Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I Will Survive

Published: October 11th, 2011
The Survival Kit
By: Donna Freitas
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN-13: 9780374399177

When Rose’s mom dies, she leaves behind a brown paper bag labeled Rose’s Survival Kit. Inside the bag, Rose finds an iPod, with a to-be-determined playlist; a picture of peonies, for growing; a crystal heart, for loving; a paper star, for making a wish; and a paper kite, for letting go.
As Rose ponders the meaning of each item, she finds herself returning again and again to an unexpected source of comfort. Will is her family’s gardener, the school hockey star, and the only person who really understands what she’s going through. Can loss lead to love?


   When Rose's Mom dies, her enitre family is falling apart.  Rose especially has a hard time living without her Mom around but things begin to look up when she finds the Survival Kit that she left for Rose with her favorite dress.  In the kit are  a picture of peonies, a crystal heart, a box of crayons, a paper star, an iPod with an empty playlist, and a paper kite.  It takes her some time, but with the help of her friend Krupa and the senior boy from her school, Will Doniger, who landscapes the yard Rose slowly begins to heal.  This book was a beautiful exploration of losing a loved one and coming to terms with life afterwards.  The rawness of emotions and the sincerity of the characters and their words/actions cuts like a knife to the heart.  But there are just as many gorgeous moments that are happy.  This book takes you through the first year after the loss of Rose's Mom and her growing relationship with Will after quitting cheerleading and after a rough break-up with her popular football player boyfriend.  Rose learns to enjoy the music in life again by taking it one song at a time and to have fun again by hanging out with friends at Will's hockey games.  But that doesn't mean things are perfect.  Rose's Father is getting lost in a bottle and driving drunk.  Her brother is pulling away from her and her Grandmother is bristly and interfering (although with a good heart and good intentions).  This whole book is about love, healing and the power of living life to the fullest.  I was touched more than I can say and I would recommend it VERY highly to fans of Sarah Dessen and authors that deal with heavy subjects in such a beautiful way.

VERDICT:  5/5  Stars

*No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book is now available in stores and online.*

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