Review: Things I’m Seeing Without You by Peter Bognanni
Seventeen-year-old Tess Fowler has just dropped out of high school. She can barely function after learning of Jonah’s death. Jonah, the boy she’d traded banter with over texts and heartfelt e-mails.
Jonah, the first boy she’d told she loved and the first boy to say it back.
Jonah, the boy whose suicide she never saw coming.
Tess continues to write to Jonah, as a way of processing her grief and confusion. But for now she finds solace in perhaps the unlikeliest of ways: by helping her father with his new alternative funeral business, where his biggest client is . . . a prized racehorse?
As Tess’s involvement in her father’s business grows, both find comfort in the clients they serve and in each other. But love, loss, and life are so much more complicated than Tess ever thought. Especially after she receives a message that turns her life upside down.
*Book Received in Exchange for Honest Opinion/Review*
Lets start off by taking a look at this stunning cover, I mean it is absolutely breath-taking and immediately draws me in. Upon diving into this story, the tale itself is just okay. While I wanted to be consumed I was left closing the last page and feeling very meh and indifferent to the ending.
So the synopsis isn’t bad, we are going to dive into suicide and heavy topics and I am down for it. However, as the story progresses, I quickly realized that we are going to be extremely superficial in terms of character development and emotional expression. I was desperately hoping for a coming of age tale about learning who you are and self-discovery. Unfortunately, the characters don’t really grow over the course of the story or develop any depth to them. They end up being one-dimensional and for a plot that held so much potential, this was disappointing.
In terms of the story itself, there were some flaws in the journey. The characters are fickle, their choices and decisions are brash and unrealistic, and the ending doesn’t provide the closure that the entire plot line has been building up to. While the author could have really dived into the ripple effect that suicide causes, he instead just skimmed along the surface and played it safe. Which really took away from the stand out potential of this story.