BOOK REVIEW: Maggie O’Farrell “I Am, I Am, I Am”

81CDbgRQIrLTitle: I Am, I Am, I Am

Author: Maggie O’Farrell

Genre: Memoir

My Rating: 4/5 stars


A book about 17 near-death experiences, what could possibly go wrong?

This book was both incredibly interesting and anxiety-inducing. I finished this book with an intense fear of the world and the people in it. There are so many horrible humans who are out to hurt others. The earth itself is full of hazards and animals and things that will kill you. I mean, you can’t read this book and not think about all the ways that you could have died already in your own life. All the near death experiences that you’ve had. It makes you feel so very mortal.

There were parts that made my skin crawl, chapters that made it difficult to breathe, whole segments that made your own heart beat faster for the narrator. There were some parts that dragged, but it was ultimately amazing.

One chapter in particularly shook me to my core, but it’s not exactly a near-death experience. It talked about the author’s several miscarriages, and reading it so close to my own miscarriage was definitely a punch to the gut. It was strangely healing, but definitely hard to read.

O’Farrell’s writing was absolutely beautiful. She conveyed emotions flawlessly and made me feel everything that she had been feeling. It was such a roller coaster of a book, but I would say it was a rewarding one.

BOOK REVIEW: Taylor Jenkins Reid “Forever, Interrupted”

81CQTisAmcLTitle: Forever, Interrupted

Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid

Genre: Romance/Contemporary

My Rating: 4/5 stars


Elsie Porter is an average twentysomething and yet what happens to her is anything but ordinary. On a rainy New Year’s Day, she heads out to pick up a pizza for one. She isn’t expecting to see anyone else in the shop, much less the adorable and charming Ben Ross. Their chemistry is instant and electric. Ben cannot even wait twenty-four hours before asking to see her again. Within weeks, the two are head over heels in love. By May, they’ve eloped.

Only nine days later, Ben is out riding his bike when he is hit by a truck and killed on impact. Elsie hears the sirens outside her apartment, but by the time she gets downstairs, he has already been whisked off to the emergency room. At the hospital, she must face Susan, the mother-in-law she has never met and who doesn’t even know Elsie exists.

Interweaving Elsie and Ben’s charmed romance with Elsie and Susan’s healing process,¬†Forever, Interrupted¬†will remind you that there’s more than one way to find a happy ending.

My thoughts:

I freaking told myself. I said, “Devyn, your husband is deployed for 4 months. It’s not a good idea for you to read sappy/sad romance novels.” Then I picked up Forever, Interrupted and read the synopsis, and I said, “Devyn, do you really think it’s smart for you to read a book about a woman whose husband dies?” But what did I do? I read the stupid book anyway.

Just a glutton for punishment, is what I am.

This was heartbreaking, but there was a big element of healing which is so important. It is tragic to lose a loved one, but it’s important to portray moving on in a healthy amount of time. Of course I say this, but if my husband were to die I would probably rot, so who am I to say?

That’s not to say Elsie didn’t struggle to move on. She did. It was a daily battle waged within herself (and sometimes without), but her and Susan’s story is vital that there is life after death.

To add insult to injury, the sections of the book alternated between the events that occurred after Elsie and Ben first met, and after Ben dies. It’s so difficult to read because during one chapter, I may have had a stupid grin on my face because Ben and Elsie were cute. And then of course reality would set in for the next chapter and Ben would be dead and I’d want to just tear my heart out of my own chest.

I loved the relationship that developed between Elsie and Susan, Ben’s mom. They needed each other to mourn and while theirs was a non-traditional mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship, it was special nonetheless. It was such a beautiful part of the story to see the two of them healing and loving together.

The author’s voice was very nice and easy, and her writing was beautiful. I loved her comparison between Elsie and Ben’s love and a supernova:

Have you ever heard of supernovas? They shine brighter than anything else in the sky and then fade out really quickly, a short burst of extraordinary energy. I like to think you and Ben were like that . . . in that short time, you had more passion than some people have in a lifetime.

Ugh, cue the tears again.

I really enjoyed this even though it made me ache for my husband to be home 1000 times more. I can’t wait for him to come back so that I can hold him a little bit tighter and cherish the time that we have together.


Taylor Jenkins Reid: Website | Twitter | Goodreads