Monday, May 18, 2015

Review: "Before I Go" by Colleen Oakley

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?
Thanks to Gallery Books via Netgalley for the free review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
Did I like this book?

While this book did raise many questions for me, mostly of the what-would-I-do-in-her-situation variety, I can't help but feel that "Before I Go" didn't live up to its potential.  The writing felt forced to me, with too many overly flowery descriptions, similes and metaphors.  I was sometimes bored, especially by Daisy's focus on the minutiae.  Many times I wanted to shake her and yell, "You're dying of cancer, woman, do you really want to obsess about caulking the GD windows?"  

It was difficult to connect with Daisy, and even more difficult to connect with Jack, seeing as they don't communicate a whole lot.  In fact, Jack spends a big chunk of the book at work, and while he expresses the need to spend time with Daisy, she ends up pushing him away.  It was quite an odd dynamic, and frustrated me to no end.

Will you like this book?

I think if you are expecting something amazing, like an epic romance to outlast the ages, you might be setting the bar too high and will inevitably end up disappointed, like I was.

Will I read more by this author?

Part of my problem with this book was the writing style, so at this point I would have to say I will probably steer clear of other titles by this author.

My rating:

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