DISCLAIMER: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Ivo is in a care home having recently been diagnosed with diabetic kidney failure after years of poor health choices and life filled with regret. Unfortunately his days are limited which causes him to go into depression. To get his mind off of things, his caretaker creates a game for him to play. He needs to come up with the name of a body part with each letter of the alphabet starting with A. As he begins to do this, he recalls various stories he is reminded of with each letter and body part. These stories come together to illustrate his life of wrong decisions, lost loves, and ways he has hurt his family such as his drug use which has put him at the bottom of any kidney donor list. Through this game and these stories, he is able to come to acceptance of the life he has made for himself.
When I first started reading this book, I wasn't really sure what it was about. Halfway through it, I was very unsure what it was about. When I finished it, I was completely lost as to what I just read. This didn't make much sense to me because the book received great reviews from mostly everyone who read it. I just don't know why it didn't click with me.
I really had no sympathy towards any of the characters until the very end. I felt no real connection to anybody in the entire novel. While reading the memories, I just saw a man make poor decision after poor decision and now he has to pay the price for it. Personally, it's hard to feel bad for a guy that continues to do the wrong things. Hannah does a great job at illustrating these poor choices but when all of these back stories are put together they just make the book muddied and confusing. Some books really click with their readers and others don't. This one just didn't click with me.
But that's not to say that Hannah isn't a good writer. I can tell his quality through this book but I felt that the editing was just a bit off. My wish was that the book was a bit clearer and more directed than it was. Just like "My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry", this is a heartfelt, retrospective novel that most everyone loved... except me.
Don't listen to me or my review though. Just look at the ratings this book received and read it yourself. For me, there was just something missing.
I love to read and to discuss books. My preferred genre is sci-fi but I like to read mostly anything.