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The Regrets

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  1,694 ratings  ·  389 reviews
Reality and dream collide in Amy Bonnaffons's dazzling, darkly playful debut novel about a love affair between the living and the dead.

For weeks, Rachel has been noticing the same golden-haired young man sitting at her Brooklyn bus stop, staring off with a melancholy air. When, one day, she finally musters the courage to introduce herself, the chemistry between them is und
Hardcover, 296 pages
Published February 4th 2020 by Little, Brown and Company
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Average rating 3.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,694 ratings  ·  389 reviews

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Jul 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
2.5....maybe? This book was bizarre. Think Casper meets Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind meets...500 Days of Summer and Normal People? I don’t know how to feel. I wish there was more love lol
"You're insufficiently dead," he said.

"I'm what?"

"Insufficiently dead. You lack rupture with your life. You have no exit narrative."

Somebody made a mistake with Thomas Barrett, and, yeah, he's no longer really alive. In the traditional sense. So, he's sent back to earth for three more months, with a set of rules, something along the lines of this:


Rules that, if followed properly, will keep Thomas from experiencing "the regrets."

His interactions with the living are to be somewhat limited,
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

3.5 Stars

What do I even say about The Regrets? Really the only way to even describe it for me is a “literary love story.” It’s certainly falls into the category of . . . .

And it’s a little bizarre to me that the above blast from the past courtesy of Sade has her as a mermaid because even though it made me all . . . .

The Pisces is another ill-fated little romance read that comes to mind when I think of who might want to give t
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Aug 16, 2020 marked it as did-not-finish
Shelves: 2020-releases
DNF @ 8%: I'm not too far into this one, but I can already tell that it is not for me. Onto the next one!
No one is more surprised than me on this rating...

So you know how when it's a special occasion or when you were younger and you were going out with your friends for something and you decide to be a different person and wear an outfit you would normally be too self conscious in, but what the heck you only live once? You have the best time living in the moment and feel great, but when you come home you're so happy to put your sweatpants, comfy sweatshirt on and just relax in the quiet? That's the
Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
How I read this: Free audiobook copy received through

This book is pretty messed up and I don't know what to make of it. I'm pretty sure I missed some super deep insight, judging by the other reviews - but to me, it was just a book about a glorified abusive relationship and way too much sex that is given more meaning than it is due. The sex is portrayed as "the love". I understand the place of sex in a story, but I will never appreciate a story where that is all there is to love, especia
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This isn’t like any love story you’re likely to read. And not just because one of the lovers is dead. Technically ghost lovers have been done before (cue in The Righteous Brothers’ Unchained Melody), but this is something radically new and strikingly good. The Romeo here is a recently dead man who due to a bureaucratic snafu in processing gets to have some more time on mortal coil, albeit circumscribed (no social interactions, daily reports, etc.). Eventually this gets to be unbearably tedious, ...more
Amy (TheSouthernGirlReads)
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Amy (TheSouthernGirlReads) by: Storiesandcoffee
Thank you for the ALC.

I’m not exactly sure what just happened there? I’m going to take some time to process before I attempt a rating and a review 🤔.

Law, ok. Here goes. This book. Ummmmm. I have never read anything quite like it. I can't exactly put my finger on it but I didn't hate it....I didn't love it either so there is that.

As I said before the writing is very well done. The premise? Fascinating. It just did not deliver for me. It was very dark and I get that it needed to be...but
A delightfully weird, unique, sexy, bittersweet story about a love affair between a woman (in the world of the living, but also somewhat removed from it) and a ghost who has been temporarily stuck on Earth because of the equivalent to a clerical error in the afterlife. I LOVED the writing: poetically precise and philosophically true. The tone was thoughtful and candid, details of the characters' flaws unflinching, but it never moved into cynicism.
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
After reading Amy Bonnaffons’ short story collection – The Wrong Heaven – last year, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her first novel. This is an author whose imagination knows no barriers, sort of like Karen Russell or Yoko Ogawa, but in her own unique way.

My only qualm is how she would handle the hackneyed subject of a woman in love with a ghost. I shouldn’t have wasted a minute in worrying. This book is highly original, inventive, witty, perceptive, and (can’t resist) haunting. I guess you
Morelia (Strandedinbooks)
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Y’all had me at “ghost sex”. And there’s like...a LOT.

This story just had me so entranced. It is entirely metaphorical and I think that’s why I couldn’t stop listening to the audio? It was odd, yes, but it was such a fucking interesting way of touching on toxic relationships and how they tend to displace you and are able to distance you from your loved ones. I mean, maybe that’s what it’s about. I’m sure everyone takes away something different from this book, but that just adds to the beauty of
Mar 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 this book took me by surprise, with the stress of isolation I grabbed this from the library without knowing what it was, looked like a comedy, I could use some humor in my life. I had the audio and was instantly intigued, a wildly different book, it went off the rails a few times for me but it was so unusual I hung in there. For the record I hate romance novels, this was a whole different kind of love and I loved the introspection.
Tinichix (nicole)
Mar 16, 2020 rated it it was ok
I am going to give the ever so famous Goodreads line "I really wanted to love this book." The week this book came out I carried this book around a bookstore to purchase it. At the last minute I put it back because there was something I wanted just a little bit more. When I was at the register there was a customer next to me purchasing it, I wondered if it was a sign that I was supposed to grab it. I didn't. Then I watched the reviews and became a little unsure. I was telling myself I could wait ...more
I haven't done this in quite some time but after making it over halfway through this audiobook (88%) I had to give this up and just stop torturing myself. Sadly, the narrator is quite monotone, reminiscent of Ferris Bueller's Economics teacher and the story? I legit don't know what in the hell is going on here. Maybe I'll give it another chance at a later date but for now it's a hard pass from me.
Thanks to and Hachette Audio for the ALC, but it just wasn't for me.
Lolly K Dandeneau
Oct 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
via my blog:
“You’re insufficiently dead,” he said.

“I’m what?”

“Insufficiently dead. You lack rupture with your life. You have no exit narrative.”

This is a playful story about being dead and being alive. It’s just a state, really. Thomas Barrett has been trapped in nothingness due to some… mistake. He is insufficiently dead according to his visit to ‘the office’ and for the time being will exist in a state most will never have the chance to experience. Returne
Suzanne thebookblondie
The Regrets by Amy Bonnaffons (#15 in 2020)

Every now and then, I'll read something and wonder what on EARTH I just read... and this is one of those times. 

Pre-reading thoughts:
Hmmm... guy dies and winds up in some sort of purgatory between Earth and the afterlife. He has a 90 day period of time that he has to spend in this still-visible-not-totally-real state during which he has to follow a specific set of rules. Then he breaks the rules when he falls in love with a living girl. 
Sounded like: a
Jul 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
I started this book because the premise sounded interesting and original, but I must admit I wasn't really sure what to expect. Let's just say that throughout the reading experience I was always waiting for something to happen, to me every small event felt anti-climactic and I wanted something big and shocking to happen, which it didn't. The three POVs were insightful, but I feel like we totally could have made it work without Mark's. The ending was a letdown. Overall, I think my problem was wit ...more
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
surprising and sinister; i enjoyed this in the way you enjoy unexpectedly waking up to find summer outside your window (blue skies, swaying trees, unrelenting sun, and an expectancy—as if the world was waiting for you).

the story itself carries a sharp sort of knowing. despite faltering at some points, it eventually drives the point of its edge deep into you (albeit a bit too late).

Every individual love story takes place within a larger fabric of desire, stretching out infinitely, pulled from eve
Feb 17, 2020 rated it liked it
The beginning of this gave me the wrong impression. I expected it to be a funny/sad book about life after death, but it's less fun than that. What could have been an interesting book turns into something about young, white, urban people and honestly that is a very uninteresting topic. The plot explanations are lazy, the characters are lazy, even the ghost is kind of lazy. I feel like this book had promise and somehow got steered into the completely wrong direction.
WHAT THE HELL? So talk about stupid... I read this thing twice... the second read was because I didn't think I really understood it correctly. In fact, I didn't really like it and thought to give it another chance. WELL, that worked well for me... I found I liked it even less the second time around. To be honest, I kept loosing attention the first time around and thought I missed, well, like big gaps of information... so I thought I should read it again to see what it really was.

The strangest l
Sep 21, 2020 rated it liked it

Apparently 3.5 is my new favorite Goodreads score...

Frankly, I was a bit embarrassed about the whole thing. Picking up my ex-boyfriend for comfort, like a nubby old blanket. Only women who were babies did things like that. I had always prided myself on not being a baby-woman. In fact, I wasn't a baby even when I was an actual baby. My first full sentence, when I was eighteen months old, was "Don't pick me up." I have always been little and cute, my whole life; my whole life people have wanted
Sep 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Thank you to NetGalley for a Kindle ARC of The Regrets.

I was so excited when my request was approved.

I love ghost stories, the darker, macabre, and scary, the better.

The Regrets was more than that, though, not what I expected, but not in a bad way.

When Thomas is prevented from achieving his proper death due to bureaucratic red tape, his respite on earth for a few more months is shaken by the appearance of a young, beautiful woman named Rachel.

The two of them begin a strange, wondrous, co
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5. This was weird.... in the most delicious way.
Jan 21, 2020 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition

I really love all those beautifully crafted slice-of-life style observations that are prevalent in literary fiction, but I just can't seem to get excited about them unless they're in the context of some weirdo fantasy setup. In that regard this book was just *chef kiss* perfect. 

The story follows Thomas, a guy who had an encounter with an angel as a kid when the angel mistook him for a different boy she was there to collect.  When he dies for real many years later, the angel that comes for him i
Oct 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sex after death, sex with the dead – he couldn’t get enough before he died, he couldn’t get enough after he died. She becomes consumed with him and consumed by him. It took a metaphysic acupuncturist to put things right.

So, a young man gets into a motorcycle accident and wakes up to find out that due to a mishap he is dead before his time. Not knowing what to do with him, the befuddled bureaucratic powers that be, send him back temporarily, in an altered state, with very strict rules regarding h
Abbie | ab_reads
May 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio
3.25 stars

(gifted listen via @librofm & @littlebrown) I started listening to this quirky little book on a complete whim. Paranormal romance is not something I've ever tried before, and honestly, it was pretty fun! When Rachel meets Thomas at the bus stop, he seems to be the package deal: handsome, funny, intelligent. There's just the teeny tiny issue of him being dead.
This is the first audiobook I've listened to with different narrators for chapters from different characters' perspectives and i
Feb 13, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, audiobooks
The Regrets starts with laying out what happens after you die. I loved the strange angels that tell you that you don't want to incur regrets. It sounds scary and weird and like a challenge for our main character.

But the book changes perspectives, going to the girl who falls in love with the not-yet-dead boy and then we learn about her ex-boyfriend and the atmosphere of the book changed here for me. I thought it was going to be more about the afterlife and less of an uncomfortable love story. I t
Michelle P.
A strange falling in and out of love story involving a human girl and a dead boy. The writing is so otherworldly and whimsical it felt like being in a dream - like, it took place in NYC in modern times, but also, it didn’t. Hilarious and dark, this book was unlike anything I’ve read before.
Anna Palmer
Aug 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Strong writing and prose. Wonderfully absurd premise. I really enjoyed this book!
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