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  • ★★-2

Review: All This Time by Mikki Daughtry and Rachael Lippincott (Spoiler-Alert)

** spoiler alert **

~ Thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for providing me with an early copy in exchange for an honest review! RELEASE DATE: September 29 ~

'That's the first thing you said to me, remember? Once upon a time.'

This book really put me through the wringer. It started out so strong, such a great depiction of grief and learning how to accept one's feelings and then... then it got really, really dumb.

I appreciated so much of what was going on, what Marley was providing for Kyle, and that's when I had the thought, What if Marley isn't real? I thought that would be very fitting and a great way to symbolize Kyle's journey dealing with his grief. Unfortunately, this book simply took things too far.

As I kept reading, another thought crept into my mind, What if Kyle is dreaming all of this and he'll wake up back where he started? Lol that would be so incredibly stupid.

Little did I know that not only was this the case, but it got even worse and more over the top. More over the top than the whole thing being him in a coma? Yes. And no, I don't know how the authors managed to pull that off, let alone how it got past the editors.

Not only was he in a coma that whole time, BUT MARLEY WAS REAL AND WAS READING HIM THEIR ENTIRE STORY.

Yes. I did not make that up. Besides the obvious logistical problems this brings up (how did none of his family and friends- let alone the nurses!!- never see this random girl reading to him literally ALL THE TIME????), but it also just... rubs me the wrong way. Like. Why is it okay that this random girl chose an incapacitated boy to build an entire relationship with????? How was she even allowed in the room???? I just. No.

I thought the escalation would end there. It couldn't POSSIBLY get worse, right? Wrong.

Kyle buys her a dog. Yup, just buys it online and it shows up and he just gives it to her without consulting a single person for permission! Always good to give a dog to a person you just met without even telling them to get any supplies, let alone ask if they have the time and energy to devote to it. Anyway, as annoying as that is, it is NOTHING. I repeat, NOTHING compared to the what happens next.

Marley jumps in front of a car to save a child because she feels guilt about her sister dying in the same way. I'm not done yet. Then, when she's in the hospital, her injuries don't seem to be that bad, and the doctor says that she's simply choosing to die. I'm not even going to mention how harmful that could be to someone dealing with terminal illness or grieving, but you know what, it gets even worse. So then, MARLEY DIES. Yup, she straight up flatlines. And then- and here's the kicker!- she simply chooses to come back to life!!! She just wanted to say bye to her dead sister!! Haha! Yes!! So good to completely discredit every good lesson about grief previously provided by this book by romanticizing death!!!!

And then the book just ends.

So... yeah, I think it's fair to assume I'm not too keen to read more from these authors, though I do like their writing style. If the synopsis of their next work piques my interest I'd be willing to give it a try, but so much of this just had me in disbelief of how bad it got.

I'm giving it that extra star, bumping it up to 2, because up until he woke up from the coma this was a solid 4 star book. Marley being real brought it down to a 2.5, and then the whole her dying and coming back to life randomly in the last like 20 pages solidly drove it down into a 2.

Honestly I'd highly recommend not reading this book, but it was easy to read, and the beginning held some merit.


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