When a reaper comes to collect Wallace Price from his own funeral, Wallace suspects he really might be dead.
Instead of leading him directly to the afterlife, the reaper takes him to a small village. On the outskirts, off the path through the woods, tucked between mountains, is a particular tea shop, run by a man named Hugo. Hugo is the tea shop’s owner to locals and the ferryman to souls who need to cross over.
But Wallace isn’t ready to abandon the life he barely lived. With Hugo’s help he finally starts to learn about all the things he missed in life.
When the Manager, a curious and powerful being, arrives at the tea shop and gives Wallace one week to cross over, Wallace sets about living a lifetime in seven days.
By turns heartwarming and heartbreaking, this absorbing tale of grief and hope is told with TJ Klune’s signature warmth, humor, and extraordinary empathy.
oh no oh NO
I was so excited for this book that I preordered the signed, sprayed edges edition from Waterstones. The book is stunningly gorgeous, I will say that. Last year, House on the Cerulean Sea topped my list of favorite 2020 books. And previously his indie series were some of my favorites. I went into this book expecting to love it, especially because so many people said it made them ugly cry. I was prepared; I brought tissues and everything for my lunch break, 100% prepared to have to explain to my coworkers why I was sobbing my heart out in the middle of the day. Little did I expect…that I wasn’t going to like the book.
While I didn’t hate the book, I also didn’t love it either. It’s a firmly middle ground book that I might try again in half a year or something. As I read it, I just found…I struggled to get into it. I like books with lots of characterization and character focus. Addie LaRue for example. I VERY much enjoyed that book. But this one…just didn’t work for me in the same way. It was slow, but slow in a way that I found uninteresting at best. Which is odd, because I love slow books. Just…something didn’t click with me in regards to this book.
The concept of the book was very neat, and I thought that was interesting, but I kept having to restrain the urge to skip through parts where I felt nothing was happening, plot wise or character wise. Which was very frustrating for me because I was trying to get myself to like the book.
I also liked the variety of characters that were included in the book. I think they could have been so much more interesting, but for the most part I felt apathy about them all. On top of that the romantic relationship just didn’t work for me.
I also love Klune’s writing. He’s got such a great writing style, but in this case, the book overall didn’t work for me with his writing style. I don’t know what happened.
This is one of those books that is going to go on my shelf because it’s a special edition and one that I might see if a change of mood will make me like it.
Suffice to say I am heartbroken and disappointed that I didn’t love the book.