Title: Things I’m Seeing Without You
By: Peter Bognanni
Publication: October 3rd 2017
By: Dial Books
Seventeen-year-old Tess Fowler has just dropped out of high school. She can barely function after learning of Jonah’s death. Jonah, the boy she’d traded banter with over texts and heartfelt e-mails.
Jonah, the first boy she’d told she loved and the first boy to say it back.
Jonah, the boy whose suicide she never saw coming.
Tess continues to write to Jonah, as a way of processing her grief and confusion. But for now she finds solace in perhaps the unlikeliest of ways: by helping her father with his new alternative funeral business, where his biggest client is . . . a prized racehorse?
As Tess’s involvement in her father’s business grows, both find comfort in the clients they serve and in each other. But love, loss, and life are so much more complicated than Tess ever thought. Especially after she receives a message that turns her life upside down.
I want to thank NetGalley and Penguin Young Readers Group/ Dial Books for providing me with this copy in exchange for an honest review
This is a book with a very deep meaning, the way in which they have touched on a subject as delicate as death in general, whether of a loved one or of other people, and how it explores the different ways in which the you can live the loss, from the suffering, the negation, until the acceptance, was touched with some humor but above all with much respect and I liked that
The book follows the Tess life after the suicide of her boyfriend Jonah, with whom he had a relationship mostly online, through messages through facebook. We will see how this event affects her life and changes it completely, leading her to make very difficult and important decisions for her. In the midst of all this she will meet Daniel, Jonah’s roommate who also tries to fill the void which has remained because of Jonah’s death. Together they will try to overcome this loss in their lives and their union will lead them on an adventure in search of answers.
Before reading the book, I supposed it would be very sentimental, especially since it touches on a super delicate subject like suicide and all that this means for the people around it, and it was, but not as much as I expected.
It’s a reading that has a much deeper meaning than it shows, even so, as you go through the plot you’ll find yourself in the same way with very funny moments, as painful, which makes it very easy and light to read, I think the humor inside the book has been handled in a very intelligent way, it has made me laugh but I’ve never forgotten the main theme, it was certainly a deep reading but also fresh and fun, although it hasn’t managed to reach me as strongly as I expected it did
I didn’t feel committed to the story at the beginning I have to say that I was able to hook me up with the plot roughly about in the half of the book, this doesn’t mean that the beginning was bad, but personally I felt that Tess’s speedy decisions took the plot to another place, and I wasn’t very interested but after that the plot returned to focus on the subject that interested me more, that was the relationship between Jonah and Tess, I really liked knowing the details of how they met to then understand the Tess’s feelings better, because to be honest it was hard for me to understand how she was so shattered for someone she had only seen once, but then I managed to understand how the whole thing happened.
Tess is a very peculiar and different character, at first I was like “I can’t stand this girl”, this is because her personality is quite bad-tempered and she’s not afraid to say what she thinks without any filter, or make decisions totally without thinking about the consequences of it. I think that in a way she is still very immature, but in the end there were moments when I could see her as a more empathic and sensitive person and I liked that a lot, so I decided to give this character a chance after all. Her relationship with his father is at first quite problematic and I think her reasons for not trusting him were quite valid, and it was very interesting to see how their relationship develops from everything that happens and as Tess allows herself to open up to her father in spite of their differences, besides the Tess’s father really commits himself to her, and to be able to see that was of great value
I feel that my review probably isn’t giving much information, but I feel that the book is very abstract in a certain way, and I don’t want to give more details and feel that then I make spoilers or you will not feel surprised once you read it. I feel it’s a very modern story about how to deal with loss and how in the way, you learn about yourself and those around you, how to learn to forgive, to heal and to accept and I think that is the most important thing I can tell you about the book. Oh and during the book they travel to Sicily, and I looked for the landscapes in Google lol, and it’s a beautiful place, I haven’t seen such an incredible place ever in a book which is great
To be honest, I expected more from the book, I think I’ve get into it with alot of expectations and for some reason I thought I would get more from it , this doesn’t mean that it’s a bad book, I just had some problems with the characters and especially with the final that although I feel it was nice, I expected something more.
Even so it’s something that you could enjoy if you’re looking for a quick reading, that touches a subject such as the loss, with a very peculiar main character. In summary, I still recommend it, 3 stars is a good rating for me, and I feel that in the end with everything the book has left me is the rating it deserves