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Book Review: When You Read This


When You Read This by Mary Adkins– For four years, Iris Massey worked side by side with PR maven Smith Simonyi, helping clients perfect their brands. But Iris has died, taken by terminal illness at only thirty-three. Adrift without his friend and colleague, Smith is surprised to discover that in her last six months, Iris created a blog filled with sharp and often funny musings on the end of a life not quite fulfilled. She also made one final request: for Smith to get her posts published as a book. With the help of his charmingly eager, if overbearingly forthright, new intern Carl, Smith tackles the task of fulfilling Iris’s last wish.

Before he can do so, though, he must get the approval of Iris’ big sister Jade, an haute cuisine chef who’s been knocked sideways by her loss. Each carrying their own baggage, Smith and Jade end up on a collision course with their own unresolved pasts and with each other.

Told in a series of e-mails, blog posts, online therapy submissions, text messages, legal correspondence, home-rental bookings, and other snippets of our virtual lives, When You Read This is a deft, captivating romantic comedy—funny, tragic, surprising, and bittersweet—that candidly reveals how we find new beginnings after loss.

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Published: February 5, 2019

Acquired: Public library e-book

Series: Standalone

My Rating: 4 Stars

My Thoughts: I’m a big fan of books written in epistolary form and this book was comprised solely of emails, texts, and blog posts. It feels very intimate and personal to be reading those things and appeals to the admittedly nosy side of my personality. I think my favorite character was Carl, the inept and strange assistant/intern to Smith. He added a layer of comedy to an otherwise heavy story which is full of love, loss, grief, and healing. Jane was probably my least favorite character- she was really a neurotic mess that made everything much harder than it needed to be. But the personalities of all the characters together came together in a really amazing way to form a story with a lot of depth. 

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