The Reminder by Rune Michaels

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The Reminder by Rune Michaels

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Category: Teens
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath
Reviewed by Keith Dudhnath
Summary: An outstanding look at the various ways a family cope with the death of their mother. It's incredibly moving, beautifully written, and everyone should read it - teens and adults alike. Top notch.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 192 Date: January 2009
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1847382436

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Daze's mum is dead. She lives with her father and her little brother Ryan. They're all getting by as best they can, but are naturally still very saddened by the loss. Things change dramatically when Daze starts hearing her dead mother's voice...

When you buy The Reminder (and you must, as it's superb), don't read the blurb. It gives away too much of the plot and makes it sound like a sci-fi thriller. Yes, Daze's father is a scientist, but it's a plot device rather than the fundamental point of the book. The alternative is to not reveal much of the plot at all, and make it sound like it's about madness - it's not. It's about grief and how people cope with it.

It's very sad, but not maudlin. You'll cry, but you'll be glad you did. It's moving, not harrowing. It's absolutely perfect from first word to last - there's not a single thing that could be improved. It's such a stunning book. It's just beautiful. The grief is real, is natural, is believable, is touching, is heart-breaking. Daze, Ryan and their dad are all dealing with life and death in their own individual ways; all ring true, all touch a nerve.

And yet because it's 'just' a book for teens, The Reminder won't get the wide audience it deserves. Teens will read it, devour it and love it, but adults are missing out. It's not lighter because it's a book for teens, it's tighter, more focussed and note-perfect. Read it. Do whatever you need to not be put off - stick it in a Harry Potter dust jacket if you must, or pretend it's a novella. Whatever you do, just read it. Highly highly highly recommended.

Huge thanks to Rune Michaels for writing it and equally huge thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.

Other teen fiction that adults should read includes The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon and anything by the always-excellent David Almond.

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Buy The Reminder by Rune Michaels at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Reminder by Rune Michaels at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy The Reminder by Rune Michaels at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Reminder by Rune Michaels at


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