REVIEW: Things I'm Seeing Without You

by Peter Bognanni

Pages: 336
Publisher: Chicken House
Publication Date: 1st Febuary 2018
Received From: Chicken House

Seventeen-year-old Tess talks to Jonah every day; through texts, tweets and emails.

So when she discovers Jonah has committed suicide, her world implodes. Feeling heartbroken and traumatized Tess unexpectedly finds herself at her estranged father’s house, wondering how well she really knew Jonah. Now, having dropped out of high school, struggling with questions about life and loss, Tess and her father come together to try and find the answers.

First things first, can I just say that Chicken House are smashing it out of the park with their YA's this year!! I mean seriously, I've not read a book that I've not wanted to immediately re-read and Things I'm Seeing Without You is no exception. I'll be honest I thought this book was going to be a little bit depressing when I first started reading it but as the story unfolded you notice the humour in it, the notes that make you smile and the moments that catch your breath. It delves into a situation no one wants to find themselves in and resolves itself in the most peculiar of manners, and I wouldn't change a single second of it. 

Things I'm Seeing Without You is the story of Tess, a girl who's life gets flipped on its head when the boy she's fallen in love with commits suicide. He said he loved her, but now he's gone, and Tess has to find a way to come to terms with what she's lost. Tess’s life feels like it's stopped with the boy’s, she lost as she drops out of school and moves in with her estranged father (who by the way just happens to be running a funeral business - of sorts). But life hasn't stopped and from this point on everything is going to be different, things Tess thought she knew will come unravelled as she discovers the truth about the boy she's been talking to everyday for months. 

Finding a balance between writing a good story and being respectful to the difficult issues you're writing about is not an easy task. In Things I'm Seeing Without You Bognanni tackles some hard subjects, but he manages to find a way to mix the difficult with the storytelling to produce a book that hits right in the feels. 

It is no secret that the way to a good review from me is to write a load of messed up characters and show me that they can find redemption and this book does exactly that! Okay, well... maybe not messed up as such but the characters in this book are falling apart. Unsure how to get through the day after the worst thing they could ever imagine happening happens. But as the story continues you find yourself wishing the characters forward, and somehow... in a way I did not see coming... they find their way to the end of the book. 

At first this seems like a book about death but in reality, it’s about living, celebrating life and finding a way to go on in the most unexpected of ways. Things I'm Seeing Without You is a story that will have you grabbing for the tissues at times but at it is also filled with small smiles, great storytelling and characters you can't help but care about. If you haven't had the chance to read this book yet, then I cannot recommend it enough! 

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