October 2, 2017

Of Death, Funerals and Surviving Grief: Macky Reads Things I'm Seeing Without You

Things I'm Seeing Without You book cover
Tess Fowler is mourning the death of her long-distance boyfriend and in the middle of her life-crisis, events unfold that change the tone of her mourning, and quite possibly, the direction her life is taking. 

Things I'm Seeing Without You is an easy read! It’s written in first person from the point of view of our very accessible and amusing main character. Tess’s side commentary and quirky take on life after losing her boy Jonah, flavored the whole thing in a very unique way. One minute, you are smirking and amused at how glib she is. And then, suddenly, you are right in the middle of whatever crazy mix of emotions her situation is prone to. 

I appreciate though that the whole book focuses mostly on Tess and her journey towards recovering from her loss.  The journey itself (and thus the entire story) is so emotionally complex, mostly due to the appearance of her late boyfriend’s roommate who reveals some shocking truths that has made her mourning so much further from simple than it could ever be. Needless to say the whole thing becomes a giant mess and I am quite honestly impressed at how well Peter Bognanni married Tess’s irreverent tone to the very honest depiction of how messy the situation played out. 

Either way, and like most contemporary YA, the surreal “end of story scenarios” and these kinds of stories end up with such poignant beautiful scenes and dialogues you’ll want to quote or journal. I’d give this an A for sticking to the genre and representing it well by the genre’s standards. Maybe a B+ for overall likeability because even if it was written well… the life situation in this story is MESSY. 

Can stuff like that happen in real life? It’s about as possible as a couple of kids with cancer flying to Amsterdam on one of their make a wish foundation chips so the other could meet her favorite author and ask for the ending of her favorite book. So why not go great lengths to mourn and grieve? Better yet, why not do it together with the people who need it the most. 

Publisher: Dial Books | Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Source: ARC received at BEA 2017 (Thanks!)


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