22 December 2010
It's not a story I normally would have picked up to read, however I found it enjoyable. The majority of the story is told in flashback and Rhiannon is definitely your standard high achiever and go-getter. She's obsessed with goals and closes each day by running off her list of achievements while staring at herself in the mirror. She applies the same methodical and diligent approach to all areas of her life, with her job as a brilliant programmer for a computer game, and with her attempt to lose weight. There is a separate storyline with her former fiancé that really did keep the first 100 pages turning and the event that separates "before" and "now" is definitely not what you would expect, but it helps to clear up why Rhiannon has become even more goal-obsessed.
However, it's clear that Rhiannon's way of life is debilitating. No one can be this driven in life without losing something else in the process, and she is no different. The sacrifices that she makes to always check each item off her list seem suffocating, and almost a never-ending cycle of never feeling good enough. I did wish that the story had been told more in a third person voice versus first person -- at times it seemed tough to really get to know the character because Rhiannon herself may not have been familiar with who she truly was. And maybe that was the goal, but I think I would have felt it a bit more grounded if told in a more removed voice. There also were a few scenes that, with clapping and cheering from co-workers, seemed just a little contrived and fit more with a typical "Hollywood" moment than in a story of a real girl who is faced with a revelation at, potentially, the last moments of her life.
The story, though, was well written and paced -- Rhiannon is an "every-girl" character. Relatable to many women, her struggle to lose weight is forefront, but underneath it, her thoughts of true happiness in life are overshadowed by the immediate danger that she is in. While she struggles to stay alive, she writes letters to the people that mean the most to her and as she writes, she feels the strength to acknowledge that perhaps she didn't really live her life the way she should have. Is the realization too little, too late? Or is it too late, but enough? Questions that all of us, at one point or another, go through.
It's a sad story, yet uplifting, and it did keep my interest. While it still may not be the type of book I normally pick up in the future, I enjoyed the story, and felt a bit better for it.
Thanks to the Crazy Book Tours for providing a copy for my review. Visit the author's site by clicking here.
Coffee and a Book Chick