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Mandafofanda Reads Lots

The world isn't just the way it is. It is how we understand it, no?

And in understanding something, we bring something to it, no?
Doesn't that make life a story?

- Yann Martel, Life of Pi

All These Lives - Sarah Wylie I'm actually surprised at how much I loved this book. While I saw in most other reviews that it took a while for readers to warm to Dani's character, I loved her right off the bat. She's snarky, a smart-aleck and has a bit of a morbid and abusive sense of humour, and I found a lot of myself in her. It's funny how many times you'll see this type of male character in a book, but never as a girl, so this was really refreshing.

One aspect that I loved about this book, is that I felt that there wasn't any over-sentimentality or overt sadness to the book. But it is sad, and I did cry, because of how much raw pain, anger, guilt and helplessness I could sense hiding underneath all the brashness. When you meet Dani at the beginning of the story, she's already acting out and being truly despicable, but as the story progresses, I felt that I could really understand her as a person. At it's core, this is a book about a broken sisterly relationship.

Just a quick note: I feel that the cover is a bit too dreamy and melodramatic to fit the overall tone of the book and I wish it had more bite to it. To be honest, I'm not crazy about the title either, but I guess this can be one of those hidden gem things.

I don't think this is a book that everyone will love. But there's a brutal honesty to it, it's beautifully written and I would highly recommend it.