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Planning to Live (Toronto Series Book 3) [Kindle Edition]

Heather Wardell
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $18.95
Kindle Price: $2.99
You Save: $15.96 (84%)

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Book Description

Thirty-something Rhiannon is an obsessive planner and goal-setter, but somehow nothing she achieves ever seems good enough to her. Determined to lose forty pounds for her best friend's August wedding, Rhiannon flees her parents' house in a Christmas-day blizzard to avoid the temptation of all her favorite foods, but her car skids off the deserted road into a tree.

Unable to escape the car, with her leg trapped and bleeding and her cell phone out of reach, Rhiannon is at first certain she'll be rescued and writes notes to her friends and family to pass the time. As the weather cools and her condition deteriorates, though, she recognizes the possibility that her life might be over. Interspersed with increasingly desperate escape attempts, her letters become deeper and more heart-felt as she comes to see what really matters in life.

She's spent her whole life planning but hasn't ever really lived. Will she get the chance to change that?

Editorial Reviews


"Once in a blue moon I stumble upon a book that touches me so deeply it alters my thinking. This book did that for me."

This novel is not your typical girl-suddenly-discovers-herself novel. It's down-to-earth, real and sensitively written.

[Rhiannon] felt very real to me. The book does have serious, emotional moments, but it is balanced nicely with funny and witty scenes.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2576 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0042G0QD4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,725 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars There are not enough words......... May 26, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
*Spoiler Alert*

There are not enough words to express how much I disliked this book. I commend the author for her artfully crafted tale but the last third of the book was awful. I had a hard time building a rapport with Rhiannon and failed. Who has the time for people with that much self distain? When she drowned in her self pity and turned to Joel, I lost interest. I also have a hard time understanding why other reviews found her insights on life so great. Do you seriously need to be told to take time to enjoy life? And what is the point in her realising it when its too late?

It's ironic the author is trying to pass this message on through a story filled with sadness. I didn't come away thinking, oh gee I'm going to look at life differently now, I just felt that she didn't deserve the great people in her life. They were the ones I felt bad for. They love and support this person who doesn't really take the time to realise it until she's been trapped in a car! I think the worst thing is I walked away feeling more sad for the cat than I did for Rhiannon.

I wish I had read a review that hinted at the sad ending as I wouldn't have bothered. I try to make a point never to read books designed to leave you feeling sad, there's enough tragedy in life without looking for it in books, a pursuit that should bring pleasure.

Although I have read another book by this author that I enjoyed, I won't be going out of my way to read any more. She has left me feeling distrustful of her work, especially seeing as this book was listed as a romance. People read romance for happy endings!!!!
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37 of 47 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Definitely no HEA here-SPOILERS ALERT June 18, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
While I think that Heather Wardell is a talented author, having read most of her other works, I must admit that this story was a total failure for me.


This whole book was so depressing, I don't even know how to write this review. The main character is pinned in her car after crashing it in a snow storm. She is unable to free herself or reach for her cell phone to get help and she begins to reflect on her life for the past 2 years, a life which has had some absolutely horrible experiences in it.

I understand the author's premise of wanting to get people to think about living their lives to the fullest, but based on the tragedy that Rhiannon had suffered and then - at least in my opinion - had finally started to believe in herself and live again, the ending is so totally wrong that I even can't believe it.

This book was so depressing all the way through that the only way I could continue to the end was to convince myself that as it was in 1st person, all things would be resolved well. Not.

Perhaps I'm in the minority, but I don't want to read a book to feel so horrible afterward, no matter how much it's supposed to make me appreciate life. I would still have gotten the message if Rhiannon had survived to show how she had learned her lesson by actually accomplishing something instead of leaving letters telling others to carry out her unfulfilled wishes.

I wish that I had never read this book.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Message for Everyone, Very Powerful Book October 31, 2010
This was such a powerful read. I wasn't expecting to be so moved, or to take the book's message to heart like I have. This book reminded me in such a good way of how I felt reading Gayle Forman's If I Stay.

Rhiannon is a thirty-something perfectionist. She holds herself to unattainable standards and is always beating herself up about her weight and not being good enough at every part of her life. She has a tragic past, which is revealed little by little as she reflects on her life throughout the story. Rhiannon gets in a car wreck on the way home from her parents' house on Christmas Day. The whole reason why she's driving home in a blizzard is so ironic, because she's trying to escape the temptation of fattening foods at her parents' house.

The story starts with Rhiannon stuck in her car, just off the road, and she can't reach her phone to call for help. While she waits to be rescued, she thinks back on her life. The entire book alternates between Rhiannon in her car in the present day and flashbacks. Sometimes this kind of writing style can be choppy, but it works well here and keeps the story moving at a fast pace. I found this book impossible to put down. Wardell grabbed me right from the beginning and I finished this book really quickly because I couldn't wait to find out if Rhiannon gets her happily ever after or not.

Just One Gripe:
Don't judge this book by its cover. The cookies actually play a large role in the story, and have a special meaning.

The Best Thing About This Book:
The best thing about Planning to Live is the positive message. You'll feel better about yourself and will appreciate your life more after reading this book. How many books can you honestly say that about?

Appropriate for a younger audience:

Characters: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Setting/Imagery: 5/5
Originality: 4/5
Ending: 4/5
Total Score: 23/25
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the time... April 11, 2012
By oilscat
Format:Kindle Edition
This book was a journey of a character, great, but then I got to the end and wonder what Heather was thinking when she wrote this.
The character has all these revelations to what end???
Not worth the time to read it.
It has put me off ever reading any more of her novels.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read!
I really enjoyed this book. I love everything this author writes but this one was especially enjoyable. I liked the way it went back in time and the ending was a surprise.
Published 29 days ago by Mare
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring but compelled to find out what happens
Not worth reading unless paid to do so. The main character suffered a devasting loss. She would be more believable as an anoexic than 50lb overweight! Read more
Published 1 month ago by mary jo baden
5.0 out of 5 stars Why is important in your life?
I really enjoyed Planning To Live. Surprised at the ending. This author is enjoyable to read, makes you think about real life . What is really important to you?
Published 3 months ago by Evelyn Morris
5.0 out of 5 stars This Book Changed My Life
Planning To Live is Heather's fourth novel and having finished Planning To Live in a few hours, I have to say, I feel like I was missing out, not knowing her name until now. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Andrea J. Guy
5.0 out of 5 stars Ever Have a Book Change Your Life?
This book has opened my eyes. Before reading this I went around in a cocoon of sorts. After reading this book I learned to appreciate the small things in life. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Marie
2.0 out of 5 stars Book is good, Ending Sucks
I loved the book itself, but was very disappointed in the ending! Change the ending. The book is not worth reading for that horrible ending. Do Not Read if you like happy endings!
Published 5 months ago by LMHodne
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly crafted and heartbreaking
This is a story about a life, about a woman learning to love, learning to be who she is, and surviving an unthinkable tragedy... and loving again. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Lolly
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book
I've read at least 5 of the Toronto Series books, each has been unique and fun to read. I really enjoy them and this one was very moving.
Published 14 months ago by L Mayr
3.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointed
This review contains spoilers! Be warned.

The whole story reminds me of one zen parable:
A man walking across a field encounters a tiger. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Maryna Cherniavska
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this one too!
All Heather's books are great. Wonderful stories and I am always surprised that her books have different story lines. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Mom
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More About the Author

Want a free monthly story and updates about Heather's books? Copy into your browser's address bar to sign up.

Heather is a natural 1200 wpm speed reader and the author of fifteen self-published novels including the free ebook "Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo" which has had over 380,000 downloads.

She came to writing after careers as a software developer and elementary school computer teacher and has no plans to leave it.

In her spare time, she reads, runs, swims, crochets, takes care of her aquarium and her cat Trinity, and plays drums and clarinet. Generally not all at once.

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