Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven is a special little novel that explores questions each of us wonder at some point in our lives: why am I here, what am I here for, what is the meaning of this little time I have on earth? The big questions about what our purpose in life is, answers to which can often feel impossible to find, especially for those that are disappointed with their lives, is something we are all trying to figure out throughout our lifetime.
Eddie, an old man still doing the same job as the maintenance guy of an amusement park, is our main character. At the start of the story he tragically falls to death when he tries to save a girl from a falling cart. It’s through what happens after his death, as we readers delve into Eddie’s past as he meets five special people who have affected his life in different ways in various settings of heaven, that the novel brings forth the idea how each moment in our lives makes up one story, a story that holds the true meaning of our lives. Eddie’s own discovery of his life meaning, which he finally understands by the end of the novel, is incredibly moving to read.
The structure of the novel provides necessary details of Eddie’s past (always set on his birthday on which, naturally, many important things occurred) and moves between this past snippets to Eddie’s meeting with the five different people he met in heaven. I found the interactions between Eddie and his five fascinating. They really added layers to the his story as the book went on, and it was wonderful to read. One specific chapter I enjoyed the most, though I won’t give it away.
Albom’s writing style is subtle and readable, but holds many complex ideas about the world, love, identity and loneliness, among other things, under the surface. His words are lovely to read and there were so many quotes that made me pause a moment and think. Especially so in the last sections of the novel, which really opened my mind to what the novel had been working towards in terms of its meaning and explorations of life, death and everything in between. A little gem of a novel that everyone should read :).
Top 5 Wednesday is a meme held here by Lainey on goodreads.
I missed last weeks Top 5 Wednesday (well I’ve missed a lot haha) so I’m gonna do it before I post this weeks one (which I’ll probably do late like tomorrow) :). Even though I’ve actually only pre-ordered one of these books (I don’t really pre-order books often), they are still upcoming new releases that I’m dying to read so I guess that counts well enough! 🙂
1. The Rest Of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
Easily the book that I want to read the most omfg!!! Patrick Ness is just that amazing, I wouldn’t even care what the book was about, just need to own it. I’ve had it pre-ordered ever since I knew it even existed and only 36 more days until it will be posted to me ❤ 😀
2. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Who wouldn’t be excited?? People who haven’t read Fangirl, I suppose 😀
3. Cut Both Ways by Carrie Mesrobian
Because I love me some fluffy, angsty, confused teenager romance triangle drama if it’s good and well this one sounds promising 😀
4. Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike #3) by Robert Galbraith/J.K Rowling
Okay, so I haven’t even read The Silkworm yet and I’m already looking forward to reading this!!
5. The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jane Bennett
Simply cause it sounds adorable and I like the title heh.
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
Such a great topic this week. I’m half asleep from busy day back at uni today, but selected each of these books because they’re favourites of mine that deal with diversity/diverse characters in a number of ways (some arguable I’m not sure). All amazing books everyone should read 🙂 And yes, maybe I’m a little repetitive. Just love my favourite books I guess and many of them happen to include diversity.
1. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon
2. A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah
3. I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
4. More Than This by Patrick Ness
5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
6. The Outsiders by S.E Hinton
7. Luna by Julie Anne Peters
8. Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey
9. The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan
10. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Top Ten Tuesday is held by The Broke and the Bookish. This is my first Top Ten Tuesday in a couple months and I’m excited! Yay. Excited to get back to reading after my wonderful time in Vietnam, and these are some of the books I’ll be starting with (if I haven’t already read them, that is). I’ve either bought or borrowed them 🙂 Or they’re some of the books that are gonna be leant to me/bought for me by a special someone ❤
1. Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde
2. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
3. Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom
4. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
5. Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham
6. The Distance Between Lost and Found by Kathryn Holmes
7. The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi
8. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
9. The Gunslinger, The Dark Tower #1 by Stephen King
10. A Quiet Belief in Angels by R.J Ellory
I’d seen a lot of love floating around for Jasmine Warga’s My Heart and other Black Holes months before I read it myself. I don’t know if it was because I read it shortly after reading the breathtaking All The Bright Places (which deals with similar topic but is just in a realm of its own) or if it was because I read it in one go my flight to Vietnam while I was half asleep, but for whatever reason I didn’t have as much love for this book as I’d expected. I liked it well enough to read it in a few hours and care enough about what was going to happen to the characters, but there was just a little something missing for me. My memory of reading it over two months ago is a little blurry because a lot of life-altering things have happened to me since, so I apologise if this review seems a little bit messy or underdeveloped. I’m afraid I’ll be a little out of practice.
I remember one thought that I had when I first started reading the novel and as it continued is that I wasn’t entirely convinced of Aysel’s depression and thus her desire to commit suicide. Don’t get me wrong, I really liked Aysel’s character and the background with her father, but I kind of felt her depression was used as means for her to meet Roman and become his suicide partner. I did quite like Warga’s exploration of the concept of suicide partners. It created some really interesting developments/tensions between the two main characters. Even if I didn’t quite understand Aysel’s need to die, I could understand why she would want to do it with someone else. I can’t spoil what happens to either characters by the end of the novel, but it just seems to me that Aysel’s journey was more about her saving Roman than her saving herself.
At first I wasn’t sure if I liked Roman. For me there was something weird about the first time they met, especially when Roman’s “friends” joined them at the booth they were sitting in. I know Warga meant for Roman to seem fake because he was being fake, but I just had difficulty getting into his character until he started acting like himself. But as the novel progressed, I grew to really care about Roman and what was going to happen to him. I was more convinced by his depression and desire to die than I was with Aysel’s. The horrible incident that happened to him chilled me and it was one of the things that made this book memorable for me.
I enjoyed the connection between Roman and Aysel and seeing how that developed throughout the novel. I think Warga dealt with their growing friendship/feelings about each other and themselves in a real and gentle way that definitely convinced me.
Though I had a couple misgivings about some parts character/plot wise (again this may have been different had I read this novel while I was in a state of awake), I have no misgivings about Warga’s writing style. She has a lovely way with words, and I was often struck by how she put sentences together. One line I remember liking even now, and well it’s a line that’s really important to me now: “one spark can change everything.”
Hi everyone 🙂
I’ve been back home for over a week now from my amazing trip in Vietnam. I had the most incredible time there, seeing different parts of the country (Halong Bay, Sapa, Hoi An, Danang, Ninh Binh), and living in Hanoi. I met some of the most special people I’ve ever met and made friends for life. My volunteer project with the kids at Hope Center was so wonderful and rewarding. I miss the children so much, I became incredibly attached to them and will always remember them.
Here’s a small selection of photos from my trip:
I got a couple of tattoos, and one is for them:
It means Hope in vietnamese 🙂
My other tattoo, which symbolises new growth/beginnings and becoming who I am meant to be. Which really began for me in Vietnam. I am feeling like I am on the right path to becoming who I am meant to be.
Going to Vietnam is the best decision I have ever made for a lot of reasons, but for one in particular. Because it lead me to him.This wonderful boy who lives in England and is making me the happiest I have ever been. We had a kind of instant connection when we met in Hanoi and have since been getting closer and closer despite the distance between us.
I have met the one. He is incredible and makes me all warm and happy and excited for our future together. I adore him. So I wanted to shout it out into the blogsphere here and tell everyone how happy happy happy I am. And he will read this because he reads my blog and I know this ridiculous blog post will make him smile as big as mine is writing it. Ben, you make me lovely.
So, the last few months couple months have been magical and the best thing that has ever happened to me 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Soon I will be back to posting my reviews and getting my challenge completed!
Next book I’m reviewing will be My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga, followed by The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom and the sequel to Richard Adams’ Watership Down.