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If I could give this book a lower rating I woukd. I just got this book and after a few pages it when back for a refund. I was totally offended by the adult sacrilegious language. The worst I have ever read in a book. I will never read anything by this author. I am sure that the story is interesting as the premise/theme was what made me order it, but th language is beyond offensive for Christian readers.
However, if I just wanted a lesson in depression there would be no need to read a book. I read to travel to other places, other view points, other narratives other than my own. Real life is depressing in and of itself. This book never swings back, never gives you the good of it all. Girl dies, life goes on without her. Isn't that just the way it is? In this book the soul of the girl goes on as a voyeur without much purpose to her hanging around. The story feels hollow. Then, at the end in the author's notes we find out this is really about her unresolved feelings about her real life Uncle Bob. Goodness, instead of channeling such anger in a book, perhaps you should have told everyone in the first place instead of carrying it around with you for so many years. I'm glad this was a first read, most certainly will be my last read with this author.
This book is a terrible disappointment on so many levels. Basically, it is an English Comp homework assignment by a high school frosh. In the adult world, it gets an F. It is an overzealous, love-struck, name brand impressed, transparent story about one-dimensional people that are not likable at all. The story is a train wreck. Dad (chock full of bad decisions) takes his family out on a winding mountain road during a blizzard for the purpose to get waffles in town. In an old converted RV of sorts. He decides that it is better to go off the slippery road and down a mountainside than to hit Bambi. His horrible judgment is the reason for the calamity, but somehow, he gets a pass. But the most dreadful thing to endure is for these phony, selfish people to be stuck in the RV with each other. I would take off on my own too. The present tense, first-person, and the immature ramblings of a teenage ghost comes off as a weak gimmick. Able to spoon-feed the reader POVs from multiple people, knowing their intentions and personal musings, does not work. The reader ends up with a narrator that is a weak-kneed teen gushing over cute boys and Prada shoes. It’s enough to give you a pimple. But the writing itself is not good. I can’t imagine another book with more sentences beginning with ‘My mom or My dad does this, thinks that, knows this or says that’. The sentence structure itself is repetitive and boring. Here are some of the gems Redfearn comes up with. “Being dead sucks.” Or “We only know the parts we know.” Or “We hated the drama group. They’re always so dramatic.” Or my fav, “But right now, the hole, it’s really really big, and it’s really really lonely, and I really really miss her.” Golly, really? The run-on sentences that last and last are really really particularly irritating. And numerous. I could go on. I could not wait to be finished with this book. I was determined to reach the end, but it was like pulling the proverbial old band-aid off. Really really slow.
The book is written in the first person told by the main character. She is killed in the tragic accident which is the nucleus of the story. She remains as the story teller moving from person to person and location to location after death. The authors notes puts her as the ”fly on the wall" as justification. That's when this book went sour for me. From that point on, speed reading kicked in to finally reveal the ending. It wound up being the classic fairy tale conclusion where the deceased dysfunctional family is filled with euphoria and everyone lives happily ever after.
**Spoilers**. Depressing from the start with no happy or feel good moments. This book is not so much about grieving, as it is about the selfish actions people take when confronted with a shocking and tragic situation. The premise of the story has been done before; a teenage girl dies violently and her ghost\soul\spirit remains behind to watch the after effect on her family. However, this story didn’t feel so much about grieving this young girl’s loss as it was judging the actions of others. I am not an eternal, sunshine all the time, optimist and I know grief takes on many different faces for each individual, but this story just did not sit right with me. The loss of a 16 year old daughter and 13 year old son should play a much larger part in a story like this. The author based her story on what I’m sure was a very terrifying and emotional event from her own childhood, but the added vilification of her “Uncle Bob” in the book, along with the very unnecessary death of the thirteen year old boy makes this more an unbelievable, tragic and depressing loss of your money and time. This is my first read by this author and likely my last.
I almost abandoned this read after the first chapters but reconsidered after reading a synopsis ... Mistake .... Life without God or any sense of meaning ... Shallow. The constant theme of "all is solved when you find a sex partner" ... That is the "happy" resolution to each and every character's turmoil and loss following a horrific accident ... Shallow.
The concept that inspired the writting held promise. Sadly it did not deliver.