Monday, November 04, 2013

Review- If He Had Been With Me by Lauren Nowlin

Goodreads Summary:

If he had been with me, he wouldn't have died.

Throughout their whole childhood, Finn and Autumn were inseparable—they finished each other's sentences, they knew just what to say when the other person was hurting. But one incident in middle school puts them in separate social worlds come high school, and Autumn has been happily dating James for the last 2 years. But she's always wondered what if...

The night she's about to get the answer is also one of terrible tragedy.


REVIEW:

When I first came across If He Had Been With Me, I loved the title, the cover and the sound of it and I had a feeling I'd love the book as well. I finally read it and although I didn't love it as much as I thought I would, I still liked the book a lot. Like most books that deal with sadness and death, If He Had Been With Me gave me mixed feelings. The title really tells everything there is to know about the story but the summary makes the story sound hard hitting and deep which it wasn't, not much at least, and after reading the book, the title itself seems inappropriate but so beautiful. 
If He Had Been With Me is the story of Autumn who is actually very awkward, disturbed and depressed. In so many ways, I could relate to Autumn. She lives her life in her own head and at the same time, she lives her real life as well. She finds sadness beautiful and for me, that was it. That made me like Autumn. I admired how she carried herself differently from others and in her own way, she was an amazing person. There were many aspects about her that I didn't like. Her need to stay in her group of friends, which seemed more like a cult to me, and her need to have her boyfriend take care of her didn't really sit down well with me. I hated what happened with her, but I feel it was needed for her to grow up as a person. 
For me, her story was more coming of age and it was shown really well. Autumn's thought process was simply beautiful and reading from her point of view was sadly beautiful. Her confused feelings made it very easy for me to relate with her. Author Lauren Nowlin's writing is so beautiful that I purposely went slow with the book to be able to devour it for as long as I could. 
I loved reading about how Autumn was in love with Finny, her best friend from childhood but she loved her boyfriend Jamie. I had a feeling there was something off about Jamie since the beginning and I loved Finny, who was just as amazing as Autumn. Even though I loved the dedication that Autumn and Jamie shared, their relationship was way too good to last. From the relationship point of view, Autumn and Finny together were so crazy and cute but life is cunning. 
I am finding it very difficult to put my feelings for If He Had Been With Me in place. I really liked the book but I did have some problems with it. I thought it was beautiful overall but at the same time- and even though I love such books- it was extremely sad. What mattered most to me in the end even when Finny sadly died was that Autumn and Finny got the chance to express their love for each other. For very personal reasons, I've been thinking about this a lot, and I was happy that the two- even though I wish they had more time-  at least knew they loved each other before they parted forever. This was a beautiful and sad story about family, friendship, love and life. 

RATING:




13 comments:

  1. I'm actually surprised to see your rating here. My girl Glass told me so much about this one and she said it was perfect read for me. I love these emotional and deep reads that break your heart. I'm so sorry to hear that it wasn't as deep as I expected it to be. Great review Sarika :)

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    1. Maybe you will have a whole new perspective when you look at it, Tanja and I hope you end up loving it. Thank you!

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  2. This seems to be quite a difficult book with one heavy topic. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I really enjoyed your review!

    Johanna @ Challenging Reads

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    1. I'm glad I could, Johanna. Thank you!

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  3. Seems like a heavy read but also like it is over all worth it. I think I will have to try to read it when I can.

    Great review! It was very insightful!

    DaydreamerN.blogspot.com

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    1. I hope you can do so soon- it's pretty beautiful. Thank you!

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  4. Man, I can see why you would have such conflicting feelings about this one. These types of books tend to be beautiful, but extremely sad, like you described. So in some ways you enjoy the book and in other ways, it is not very enjoyable at all. And I can see why you would have mixed feelings about the MC, as well. I'm not sure this book is 100% for me, though it sounds like an undeniably beautiful read, but I still really appreciated reading your review. Very well written!

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    1. It is beautiful but so sad, Aylee- it left me feeling all confused and uneasy. Thank you!

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  5. Oh, that is so sad! The guy dies in the end :( I'm not sure I could take the pain, regardless, like you, I appreciate that both of them knew they loved each other in the end and didn't keep it a secret. I've seen a few review for this one and most of them were highly positive. It's good to see a mixed reaction. Wonderful review, Sarika!

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    1. Yes, he dies in the beginning (so not for you) and that really was the best part. I'm so glad to hear that, Aman. Thank you!

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  6. Oh my, I don't think I'll be reading this. I hate when the guy dies :( Thanks for the honest review!

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    1. Hahaha- understandable, Anna. Thank you!

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  7. This book is really a good book which shows us right path. but i read
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    ReplyDelete


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