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Life and Other Near-Death Experiences Paperback – November 1, 2015
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When Libby Miller receives a shocking cancer diagnosis from a less-than-empathetic doctor, she thinks it’s the worst thing that could happen to her. Having watched her mother slowly and agonizingly lose her own battle with cancer, Libby is determined that she will not put her family through a similar experience. She decides to forego treatment and is about to break the news to her husband, but before she can, he delivers astonishing news of his own. With no marriage to speak of and only months remaining, Libby decides to live like there’s no tomorrow. Telling no one of her plans, she escapes to the equatorial sun of Vieques, a small island near Puerto Rico. But will her resolve withstand the concern of her twin brother, the friendship of her island landlady, and the growing love of a handsome Puerto Rican pilot? Instead of doom and gloom, Libby’s journey is one of hilarious turns and heartfelt realizations. Though unrealistic, it is just the uplifting medicine some doctors would order. —Cortney Ophoff
“More than just a cancer narrative, Life and Other Near Death Experiences is a story about seizing life and ditching what others expect of you. It will make you laugh. It will make you ugly cry. And it will make you want to live your own life to its greatest potential.” —HelloGiggles
“Camille Pagan's Life and Other Near-Death Experiences is anything but formulaic: it's unceasingly delightful, and Libby Miller is a sensitive, super-smart Everywoman hero you'll come to adore.” —Bustle
“Tackling two serious topics with grace and humor, Ms. Pagan has delivered a novel full of rich characters and a quick-paced story line...This story is an easy read about uneasy topics, something hard to accomplish but that Ms. Pagan does wonderfully.” —Manhattan Book Review
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It was well written and well edited. Witty humor was interjected throughout, and while centered around a deep subject, the book was light and yes, maybe a bit fluffy. I felt that the main characters were well developed and part of what kept me hooked was that I cared about Libby and wanted to see what happened to her. I appreciate that this was a "clean" book - no swearing, no explicit sex scenes, but I would have liked Libby's first love scene to have been slightly more detailed. At only a sentence or two long, at first I wasn't sure if it was something that had actually happened.
I disagree with what one reviewer said about everything being neatly tied up in a bow at the end. Not everything with Libby was tied up at the end of the book -which I found surprisingly unpredictable. Yes, there was a happy ending of course - and I would not have wanted it any other way.
(Getting an early release copy through Prime is in no way tied to a promise of writing a review.)
I picked this one as my October Prime Kindle First freebie...I can't remember the words exactly but something along the lines of a really gripping tale of life's challenges and how finding love in the wake of crisis is healing is what sold me.
Let's see...there's no doubt that it sucks to find out you're dying but follow it up with finding out the love of your life isn't who you thought he was, I can't imagine what kind of day in hell that was. However, as heartbreaking as the second matter was, I feel like Libby took the mega low road. Like core of the earth low road. Very childish.
Regarding her job...YES!!! Tell that b**** to shove it where the sun don't shine!!!
I agree and disagree with her decision not to tell anyone yet. But I feel like her rash decisions and actions are all emotion based, absolutely no logic. Then again that is just who I am...I'm also the type of person who would need a support system rather than shutting everyone out until the time is right. I feel like they would be upset she kept the secret for so long.
50% : so we're in Puerto Rico and we know about Shiloh...but what the heck is it with the kiss leading to sex and done so quickly? I feel like I was deprived if saucy details...which to be honest I skim over because they are generally the same from book to book ..but hell if I don't want the option to read it!!
Something tells me that she's going to go through with treatment and I'm going to have a HEA...who knows
. But I do love this attraction between Libby and Shiloh. Just the fact that he's been through cancer is what leads me to believe there's a HEA in sight...it's what they'll bond over, she'll end up moving to PR indefinitely and they'll have numerous babies together like she's dreamed of. Tom can suck it (not really, I'm sure he's sweet).
OMG queue the tears during the conversation with her dad!! So special and honestly sounds like the reaction my dad would have. So calm and reserved and supportive.
I have to say, all in all it was a great read. I wish the epilogue was part of the story though, so many happy moments just mulled over in one section with the wedding and the pregnancy. :( I called it tho didn't I, HEA with Shiloh and multiple babies...hahaha!!
The book itself I felt was like a pessimist's Eat Pray Love. There were several times where I thought to myself, "This feels a lot like Elizabeth Gilbert's Bali." It was just the general feelings engendered by the experiences that made me feel like that. Libby, the MC in this book, didn't have the same sunny outlook on life that Ms. Gilbert displays though, but with very good reason.
The basic question this book made me think about was "What would I do if I had nothing left to lose?" Libby was fortunate enough to be in a good position financially when it came her turn to answer the question, which gave her a lot more options. I think most of us would love to be able to say, "I'm out," for a month or so at least once in our lives, and that's exactly what Libby did. I did spend a lot of time wondering if her reaction and actions would have been different without her husband's bombshell though.
Overall I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars because it was very entertaining and kept me engaged, even when I was listening instead of reading, and overall the narration was pretty good.
Reviewed on Just Another Girl and Her Books blog