Book Review

DEAR EDWARD by Ann Napolitano (Out 1/6/2020)

Publication Date: 1/6/2020

Rating: 4.5 / 5

I received a complimentary digital galley of DEAR EDWARD by Ann Napolitano in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Dial Press / Random House Publishing and Netgalley for the chance to read and review!

DEAR EDWARD follows Edward Adler. As a twelve year old Eddie is moving with his family to Los Angeles, leaving on a full flight out of Newark. Some hours later the plane crashes and Edward is the only survivor. Still recovering from his injuries and dealing with the trauma of the crash and the loss of his parents and his older brother, Edward goes to live with his aunt and uncle. People around the world are caught up in his miraculous story, including those who lost loved ones on the downed plane.

The book is told in alternating sections. Edward’s story from the time he wakes up in the hospital is played out over the next several years. He befriends the neighbor girl and works with a therapist to deal with everything he has been through. In the alternating sections the author gives us the hours spent on the plane with rapidly shifting points of view between different passengers. We hear more about why they’re on board and what is waiting for them in California.

This book was so heartbreaking, but so beautifully done at the same time! Edward is a character who will absolutely tug at your heartstrings. The trauma he experienced and the ways in which he deals with it feel very real. I love that the author gave us his story spread out over years because this is the type of experience that of course would stay with you. It isn’t about getting over it, is more about finding a way to continue on.

Though I was drawn more into the chapters that gave us Edward’s story, I did like seeing the stories of those people on board the plane. Of course knowing that none of them made it to their destination to fulfill their dreams and plans was again heartbreaking. I wasn’t quite as drawn into all of their stories, but getting the point of view of Edward’s parents and his brother definitely added to the story for me!

This was a quick read, though not always an easy one. If you happen to be looking for a coming of age story for a 2020 reading challenge, this is one I would highly recommend! I think this would also work well for the Around the Year in 52 Books prompt for a book about survival.

DEAR EDWARD will be out on Monday January 6, 2020 and it was also a Book of the Month pick for December, so keep your eyes out for this one!

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