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Abandoned by Booklikes

Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!

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The Main Character Was Too Hard to Take

Death and Other Happy Endings - Melanie Cantor

Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.

Wow. This book ended up not working for me at all. Probably because the initial premise (Jennifer Cole) being diagnosed with an incurable condition giving her months to live didn't really get focused on too much. Instead we focused on Jennifer writing letters to her ex-husband, her ex's current wife, her ex-lover, her ex-childhood friend, and her sister. Yeah these are all people that Jennifer had or has issues with and who she wants to clear things off her chest. It could have been done in a funny way, but it didn't work for me. Don't get me started on how the big suddenly changes mid-stream into Jennifer becoming obsessed with her ex, then a lie, another lie, and then the book tries to jump to some chick lit ending. That is not to disparage chick lit by the way, it just didn't fit with the initial parts of the book at all.

"Death and Other Happy Endings" has just been told she has 90 days before she will die. After telling her best friend and crying (I would be too) her friend encourages her to write letters to people she still has a lot of complicated feelings about. So she does. And then mayhem ensues. I won't get into everyone's response, but am going to say that Jennifer and her sister's relationship being changed was the only highlight in this story. After Jennifer reconnects with her ex it just becomes about him. And believe me if I got a deadly diagnosis I would not give two shits about any of my ex's. I would be trying to squeeze things in that I want to do and let the people I love know how much I love them. Anyway.


I didn't like Jennifer much. Her life seems really empty and her house is always cold and apparently dirty. It's like she gave up on anything before her diagnosis. It would have been wonderful to see her embrace life or something, but nope she's just obsessed about her ex.

Jennifer's sister is a mess. You read about their past relationship and I can see why they are not close. But them trying to be close had some laugh out loud moments which is why I gave this book two stars.

Jennifer's ex I think was named Harry. Harry sucks and the fact that Jennifer refused to see it was frustrating to read after a while.

Jennifer writing a letter to her ex's current wife was a bit much for me. It had been a decade I think in the book's timeline so her acting like a woman scorned and her saying what about the sisterhood didn't work for me.

Jennifer's ex was a wanker. 

The writing felt choppy after a while. I got bored and then Cantor throws in a twist I saw coming. And then there's another twist I didn't see coming, but at that point I didn't care. The flow of the book was all messed up honestly. I don't know a way to fix it. I think trying to shoehorn everything into one book didn't work. 

The book ends on what I think they see as a happy ending but I went oh boy that's going to be a mess eventually.