Review: Life and Other Near-Death Experiences by Camille Pagán

2.5 Stars

Disclosure: I received this book as a Kindle First book, this in no way impacted my opinion of the book

Libby Miller is described as the eternal optimist.  She views life through rose-colored glasses.  But when her husband drops a bombshell on the same day that she’s given devastating news from her doctor, she realizes that those same rose-colored glasses that helped her get through her life have been blinding her.  Libby believes she now has nothing to lose, so she abandons her life in Chicago and runs off to the beaches of a small island off Puerto Rico for what she believes will be her last hurrah.  She tries to outrun and escape her past, her present and the undetermined future.  But things don’t always work out the way that she believes they should and in the end, that’s probably a good thing.  Libby has a choice to make, will it be the right one?

I had trouble identifying with Libby and I think a little more work could have been done in making her a more sympathetic and believable character.  She did redeem herself somewhat near the end, but there were many times where I just wanted to reach through and smack her upside the head for being a selfish twit.  Some of the supporting cast were somewhat flat and one dimensional, they were either way over-the-top (Paul) or they were almost a caricature (Jackie).  My favorite character was actually Libby’s love interest, Shiloh.  He was the person I could most empathize with and I really wish more time could have been spent with Libby and Shiloh.

I wish the book had been longer.  Everything was wrapped up neatly far too soon given everything that was actually involved.  I could have done without the stabbing with a fork and biting friends on the shoulder, but I did like that there was dark humor injected throughout the book and that it really didn’t seem to take itself too seriously even though several serious topics are discussed.  It was a good “light read” well suited for a day where you want to curl up and lose yourself for a couple hours.

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Filed under Women's Fiction

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