Monday, March 16, 2015

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Before I Go, by Colleen Oakley, ends 3/27 {2 winners!}

I pick it up and watch my hand curiously - as if it's a rebellious, petulant child that's acting of its own accord - and heave the entire plastic cup, green liquid and all, across the room where it smacks the cabinet beneath the sink. Green slop sprays the maple, the fake Saltillo tile, the baseboards. The cup then hits the floor where it rolls to rest at the foot of the refrigerator. 

And in the silence that follows, the stupid therapist's voice from the stupid first time I had stupid cancer once again rings in my head:

Your anger is grief wearing a disguise.

I slump back against my chair.

My anger is all over my kitchen floor.

I received this book sometime late last year, I believe, and it was sitting on my shelf for a while. I'm very glad I eventually got to read it, however, because it was both heartbreaking and wryly funny.

Official synopsis:
A heart-wrenching debut novel in the bestselling tradition of P.S. I Love You about a young woman with breast cancer who undertakes a mission to find a new wife for her husband before she passes away.

Twenty-seven-year-old Daisy already beat breast cancer three years ago. How can this be happening to her again?

On the eve of what was supposed to be a triumphant “Cancerversary” with her husband Jack to celebrate three years of being cancer-free, Daisy suffers a devastating blow: her doctor tells her that the cancer is back, but this time it’s an aggressive stage four diagnosis. She may have as few as four months left to live. Death is a frightening prospect—but not because she’s afraid for herself. She’s terrified of what will happen to her brilliant but otherwise charmingly helpless husband when she’s no longer there to take care of him. It’s this fear that keeps her up at night, until she stumbles on the solution: she has to find him another wife.

With a singular determination, Daisy scouts local parks and coffee shops and online dating sites looking for Jack’s perfect match. But the further she gets on her quest, the more she questions the sanity of her plan. As the thought of her husband with another woman becomes all too real, Daisy’s forced to decide what’s more important in the short amount of time she has left: her husband’s happiness—or her own?


The narrator in this book was wise beyond her years - and she was 27 years old, about my age. She's already had and beat cancer, when she was 23, and is about to celebrate three years of being cancer-free; instead, however, it turns out the cancer is back, and has spread all over her body. Her doctor tells her it's more "quality of life" now than beating the cancer, and she prepares for the worst. 

Her husband, Jack, is finishing up his degree in veterinary studies, and Daisy is taking classes towards a graduate degree too; suddenly, nothing seems important except her being able to see Jack graduate, and wondering who will take care of Jack when she passes away. She decides to find Jack a new wife, though it doesn't seem to be working out so well. 

I really liked this novel. Daisy was a great narrator, even though we know her fate after the first few chapters, which makes for a bittersweet ending. The book is told from her POV, except for the last chapter, and she is very wry (yet also bitter that the cancer is back) so that made for an interesting story. She met and married her husband, Jack, at a young age, and he had helped her battle cancer before; this time, he's having trouble processing that she's not going to survive it, and there's an awkwardness between the two of them that Daisy is having trouble clearing up.

4.5 stars out of 5.
{Click here to purchase}

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this novel for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

GIVEAWAY:

Enter via the widget below. Two lucky winners will win a hardcover copy of Before I Go. Giveaway will end on Friday, March 27th, at 11:59pm EST, and winners will be notified via email the day after, and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner(s) will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

Before I Go

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