When You Read This

When You Read This

A Novel

Book - 2019 | First edition
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Iris Massey is gone. But she's left something behind. 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.
Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2019]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062834676
Branch Call Number: FIC ADK
Characteristics: 376 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm


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Aug 03, 2019

This was an epistolary novel that consisted of emails, blog posts, texts, and memos. I mostly listened to the audio and although it was a great production, it took a little time in the beginning to get used to the story format. It helped to read a little of the story at first to get used to the rhythm.

I enjoyed many aspects of this story, especially Simon and Carl. Simon's story was surprisingly heartbreaking to me. His backstory, grief, and addictions hurt my heart. Carl was Simon's new assistant and I initially thought he might be what ruined the story for me, but by the end, he was endearing and I began to love his overreaching missteps. Honestly, the story wasn't as sad as I thought it would be. There are some poignant moments, but since you already knew Iris's fate going in, the more poignant moments came from backstories and Iris's impact on her friends and family.

My only real issues were with some of the epistolary submissions. While most of the entries served a larger purpose, there were a few I felt were unnecessary to the overall story. In the end, I found it moving and entertaining.

Apr 03, 2019

This was incredibly bittersweet. The epistolary format is not something that I gravitate to, but something about this one captured my attention. That last blog post from Iris made me cry.

ArapahoeChristineS Mar 08, 2019

An epistolary novel on facing death and grief. Sounds heavy but there was a surprising amount of levity. Told through many perspective, it lacked the depth I was expecting; however, I suppose because the story is mainly told via email and blogs, there are gaps, and we don’t get to explore much of the private and raw grief going on in these characters lives, but it really worked anyway. This was a rather unique and interesting take on grief, friendship, family, and love.


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