You may have noticed that I haven’t reviewed any books for ages. This usually happens when I read a book that I haven’t particularly enjoyed and am caught up as I want to give it a fair review and also think I should be honest.
This happened with Twelve Months that I read a couple of months ago, and have since been thinking “I have got to write that review” and have written it in my head about 20 times over!
I was contacted by the author and asked whether I would like a copy to review, which I was very happy to – the actual premise was intriguing, if not unique.
Don DiMarco has everything he wants in life, a loving family, adorable grandchildren, a good job, a lovely home and all seems great.
But then suddenly Don is diagnosed with colon cancer and given just one year to live. With the total support of his family, Don creates his own ‘bucket list’ ad sets about doing all those things that he never got around to before, but which suddenly feel that he needs to do while he still can.
As I said before, a bucket list isn’t a new idea, but it sounded like it would likely be a heart-wrenching, emotional read – a complete change from the kind of books I have been reading lately.
It should have been emotional. I should have felt moved to tears. I should have clung onto Don every step of his difficult journey. I should have felt elated every time he crossed something off of his list, and I should have sobbed thinking of his family watching him slowly deteriorate before their eyes.
But I didn’t. I couldn’t stand Don DiMarco and to be completely honest, I couldn’t wait for him to die. I am not heartless and cold, but he didn’t feel real to me. For someone so family-orientated and dying, I felt he lacked any emotion – and even worse, any character.
I think my main problem with the book was the acceptance of his impending death. There never seemed to be any anger, from anyone. This felt to me like the kind of book that a church group would recommend as a good read, even though there wasn’t anything religious within it.
And the dialogue was clunky – I couldn’t believe that anyone would really talk to each other the way that they did. especially within such a close-knit family about to lose one of their own.
It was all so sickly-sweet. There were far too many lines that literally made me want to either vomit or throw my Kindle across the room. For example:
“Bella and I talked for hours. “Sweet dreams,” she finally said. “I’m living one of them, babe,” I told her and could feel the warmth of her smile.”
“You really are a beautiful man, Dad,” she said, her eyes misting over. I shook my head. “I’m not sure about that, but I do have a beautiful daughter.”
And that is how they all speak to each other ALL THE TIME. I’m sorry, that kind of candy-floss just isn’t for me. It doesn’t feel real and although I guess it’s meant to convey their love for each other, the unrealistic dialogue just makes them feel one-dimensional and lacking any emotion at all.
Of course, the book did manage perhaps one of its intentions – it did make me wonder what I would do in Don’s position. And I guess that is something.
I am really sorry Mr Manchester, but this book wasn’t for me at all. I do not feel I am the ‘taget market’.