out a bit as well. I find it easier to go with the flow of a book if TV and movie are kept generic and non-specific. That might just be me, though. The last thing that pulled me out of the book was just one little fact that she had incorrectly stated. It probably wouldn’t bother me as much had it been about any other part of the body, but because it was about the lungs, and I know lungs extremely well (better than I’d like to), it was a little distracting.
Overall, this was a good book. It’s a good book for teens to read to read and it really gets the emotion of the death of a loved one across well. It’s a tough topic to cover, and I really admire Beaver for handling it with such grace.