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3.47  ·  Rating details ·  182 ratings  ·  36 reviews
How do you tell your child that you won’t be there when they grow up? UNWELL is the raw, honest story of a mother who writes to her unborn child, sharing her decision of choosing not to be a mother. She doesn’t take the road to abortion. She decides to give her child a fighting chance in life, without the angst and drama that’s shaped her own bittersweet life.

Paperback, 1, 258 pages
Published January 7th 2014 by Career Student Productions, LLC
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Average rating 3.47  · 
Rating details
 ·  182 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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Nov 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
I found this to be a decent book - between good and great. It's a "letter" from a mother to her unborn child about the decisions she has made and the decision she is about to make.

The mother retells the story of her life, growing up as a Chinese-American, only child, with divorced parents. There are many themes that many readers can identify with even if they are not of Asian decent or from immigrant parents. The most prevalent theme is wanting to feel loved and feel special. Not all kids get t
My copy was a review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. No compensation was given. The following are my true thoughts.

I am not quite sure where I stand on this book. It left me unsettled even after I spent a night totally engrossed in reading it. I agreed to read and review when approached by the author because it appealed to me on a variety of levels. It is about an asian american young woman talking/writing to her unborn child. I liked the asian aspect as
Susan (The Book Bag)
May 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The synopsis says 'You've never read a book like this and probably never will again.' That is so true. As I was reading this book and getting ready to write my thoughts, that was exactly what I was thinking.

The reader starts the story knowing that the mother-to-be will not be around to be a part of her child's life. Unwell is written as a journal penned by a woman to her unborn child, telling that child about her life as a child, student, woman, lover, wife, and soon-to-be mother.

She endures a hard lif
May 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unwell is the poignant story of a young Chinese American woman who journals her life story to her unborn child, who she has chosen not to know. Told in the first person narrative, the reluctant mother-to-be chronicles her difficult life story in a haunting, raw, and honest style that takes the reader on an emotional journey.

To say that this was an easy story to read would be wrong, as this gritty tale unfolds it definitely pulls at the heart strings and stirs the soul, and causes one to ponder
T. Beasley
Apr 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Unwell by Marie Chow tells the story of a Chinese American woman who tells her life story to her unborn child. This woman explains to her child all the reasons why she can’t keep him or her. This narrative chronicles a woman life and everything she had to face such as divorce of parents, her mother becoming a mistress and her father starting another life without her.

Unwell was an honest account of a mother’s realization that she was not the right person to care for her child. I have
Mar 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"Unwell" was hard to put down; I'm more than halfway into the book. In a letter to her unborn child, Marie Chow shares everything about her life from a young child to an adult. We feel her pain as she deals with daily life with a mother who has abdicated her responsibilities. We cheer when her childhood is returned to her when the grandmother arrives to take charge.

It's interesting to understand another perspective of growing up in a Chinese family.

I can't wait to read more and share this nove
Lady Joyful
Jul 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Unwell is beautifully and evocatively written. The narrator is an expectant mother, explaining her life story to her unborn child in the hopes that the child will perhaps understand why she will be leaving.
The narrator's voice is well written, the depression there almost haunting in tone. The people encountered are all characterised well, making it easy to picture them.
I found this book a compelling read, and enjoyed it. It is by no means a happy or lighthearted book, but has a haunting b
Mar 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received this book free through Goodreads First Reads. It is not normally a book I would read but it did have me intrigued as to what the story was about. For me it was quite sad and even though she did explain herself throughout the novel it did still make wonder me why she had to choose the path she did even though I could see why she would think that path might be the best. It was a well written novel and it certainly kept me intrigued to know how the end would turn out. Thank you and I wou ...more
J&B Reviews
May 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

What a lovely, heartfelt story. The narrator, whose name we never learn, is making the ultimate sacrifice for her unborn child. She will leave after the birth because she sees herself as so damaged that she will only bring unhappiness to her child. This book was her way of explaining why she has chosen to walk this path.

I was riveted to this book from start to finish. I will highly recommend it to friends and family and I highly recommend it to anyone who might be reading th
Sep 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Wow. The angst and pain. I still can't think of this book and wonder what really happened after. Did she really have the baby and walk away? Did she see this beautiful newborn and decide to stay? I could empathize with the thoughts and feelings she had of being broken and unable to be a mother, and it really broke my heart.
Jun 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
I was given this book in exchange for an honest review.

This was a moving, tear shedding story. This book is an emotional journal written by a girl to her unborn baby. This is not a light read, but if you are wanting a book that you can emotionally connect with this is for you.
Crystal M
Mar 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This is one of the books I won from First Reads. This was a quick read for me, which I was able to get through in a few hours. The story felt realistic to me and you get a feel for the main character's personality through the writing.
Rachella Baker
Apr 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Jul 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I really like this book. It was very touching, plus humanizing.
Jeni Wilson
Mar 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Was a pretty good boom overall, another without a true ending. I think many mother's can relate to the main characters fears and hesitations, especially reading her cycle of life. I was torn between feeling as though she is extremely selfish or whether she is quote brave in her decisions. I do think she lacked closure on any portion of her life choices though, which caused her mental state.
I received a copy of this in exchange for an honest review
This review was originally posted on my blog Little Miss Reader >/a>

I loved the plot, the sentence(s) that really captured me and made me want to read the story was probably: "How do you tell your child that you won’t be there when they grow up? UNWELL is the raw, honest story of a mother who writes to her unborn child, sharing her decision of choosing not to be a mother."

I really enjoyed it, even though it reads a bit like a diar/>This
Apr 16, 2016 rated it liked it
I didn't hate it, but I didn't enjoy it. The main character goes on and on about her life, eventually veering off about her great love for someone other than the baby's father. We never find out who the father is, or how she came to be married to him, or even what happened when she discovered she was pregnant.

If I was the baby, reading this much later, I would have felt cheated. That my mother spends her whole time talking about events regarding other people, and how they've shaped her existenc
Apr 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Unwell gave me a strong stirring from the moment I began reading. It reads like it comes out of an entirely different time period. To a great extent I felt at times moved and at other times deeply disturbed. Readers have to be ready for a roller coaster of emotions and times where you will sit and question how minor your own troubles seem.

The author, Marie Chow, is a talented and unwavering writer. I've never read something so powerful. The book will hit you like a brick wall yet you
Sarah Jentzen
May 08, 2014 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
I received this book after a goodreads giveaway and just happened to be pregnant and delivered while reading this book. I am not sure where the end of this book left off as it seems to be left open to interpretation but it was a bit of a surprising ending as through the whole book you are led to believe that the child that she is writing to is to be born. In the end it seems that she lost the child in the 4th month.
I enjoyed growing up with the main character and being a part of the relati
Jun 05, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-read
I got this book for free from Goodreads, but that does not affect this review.

Initially I thought this book was going to be about a woman that put her kid up for adoption. I was wrong, it is a letter from a woman to her unborn kid who she is going to leave with its father. I don't even know if she ended up leaving her kid with the father. It wasn't concluded well. At the end it didn't even say the woman's name like at the end of most letters. I don't know that when she said leaving t
Yanting Gueh
May 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
A sad, engaging story about a Chinese American woman writing a journal to her soon-to-be born child, telling him/her about her childhood, her tangled feelings towards her mother, her true love, and her losses, hoping that all of these could serve as a clear explanation to why she couldn't stay. The narrator has tried to be as honest as she can but she still withholds (her real sentiments towards her mother) and, especially for the climax, evades (showing us what the losses of her self and her fi ...more
Samantha March
May 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Marie Chow is now on tour with CLP Blog Tours and Unwell
When I first started reading Unwell, I was trying to figure out just where the book would take us. Was this a suicide note? Was it being written to a baby who wouldn’t make it after birth? Did the mom plan on putting it up for adoption or just walking away from the family? That air of mystery drove this story from beginning to end, where it all comes together in a beautiful resolution to the book, and made me close with m
J. A.  Lewis
Apr 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
"Unwell" is a letter from an Asian woman to her unborn child chronicling the events of her childhood that led her to present day. After witnessing the divorce of her parents, her mother's affair, living with an unkind relative and going through several emotional but disastrous relationships herself, the letter seems to be leading to her suicide after she delivers. I must say I hated the ending, but the book itself is intriguing and filled with an intellect that I couldn't help but admire.
May 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
I thought this story was very interesting, however, the ending left the reader with absolutely no closure & the frequent use of "so" & "anyhow" every few pages became quite annoying. I wish that the author had provided more information on certain characters in the book that seemed to play an important role in the story; the lack thereof never satisfies the readers curiosity. If there hadn't been so many loose ends that needed tying up, I would have given this book five stars.
Stephanie W.
Angst and struggle

This book was particularly interesting to me because I work with women making decisions about unplanned pregnancies. I found it fascinating to be inside of her head and see the path she traveled to reach her decision. l liked the way the narrative was written almost as a conversation and it helped to draw me into the protagonist's journey.
Bonnie Florek

The quick brown Fox jumped over the lazy dog. Peter piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, how many peppers did Peter piper puck. She sells seashells by the sea shore. Angry army ants march endlessly by tents of trees. Frosting off fingers and buttered popcorn toes. Tomatoes and gingerbread are the way it grows.

Kaitlyn Joseph
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very Good

This book was great. Fast read and kept my attention from beginning to end! I would definitely recommend this book, especially to anyone that has struggled with mental illness.
Jul 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book for casual reading

The characters and even the narrator in Unwell are just detailed enough to make this a good read. There aren't many breaks so putting the book down for too long could be interesting. I'm just interested to know what happens to the narrator.
May 17, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction, z2014, marie-chow
The only thing I will say is the storyline was pitiful. I can't get past it in order to review more in depth. I'm not sure why I finished it when I found it so objectionable.
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Marie is a lifelong student with degrees in degrees in chemical engineering, teaching, an MFA in writing, and a doctorate in educational leadership. Her writing focuses on bilingual and English-only children's books that feature mixed families, as well as literary and contemporary fiction focused on Asian and Asian American characters.
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“Everything pure is eventually tarnished, people are ruined, and memory is, by definition, incomplete.” 2 likes
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