I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.The A to Z of You and Me by James Hannah
Published by Sourcebooks Landmark on May 3, 2016
Genres: British, Contemporary, Literature & Fiction
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He has all kinds of everyday joy in his life -- he's young, he's in love, he has friends who promise to stand by him if life ever goes wrong.
Then one day, life does go wrong.
He makes a mistake, and it's big and unforgivable. Now time is running out, and his life is falling apart. But he's going to put it back together again.
His own way.
This is a story about how far love must stretch to gather a life in pieces -- and about how a strong friendship never dies.
The A to Z of You and Me by James Hannah wraps a cautionary tale around lost love and a children’s game. Ivo is in hospice and has had no visitors. His nurse, Sheila, is concerned for him and suggests he starts playing the A-Z game – think of a body part for each letter in the alphabet and then a story to go with it. As Ivo travels through the alphabet you discover that most of the issues in his life have been caused by him and that his one chance at true love is no longer.
I was intrigued by the plot of The A to Z of You and Me initially, however the A-Z aspect lost its appeal pretty quickly. The writing of James Hannah was good, but there was no hook to it. Despite the sad situation I was never sucked into it. The pacing had a few rough spots with flashbacks not quite fitting in but as a whole it worked. The world building was minimal as the story is being told from the mind of a hospice patient on painkillers. There were some good emotions in the story but since Ivo caused most of his own pain I couldn’t empathize with him too much. The only characters really in the book are Ivo and his nurse Sheila, everyone else was very much on the periphery. Sheila was a fantastic character, she was genuine and caring, but Ivo tended to push everyone away.
I did like reading The A to Z of You and Me I just did not connect with the book. James Hannah did convey the pain of Ivo well, I just didn’t really like him. I find it hard to love a book when I don’t like the main character. I also realized as I read this that I don’t love disease dramas. I have found some that were great, but I just don’t think the premise of someone dying is enough to make me connect with a character. There were a few really good moments in the story and they pushed the rating up a half star. I have seen much love for this book out in the wild and if you are a fan of the main character being ill the entire book this may be a great read for you.
Favorite lines – Maybe it’s not pain. Maybe I’ve never been in real pain. Maybe only the pain I’ve seen in other people has been the real thing, and I’ve only ever imitated their sucking of the teeth and wincing and cringing and sighing and huffing. No, no. Calm it.
Biggest cliché – I don’t need anybody.
Have you read The A to Z of You and Me, or added it to your TBR?
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2016 New Release Challenge
- Mount TBR Reading Challenge
- Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge
- The Goodreads Challenge