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360 pages, Hardcover
First published June 19, 2012
The sun kept on with its slipping away, and I thought how many small good things in the world might be resting on the shoulders of something terrible. ~Tell the Wolves I'm HomeI don't know how to write a review for this book. I've made a few false starts already. It's always SO HARD to review the exceptional, the beautiful, the sincere and heartfelt. When what you've just read humbles you, when it so keenly reminds you of the raw power of storytelling -- of why we read in the first place -- it can leave you floundering without any words to describe the experience (a cruel irony if there ever was one).
It's the most unhappy people who want to stay alive, because they think they haven't done everything they want to do.
What if everything I loved about Finn had come from Toby?
Please promise to take the very best care of my only girl. With so much love my heart might split in two...
My mother said it [dying] was like a cassette tape you could never rewind. But it was hard to remember you couldn’t rewind it while you were listening to it. And so you’d forget and fall into the music and listen and then, without you even knowing it, the tape would suddenly end.
“Finn didn’t even seem to care that he was dying,” I said. And it was true. Finn was as calm as ever right up to the very last time I saw him.
“Don’t you know? That’s the secret. If you always make sure you’re exactly the person you hoped to be, if you always make sure you know only the very best people, then you won’t care if you die tomorrow.”
“That doesn’t make any sense. If you were so happy, then you’d want to stay alive, wouldn’t you? You’d want to be alive forever, so you could keep being happy.”
“No, no. It’s the most unhappy people who want to stay alive, because they think they haven’t done everything they want to do. They think they haven’t had enough time. They feel like they’ve been shortchanged.”
“I just thought, maybe we’re supposed to try to, you know, move on,” I said.
Toby glanced up. I thought he’d looked older when I saw him earlier, but now, without the coat, he seemed younger. Shrunk down to nothing. He cocked his head and stared at me with a puzzled expression.
“But where would we move to?”
“You think there are second chances? Do you? Well, there aren’t. They dart right by, and before you know it . . . before you even know what’s happened they’re just a blur in the distance. And then what? Then what are you supposed to do?