Things I'm Seeing Without You, Peter Bognanni

Netgalley copy in exchange for an honest review. 

The Blurb 

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.

My Thoughts 

I really loved this book. It was strong, both in style, in character design and in plot. The writing was both contemplative and figurative, with enough humour and fun to make me smile despite the tears. Tess is a beautiful main character whose thoughts hit home hard, and for once it did not hurt as much as it could have. She was very strong and very well-written, with a dynamic and inviting voice.

I like that it read realistically, and I never got bored - I kept turning the pages, one after the other, until it was over. It was a very quick, easy read that was equally raw, true, rich and poetic.

And it was really wonderful.  

Selected Quotes 

  • "The morning after I dropped out of high school, I woke up before dawn in my father's empty house thinking about the slow death of the universe."  
  • "What's wrong with your health?
    - Mostly it's my pesky brain.
    - Your brain.
    - It is filled with darkness." 
  • "I don't have sex with people I resent. In fact, I don't really have sex with people. You should consider yourself lucky." 
  • "I just don't know yet, Tess.
    - Know what?
    - Who we are without him."



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