Things I'm Seeing Without You
Seventeen-year-old Tess Fowler has just dropped out of high school. She can barely function after learning of Jonah’s death. Jonah, the boy she’d traded banter with over texts and heartfelt e-mails.Jonah, the first boy she'd told she loved and the first boy to say it back. Jonah, the boy whose suicide she never saw coming. Tess continues to write to Jonah, as a way of processing her grief and confusion. But for now she finds solace in perhaps the unlikeliest of ways: by helping her father with his new alternative funeral business, where his biggest client is . . . a prized racehorse?As Tess’s involvement in her father’s business grows, both find comfort in the clients they serve and in each other. But love, loss, and life are so much more complicated than Tess ever thought. Especially after she receives a message that turns her life upside down.

Things I'm Seeing Without You Details

TitleThings I'm Seeing Without You
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 3rd, 2017
PublisherDial Books
ISBN-139780735228047
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Fiction

Things I'm Seeing Without You Review

  • Whitney Atkinson
    January 1, 1970
    My grandma's library gave this to her for free and she passed it on to me, and I figured I would never read it because I haven't been a fan of YA contemporary for years, but I was pleasantly surprised! I picked this up because it said it would appeal to fans of I'll Give You The Sun, which is one of my favorite contemporaries of all time back when I read the genre a lot. I started this on a whim not knowing if I'd actually get into and if I should just pass it along, but the narrator and the ton My grandma's library gave this to her for free and she passed it on to me, and I figured I would never read it because I haven't been a fan of YA contemporary for years, but I was pleasantly surprised! I picked this up because it said it would appeal to fans of I'll Give You The Sun, which is one of my favorite contemporaries of all time back when I read the genre a lot. I started this on a whim not knowing if I'd actually get into and if I should just pass it along, but the narrator and the tone of the novel sucked me in. It's a story about grief and recovery from losing someone close to you, which I can't relate to, but the main character struggled a lot from anxiety and depression and using humor as a coping mechanism, which is something I COULD relate to. There were passages in this that just made me stop and go, "Whoa. That's me." And that hasn't happened in a long time.I loved the main character of this book, Tess. I thought her fight to overcome her grief was valiant, and her choices felt justified and fleshed out. Her personality was very take-no-bullshit, which I appreciated. It's about a girl who's mourning, but she's not just wallowing in her own self-pity. The reason why I took a star off is because I was questioning how realistic it could be. For this to be my only complaint is a massive feat, though. It started out small with just bits of dialogue seeming pretentious and rude for a 17 year-old, a snarkiness that left a bitter taste in my mouth. Then, I began questioning some instalove aspects which I can't really go into without spoiling. Lastly, I think her road to recovery was a bit expedited, and I think a more defined explanation of her battle with mental health issues was needed, because in this book it seemed to recover pretty organically and I was hesitant at how plausible that would be after just a few weeks.Nevertheless, I would definitely recommend this. It made me laugh out loud at certain points, which rarely, RARELY happens.
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  • Korrina (OwlCrate)
    January 1, 1970
    "The way I see it, we have a bunch of imperfect moments all lined up, one after the next, and we feel this strange, imperfect love. Then, before we know it, it's all over. We give everything we have, but that can never be enough to make things just the way we want them, or to keep someone with us as long as we'd like. But the struggle is worth something. And the love is worth something even though it's imperfect. And maybe we should try to celebrate this brief, incomplete thing we've been given. "The way I see it, we have a bunch of imperfect moments all lined up, one after the next, and we feel this strange, imperfect love. Then, before we know it, it's all over. We give everything we have, but that can never be enough to make things just the way we want them, or to keep someone with us as long as we'd like. But the struggle is worth something. And the love is worth something even though it's imperfect. And maybe we should try to celebrate this brief, incomplete thing we've been given. Maybe that's all we can do when we find ourselves in the dark."
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  • Stacee
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsI tend to stay away from angsty books, but I was sucked in by the pretty cover and the comparison to ATBP. I liked Tess well enough. She has an interesting inner monologue and it took me some time to settle into her head space. I did enjoy the interactions between Tess and her father. The funerals are an effective way for Tess to examine what she’s going through. Plot wise, there are things happening, but not really any momentum. At times it felt like the relationship with Jonah was sor 3.5 starsI tend to stay away from angsty books, but I was sucked in by the pretty cover and the comparison to ATBP. I liked Tess well enough. She has an interesting inner monologue and it took me some time to settle into her head space. I did enjoy the interactions between Tess and her father. The funerals are an effective way for Tess to examine what she’s going through. Plot wise, there are things happening, but not really any momentum. At times it felt like the relationship with Jonah was sort of blown out of proportion. I’m not trying to discount her feelings, but I didn’t always see that Jonah was her boyfriend when it felt so casual. I did struggle with this book in the beginning. For the first 50+ pages I wondered if the weird {and maybe sort of cringy} feeling I had was because a male author was writing a female teenager. But then Something Happens — it is referenced in the synopsis about Tess getting a message — and it was that occurrence that turned it around for me. I quickly became invested in the outcome. And yes, I know I’m being vague and that this review doesn’t make a lot of sense. I’ve typed and deleted several things over and over again. Overall, it grabbed me in a way I wasn’t expecting and I really enjoyed the journey.**Huge thanks to Dial Books for providing the arc free of charge**
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  • Cheri
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 StarsTess Fowler is seventeen years old, and has recently fallen in love, for the first time, with a boy she met at a party. They’ve kept in touch since then until recently, when a week went by without a text message or any message at all. When she logs onto his facebook page she finds out that he is gone. Suicide. "I'm scared of living my short short life wrong in every possible way. I'm scared I've already made so many mistakes and I don't have enough time to fix them."She tries, but event 3.5 StarsTess Fowler is seventeen years old, and has recently fallen in love, for the first time, with a boy she met at a party. They’ve kept in touch since then until recently, when a week went by without a text message or any message at all. When she logs onto his facebook page she finds out that he is gone. Suicide. "I'm scared of living my short short life wrong in every possible way. I'm scared I've already made so many mistakes and I don't have enough time to fix them."She tries, but eventually trying becomes too much, too difficult to face people who know nothing of her pain, who expect too much, and she feels like she is failing everyone, including herself. And so, she makes a decision that changes everything.”Dropping out of high school, as it turns out, is only mildly empowering. It is remarkably easy though.”Her mother is off flitting about the world with her latest guy, so when she leaves her Quaker school, she figures that her only real option is to stay at her father’s house. She doesn’t have a very high opinion of him, either. He slowly is taking in that his daughter has voluntarily come to stay with him, and rather than jinx it by asking too many questions, perhaps he asks too few. When he questions her about school, her snappy retort has him take a step back, and he thinks maybe she would learn more, for now, to help him in his latest business venture. Funeral planning.With enough humour to balance the grieving, this is a story of first love, a story of losing someone you love before you ever got to really know them, a story of parental conflicts, depression, suicide, and the struggle for independence, the struggle to be heard as a person and not as a child. Pub Date: 03 Oct 2017I won this in a Goodreads giveaway! Many thanks for the ARC to the publisher!
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  • Olivia (The Candid Cover)
    January 1, 1970
    I wasn’t really sure what I was going into when I first heard about Things I’m Seeing Without You. It is about a girl who loses her boyfriend to suicide, and the main character has an entertaining personality. But what really drew me in was the alternative funeral business. It makes the story a little bit lighter and glances out the sadness of the story. I really enjoyed this one, and I found it to be a unique approach to the grieving process.This book tells the story of a girl recovering from t I wasn’t really sure what I was going into when I first heard about Things I’m Seeing Without You. It is about a girl who loses her boyfriend to suicide, and the main character has an entertaining personality. But what really drew me in was the alternative funeral business. It makes the story a little bit lighter and glances out the sadness of the story. I really enjoyed this one, and I found it to be a unique approach to the grieving process.This book tells the story of a girl recovering from the suicide of her boyfriend. Their relationship was mostly online, so she logs in and writes to him even though he will never be able to respond. Through her messages, she makes some shocking discoveries about Jonah’s true identity, and even meets someone new. Tess also starts working for her father at his unique funeral business, which helps her cope with her grief. I really enjoyed reading about the business and Tess’s experiences planning unconventional funerals that are more entertaining. This book may seem depressing, but you’ll actually find yourself laughing out loud.Tess’s character really lights the mood of this story. She is a high school dropout with a sarcastic and witty attitude. The way she acts and deals with her grief is realistic and believable for someone her age. However, you can tell that she was written by a male author. Tess is easy to sympathize with, and the fact that she loses her first boyfriend is so heartbreaking. She really transforms throughout the book as she moves on, and it is so touching to read.This story is actually pretty funny for a book that is about grief. I really enjoyed the way topics like death are handled and balanced out with humour so that the story isn’t all sad. The funeral business provides a lot of comic relief and introduces some quirky characters. Things I’m Seeing Without You really has a unique take on the grieving process, and I would definitely recommend it to those in the mood for a heavier read.Things I’m Seeing Without You is a heart-wrenching story about a girl moving on from the death of her first boyfriend. The main character is so real, and her sarcasm brings some humour to the book. This book really blends humour and sorrow, so it isn’t actually as depressing as I had anticipated.
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  • Elizabeth La Lettrice
    January 1, 1970
    I've been in a bit of a book rut but this, my friends, is the first book I've read from start to finish in one sitting in a very long time. I also may have sent Snapchats of my ugly crying. Mark your calendars for 9/26/17.
  • Bruna Miranda
    January 1, 1970
    **I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review** "I'm scared that I don't matter, even a little bit, and that no one matters and nothing matters. I'm scared that it all matters and I'm fucking it up. I'm scared of living my short short life wrong in every possible way. I'm scared I've already made so many mistakes and I don't have enough time to fix them." 3,5 - Tess Fowler just lost her boyfriend. Her online boyfriend. They've met a few months back in a house party and stayed in touch a **I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review** "I'm scared that I don't matter, even a little bit, and that no one matters and nothing matters. I'm scared that it all matters and I'm fucking it up. I'm scared of living my short short life wrong in every possible way. I'm scared I've already made so many mistakes and I don't have enough time to fix them." 3,5 - Tess Fowler just lost her boyfriend. Her online boyfriend. They've met a few months back in a house party and stayed in touch and had plans to be together IRL. However, after a week without hearing from Jonah she finds out through his Facebook page he's committed suicide.In shock, Tess drops out of high school to live with her dad - who's now running a funeral business after many unsuccessful attempts. Not long after she receives a message. From Jonah's profile.First things first: the writing is beautiful and catchy. It was a bit faster than I expected - sometimes the story advanced a lot in a few paragraphs, however it didn't feel rushed, only a different pace than I expected.I really enjoyed how the author tried to show all the stages of grief and how many different ways we can deal with death. To some, it's natural and should be seen as such with grace (hence the character's name, I assume), others just can't handle it. As someone who has a lot of issues talking about death, I felt acknowledged and comfortable enough to keep reading.At first, how Daniel comes into the story seemed too weird and unrealistic - his connection with Jonah/Tess is still a bit odd to me, but maybe it's just my lack of awareness of how many ways you can love someone. I feel that Things I'm Seeing Without You is about death, of course, but about love: how do you love someone after they're gone? Should you stop or is there a way to keep that love true?I really, really liked Tess. She's sarcastic and unapologetic as I would expect - I particularly enjoyed seeing her being "overly" sarcastic in some situations because that's her comfort zone and trying to sound "funny" was a mechanism of trying to go back to that. Despite of how he entered the story, I feel more connected to Daniel than Jonah. Even though he (Jonah) is a major part of it all, most of what we see is other people's opinions on him.As someone dealing with depression and other mental health issues, I did have some concerns about a comment or another that I'll probably go back and forth if I'm okay with it or not, but I see why they were there and why the author chose to portrait all of it to create a bigger picture.What kept me from giving it a higher rating: the last 30% of the novel seemed a bit rushed - now it wasn't just the writing. The events happened so fast I found myself going back to check if I was caught in it all. Even though explained within the story, it was a tad unrealistic.Yes, I would recommend it to whoever enjoys sick-lits, a good writing style, and a new perceptive on death and mourning. :)
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  • Inge
    January 1, 1970
    Things I'm Seeing Without You was a book that held a lot of meaning. At first sight, it is a book about depression, suicide and grief. But when you (gently) brush away that first layer, it is also a book about first loves, second loves, celebrating life, and finding yourself by finding others. That's about as cryptic as I can go.I am having quite a hard time forming words right now; can't really seem to get my thoughts on screen. "It takes so much energy to make things easy for me. I have to go Things I'm Seeing Without You was a book that held a lot of meaning. At first sight, it is a book about depression, suicide and grief. But when you (gently) brush away that first layer, it is also a book about first loves, second loves, celebrating life, and finding yourself by finding others. That's about as cryptic as I can go.I am having quite a hard time forming words right now; can't really seem to get my thoughts on screen. "It takes so much energy to make things easy for me. I have to go a thousand miles to make it seem like I'm going ten." While there are a lot of funerals in this book, I didn't find it particularly sad. While our main character is dealing with the loss of her first boyfriend, it wasn't too heart-breaking. There were definitely some melancholy moments, but overall I found these funerals to be more celebrations of life (e.g. elderly burlesque dancers - Mamie Lee's storyline was probably my favourite), and Tess's love life to be more awkward and uncomfortable. You'll know what I mean when you read it - I couldn't fully get behind her love story, which is a big part of why I enjoyed the first half better than the second one.My thoughts seem to be a bit all over the place. Did I like it? Yes. I read the book in two days - it was engaging, quick, and had a lot of heart at times. But I don't think it's a book I will particularly remember a few months from now. There are certainly better mental health books out there. But I would tell you to give this one a try of your own, because it definitely had its unique moments, and it was quite meaningful.Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy
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  • Lena
    January 1, 1970
    If this novel is anything it’s honest.Peter Bognanni takes the pain and heartache of losing someone and packages it into a 300-or-so page story that is at once aching, blunt, and—surprisingly enough—funny.Now, I’ll admit, I’ve been sleeping on this review for a week or so because I wasn’t quite sure how to approach it. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel—in fact, I picked it up at an extremely appropriate time because I had just lost my dog. This year for me has been a valuable lesson in dealing with If this novel is anything it’s honest.Peter Bognanni takes the pain and heartache of losing someone and packages it into a 300-or-so page story that is at once aching, blunt, and—surprisingly enough—funny.Now, I’ll admit, I’ve been sleeping on this review for a week or so because I wasn’t quite sure how to approach it. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel—in fact, I picked it up at an extremely appropriate time because I had just lost my dog. This year for me has been a valuable lesson in dealing with loss, not just of my dog but also of my grandpa. And, as my mom so astutely pointed out, death isn’t hard for the ones who are leaving; it’s hard for the ones who are left behind.This is what Things I’m Seeing Without You is about: the confusion and anguish of being left behind.So, I’m fortunate in that my lesson in loss and grief came quite late because it happens much earlier for other people. For seventeen-year-old Tess Fowler, the unfathomable death of her boyfriend, Jonah, ruptures her knowable reality. As she begins to process her grief, the aching Tess Fowler we meet at the beginning of the novel, who contemplates such cosmic affairs as the slow death of the universe, must figure out how to make the universe a bearable place again.Bognanni manages to capture, in simple descriptions, the most intricate of feelings with such honesty (I’m thinking of a particular instance involving starlings) that it’s almost a blessing we have nothing but images to express the inexpressible.The magic that the novel has tapped into is what I consider the kernel of Young Adult literature. Someone like Tess Fowler is a rich subject for exploring these evocative human experiences because, as a teenager on the cusp of independence, she is so incredibly vulnerable. Her grief is compounded by her innocence. Roberta Seelinger Trites, a prominent YA scholar, argues the purpose of death in YA literature is twofold: it endows the protagonist with experience, and it exposes their agency as finite for death is the ultimate authority figure.That is the hard truth of growing up, I guess—realizing we aren’t universally powerful. Even so, we are not without agency. That is perhaps the most important lesson Bognanni can impart: the cosmic heartache of one’s first experience with loss can, in fact, be remedied with small actions, one day at a time.For a novel so wrapped up in death, Bognanni still finds the time to breathe joy and humour into the story. Sorrow does not come without hope, and with that hope an inkling of certainty that even those who are left behind will eventually find solace and be okay. Things I’m Seeing Without You is ultimately as much about death as it is about being alive.*I received an ARC during a visit to Penguin Random House.*[For more reviews, please visit my blog]
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  • ☽ MaryJane ✨
    January 1, 1970
    I received an email last night that I won this book in a Goodreads give away!! I'm so excited!
  • Larissa Katarina
    January 1, 1970
    Received as a Goodreads giveaway. This was sad but so good. I don't want to say much because I'll give too much away and I feel like you should go blindly into this book unless you have a trigger problem. I don't want to say which trigger because it'll give away too much. Just read it! It's worth the time.
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  • Jane
    January 1, 1970
    Deciding between 2.5 and 3 stars. Really interesting premise, but the characterization was either a mess or non-existent. Also so over male authors who can't write realistic female protagonists.
  • Madison
    January 1, 1970
    This novel takes all the sadness and numbing grief of losing someone and presents it in such an upfront and honest way. Picturesque scenery, dry whit in the midst of heartbreak, broken families trying to heal and help in the only way they can, new beginnings, living funerals, dogs in rocket ships, and love - Things I'm Seeing Without You is brutal and beautiful. How is it that I spent so much time laughing while reading this book when it made me want to cry? Amazing. Tess Fowler has dropped out This novel takes all the sadness and numbing grief of losing someone and presents it in such an upfront and honest way. Picturesque scenery, dry whit in the midst of heartbreak, broken families trying to heal and help in the only way they can, new beginnings, living funerals, dogs in rocket ships, and love - Things I'm Seeing Without You is brutal and beautiful. How is it that I spent so much time laughing while reading this book when it made me want to cry? Amazing. Tess Fowler has dropped out of school in the wake of her boyfriend's suicide, her grief and depression overwhelming. Sure, she only met Jonah once but all their online conversations in the past months were no less real or effecting than any face-to-face relationship. She loved him and his death has left her shaken. With nowhere else to go, she turns up on her father's doorstep. In the following weeks, Tess begins to help her father run his funeral business and meets new people who change her life in ways she never saw coming. Tess is a wonderful narrator. Her voice is unique, she is blunt, honest, has a fantastic whit and all her emotions come so clearly from the page. From her throwing her computer and then herself into a freezing lake, to her ongoing internal communication with Jonah, her fractured but healing relationship with her father, and her bluntness and upfront way of approaching her new relationship with Daniel, I never questioned her feelings - it was all so real and authentic and complicated. Daniel enters Tess' life in rather a surprising way. It doesn't explain how in the book's synopsis and so I won't give spoilers here because I found it a huge surprise, something I totally didn't see coming, but which yet adds another layer to this already complex and well-thought out novel.Like so many wonderful books these days, Things I'm Seeing Without You raises several themes that are so vital for YA literature - suicide, grief and the grieving process, family breakdown, depression, death, and online relationships. These are all handled with such brutal honesty and careful consideration in this book. Combined with a sense of humour and scenes so crazy they were hilarious, Things I'm Seeing Without You is a powerful book, heartbreaking but ultimately hopeful. The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library.
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  • Genna
    January 1, 1970
    There is so much joy, humor, and honesty woven in here, a book ultimately about death and grief. Upon learning about the death of Jonah, her internet boyfriend, Tess Fowler walked out of her high school, determined never to return there again. Tess attempts to find solace for the boy she loved—a boy she only met once and realizes now she barely knew—but she doesn’t know how to even begin grieving for him. So she returns to her father’s house, where she helps him with his newfound business of pro There is so much joy, humor, and honesty woven in here, a book ultimately about death and grief. Upon learning about the death of Jonah, her internet boyfriend, Tess Fowler walked out of her high school, determined never to return there again. Tess attempts to find solace for the boy she loved—a boy she only met once and realizes now she barely knew—but she doesn’t know how to even begin grieving for him. So she returns to her father’s house, where she helps him with his newfound business of providing alternative-style funeral services. These services celebrate life instead of mourn death. Tess comes to know Jonah—and ultimately herself—and this novel is at once heartbreaking, hilarious, and uplifting. The characters are flawed and nuanced (in the best way), the story is engaging, and the language is stylistically beautiful.
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  • Sofii♡ (A Book. A Thought.)
    January 1, 1970
    I want to thank NetGalley and Penguin Young Readers Group for providing me with this copy in exchange for an honest review This is a book with a very deep meaning, the way in which they have touched on a subject as delicate as death in general, whether of a loved one or of other people, and how it explores the different ways in which the you can live the loss, from the suffering, the negation, until the acceptance, was touched with some humor but above all with much respect and I liked that3/5 I want to thank NetGalley and Penguin Young Readers Group for providing me with this copy in exchange for an honest review This is a book with a very deep meaning, the way in which they have touched on a subject as delicate as death in general, whether of a loved one or of other people, and how it explores the different ways in which the you can live the loss, from the suffering, the negation, until the acceptance, was touched with some humor but above all with much respect and I liked that3/5 StarsYou can find this one and more of my reviews on my blog A Book. A Thought. The book follows the Tess life after the suicide of her boyfriend Jonah, with whom he had a relationship mostly online, through messages through facebook. We will see how this event affects her life and changes it completely, leading her to make very difficult and important decisions for her. In the midst of all this she will meet Daniel, Jonah's roommate who also tries to fill the void which has remained because of Jonah's death. Together they will try to overcome this loss in their lives and their union will lead them on an adventure in search of answers. Before reading the book, I supposed it would be very sentimental, especially since it touches on a super delicate subject like suicide and all that this means for the people around it, and it was, but not as much as I expected.It's a reading that has a much deeper meaning than it shows, even so, as you go through the plot you'll find yourself in the same way with very funny moments, as painful, which makes it very easy and light to read, I think the humor inside the book has been handled in a very intelligent way, it has made me laugh but I've never forgotten the main theme, it was certainly a deep reading but also fresh and fun, although it hasn't managed to reach me as strongly as I expected it didI didn't feel committed to the story at the beginning I have to say that I was able to hook me up with the plot roughly about in the half of the book, this doesn't mean that the beginning was bad, but personally I felt that Tess's speedy decisions took the plot to another place, and I wasn't very interested but after that the plot returned to focus on the subject that interested me more, that was the relationship between Jonah and Tess, I really liked knowing the details of how they met to then understand the Tess's feelings better, because to be honest it was hard for me to understand how she was so shattered for someone she had only seen once, but then I managed to understand how the whole thing happened.Tess is a very peculiar and different character, at first I was like "I can't stand this girl", this is because her personality is quite bad-tempered and she's not afraid to say what she thinks without any filter, or make decisions totally without thinking about the consequences of it. I think that in a way she is still very immature, but in the end there were moments when I could see her as a more empathic and sensitive person and I liked that a lot, so I decided to give this character a chance after all. Her relationship with his father is at first quite problematic and I think her reasons for not trusting him were quite valid, and it was very interesting to see how their relationship develops from everything that happens and as Tess allows herself to open up to her father in spite of their differences, besides the Tess's father really commits himself to her, and to be able to see that was of great value I feel that my review probably isn't giving much information, but I feel that the book is very abstract in a certain way, and I don't want to give more details and feel that then I make spoilers or you will not feel surprised once you read it. I feel it's a very modern story about how to deal with loss and how in the way, you learn about yourself and those around you, how to learn to forgive, to heal and to accept and I think that is the most important thing I can tell you about the book. Oh and during the book they travel to Sicily, and I looked for the landscapes in Google lol, and it's a beautiful place, I haven't seen such an incredible place ever in a book which is great To be honest, I expected more from the book, I think I've get into it with alot of expectations and for some reason I thought I would get more from it , this doesn't mean that it's a bad book, I just had some problems with the characters and especially with the final that although I feel it was nice, I expected something more. Even so it's something that you could enjoy if you're looking for a quick reading, that touches a subject such as the loss, with a very peculiar main character. In summary, I still recommend it, 3 stars is a good rating for me, and I feel that in the end with everything the book has left me is the rating it deserves
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  • Kelli Spear
    January 1, 1970
    This started out so goooooood...and then it hit a wall. I'm hardcore into sad books. It's a bit morbid, but I really enjoy those stories in which someone completely broken is able to overcome and triumph over their grief. Not that they've forgotten the lost person, but that they found a way to deal and LIVE. And that's what I was hoping for here. It starts out perfectly, but somewhere along the way, I don't know...it took a detour and just never got back on track. Tess was an odd character. She This started out so goooooood...and then it hit a wall. I'm hardcore into sad books. It's a bit morbid, but I really enjoy those stories in which someone completely broken is able to overcome and triumph over their grief. Not that they've forgotten the lost person, but that they found a way to deal and LIVE. And that's what I was hoping for here. It starts out perfectly, but somewhere along the way, I don't know...it took a detour and just never got back on track. Tess was an odd character. She was absolutely distraught over the suicide of her boyfriend, Jonah. Or, kind of boyfriend I guess. Their relationship was strange to me. Based on one night of in-person interaction and months of internet chatting, I just struggled to FEEL it. It's harder for me to connect when we never really got to know him. So as sad as his loss should have felt, I never got to that point. There are scenes in the book that tried to pull it off, but again, as the reader, I am getting more of others' views and not enough 'firsthand.' And watching Tess struggle should have made me feel something. I enjoyed her in the beginning. Leaving school, remembering things about Jonah, etc. But then, the truth comes out and the entire story is flipped upside down. Enter Daniel. Jonah's roommate. As they begin to talk and truths are uncovered, I began to lose interest. This is combined with her weird relationship with her parents (divorced). It just didn't gel. Girl is basically on her own, and when she runs away (and TO her father), it's almost treated like no big deal. He just tells her she's to work with him in his bizarre business...okaaaayyyyyyy. Like, what? GET HER BACK IN SCHOOL. OR THERAPY. SOMETHING. Anyhow, Tess and Daniel bond over their shared love for and loss of Jonah. Things get a bit unrealistic here, in my opinion. I won't spoil it, but yeah, I just wasn't buying it. I don't know if I wanted more of the grieving process and reliving of her relationship with Jonah, or what exactly. But something is just off. The introduction of Daniel should probably feel organic and initially it's a "holy crap" moment. And I get their bond to some extent, however, I think I'd have stayed angry for far longer than Tess did. To sum up, this book is readable, but not something I'd be able to read over and over. I didn't connect with any characters and felt like the plot lost steam about 25% in. By that point I was just reading to see where the author was taking it—and if he'd whip out a HEA. Decent story, but there are better options for these important topics.
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  • Dayla
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy via the publisher in exchange for an honest review Things I'm Seeing Without You by Peter Bognanni has a really strong first sentence. I have this habit of sometimes saving the first sentences of books, or the "hooks", because it really truly fascinates me how writers find a way to metaphorically hook a reader. Bognanni is really good at hooking you. For the most part, I really enjoyed this book, but there were still some issues I encountered throughout my reading experience. I I received a copy via the publisher in exchange for an honest review Things I'm Seeing Without You by Peter Bognanni has a really strong first sentence. I have this habit of sometimes saving the first sentences of books, or the "hooks", because it really truly fascinates me how writers find a way to metaphorically hook a reader. Bognanni is really good at hooking you. For the most part, I really enjoyed this book, but there were still some issues I encountered throughout my reading experience. I'm going to start with what I loved about Bognanni's novel and keep the details to a minimum since the book doesn't come out for a few months. I liked the tone of the novel. From the very beginning it drew me in and I immediately wanted to know more. I also loved the bits where the protagonist, Tess, is full on exploring the depth of her grief (but in a somewhat healthy way). I also liked Grace, a mother figure character who swims into Tess's life. Now, the things that bugged me while I read the book are bugging me even more so now that I'm writing this review. Tess may have an interesting way of thinking but when she does talk her dialogue often felt either stilted or condescending, no matter the person she was talking to. I get that she is grieving and that she is suffering and doesn't want to have to deal with any of life's small annoyances, but there's a fine line. The way she talks to some of the characters really irked me because it felt like the character was trying to be more than she was--if that makes any sense. Also, her treatment of others came off as bratty and insensitive. There's a particular character that she's especially not the greatest with. I'm also realizing that I am feeling slightly dissatisfied with how some of the relationships were portrayed and how one dimensional some of the characters were despite their involvement in the story. That being said, there are some surprising revelations in this novel that definitely made this book unpredictable, so that was a great plus--even if they were weird revelations. To leave this review on a lighter note however, I DID enjoy the way that the topic of grief was treated. The way the topic curved and weaved throughout the story is pretty similar to the confusing, and frustrating reality of grief. I'm no stranger to grief and I know it makes you do some weird things. I would recommend this one for anyone who wants a lighter novel on the topic of grief. It's not heavy enough that you will need tissues afterwards, but it's not light enough to be a casual summer read either. Happy reading!
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  • Gisela
    January 1, 1970
    I'm giving the book 4 stars but I think maybe 3.5 is more like it. The story about Tess and her mourning period after her boyfriend dies. First off, the author's writing was very beautiful. I liked how he worded sentences and described scenes. I could vividly picture the scenes in my head. The only thing I wish would have been better was character development. I was trying to connect with Tess and her grieving for Jonah, and for the most part, I understood grieving someone (I've been there), but I'm giving the book 4 stars but I think maybe 3.5 is more like it. The story about Tess and her mourning period after her boyfriend dies. First off, the author's writing was very beautiful. I liked how he worded sentences and described scenes. I could vividly picture the scenes in my head. The only thing I wish would have been better was character development. I was trying to connect with Tess and her grieving for Jonah, and for the most part, I understood grieving someone (I've been there), but I couldn't connect with her grieving about Jonah. I was hoping to learn more about him somehow. But maybe because of the circumstances of the book, you never really get to know the real Jonah... just like Tess never really knew. Perhaps the author did that on purpose. Other than that, it was a lovely read and there were a few instances that made me tear up a bit. This book really made me think deeply about death and how humans decide to handle death.
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  • Dorothy
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free galley of this book from the publisher at BookCon 2017 in NYC. I read the entire thing in one sitting yesterday afternoon, and cursed myself for waiting so long.Bognanni's book deals with powerful emotions of loss in the internet age, and the narrator's ability to handle (view spoiler)[(and let's face it, completely NOT handle) (hide spoiler)] them effectively. I wish I could give his work the credit it deserves with glowing words of recommendation, but I'm still reeling. I als I received a free galley of this book from the publisher at BookCon 2017 in NYC. I read the entire thing in one sitting yesterday afternoon, and cursed myself for waiting so long.Bognanni's book deals with powerful emotions of loss in the internet age, and the narrator's ability to handle (view spoiler)[(and let's face it, completely NOT handle) (hide spoiler)] them effectively. I wish I could give his work the credit it deserves with glowing words of recommendation, but I'm still reeling. I also don't believe in plot summaries, because--Spoilers, Sweetie. Let's just say: Bognanni nailed it.I cannot wait to see more from this author.
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  • Katy (Katyslibrary)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you so much Penguin Teen for sending this book to me in exchange for an honest review. I was incredibly excited for this book.  As someone who suffers from severe depression I like to read books that focus on mental illness or have story lines relating to it.  I went into this book expecting something completely different from what it ended up being.  Unfortunately, after some thought, I was mostly just disappointed in a book that had great potential.The writing is easy enough to get into Thank you so much Penguin Teen for sending this book to me in exchange for an honest review. I was incredibly excited for this book.  As someone who suffers from severe depression I like to read books that focus on mental illness or have story lines relating to it.  I went into this book expecting something completely different from what it ended up being.  Unfortunately, after some thought, I was mostly just disappointed in a book that had great potential.The writing is easy enough to get into right away and I read this book in only a couple of hours.  At times I did find myself laughing and enjoying main character Tess and her "give-no-craps" attitude.  I did enjoy the relationship that developed between Tess and her father.  While her father had his own set of issues and was far from being a great dad he started to get his act together more through out the book.  By the end it was obvious they really helped each other grow.  Also, the idea of them doing unique funerals was really special.  Celebrating the life of those who have passed on and in that way help manage grief for those who lost someone they care about was a great and meaningful topic to explore in a young adult book.For things I did not like,  I found this whole book for the most part to be unbelievable.  Tess was grieving over her friend Jonah's suicide, or was he her boyfriend?  Honestly, I am not even sure on this part other than they loved each other after only meeting once while she was drunk and then talking online all the time for six months after that first meeting.  Tess acted crazy and I know loss affects everyone differently but to me dropping out of school, almost drowning, and being a complete mess seems extreme for this sort of situation, again they only met once!  Now I am going to go into SPOILERS and a huge rant, if you would like to skip this part then turn away!! (view spoiler)[I genuinely believe Daniel's part in this should have been non existent.  Daniel was the most unconvincing character in the whole book.  I'm confused by him, is he bisexual? Straight? Not sure? Because he is kind of freakily obsessed with Jonah after just becoming roommates, gets jealous of the relationship between Jonah and Tess, and falls in love with Tess while pretending to be Jonah? (from this confusion the potential for a great diverse character was completely lost)  Jonah falls deeply into his depression and tells Daniel to say goodbye to Tess for him.  Instead of telling Tess the truth and letting her know what was going on with Jonah, Daniel keeps lying and pretending to be Jonah.  His explanation for lying to Tess is that he loved her right after the two messages they exchanged that night when Jonah had asked him to say goodbye to her for him. I'm sorry I must be missing something right because all I see is creeperville? Not to mention that this just shows Tess knew Jonah for even less than six months because half the time she was actually talking to someone else, but sure yes keep acting like Jonah was the love of your life.  The icing on the cake? When Daniel shows up at her home town out of the blue after minimal explanation of the cat fishing and then jump ahead a bit and they fall in love... Thats when I gave up all hope on this book.  This just sounds like the start to a really freaky romance in which both people get clingy and obsessed way to quickly and none of it can end well. (hide spoiler)]I wish this book had focused more on a genuine relationship between Jonah and Tess and then his suicide and Tess dealing with that grief and loss while finding herself and building a relationship with her father.  I think everything else should have been cut out.  It really swept such a huge topic, suicide, under the rug and what was left was an unconvincing story.  While there were good parts they were overshadowed by weird and disconnected characters and topics.  I think some may really enjoy this book but unfortunately it was not for me.   
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  • Emma
    January 1, 1970
    Grade: DAn ARC was provided by Read Between the Lynes in exchange for an honest review.The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Suicide books are always shaky ground, but they can be done well. Things I'm Seeing Without You is not one of those. The only reason I finished it is because I didn't want to DNF it.There seems to be this problem of male authors writing female protagonists...that don't sound female at all. Tess did not sound like a girl. She sounded like a blank slate mixed with a guy. She didn Grade: DAn ARC was provided by Read Between the Lynes in exchange for an honest review.The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Suicide books are always shaky ground, but they can be done well. Things I'm Seeing Without You is not one of those. The only reason I finished it is because I didn't want to DNF it.There seems to be this problem of male authors writing female protagonists...that don't sound female at all. Tess did not sound like a girl. She sounded like a blank slate mixed with a guy. She didn't make good choices, and her parents were just absentee enough and permissive enough that she got away with a lot.The whole thing with Jonah was confusing. The timeline felt weird, and I wasn't sure what was true and what wasn't.The plotline with Grace wasn't that great either. She felt shoehorned in at times and super obnoxious, and I needed the only other female presence in the book to not be someone I wanted gone.A lot of the plot that I had issues with are spoilers, so keep reading if you want to be spoiled.(view spoiler)[Tess finds out, when someone replies to one of the post-death messages she sends Jonah, that he wasn't the one messaging her for the last several months. He handed the reins over to his roommate, Daniel. Who is creepy and weird and has five million red flags that Tess (or her father at the very least since he's not a teenager, and I acknowledge teenagers can sometimes be blind to warning signs) never objects to. Also, Daniel wasn't that interesting either. (hide spoiler)]There's foul language, drug use, and underage drinking. There's a description of a naked picture, and there's fade-to-black sex.The Verdict: Not worth your time. I don't know why I haven't given up completely yet on YA books written by guys with female protagonists.
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    This was a darkly funny and moving exploration of love, loss, and grief. Tess is my favorite thing about this book. She's a prickly, sarcastic character with an arsenal of witty one-liners, and her relationships with the people around her (from her selfish mother to her bumbling, awkward dad) are truly well done. Her dad runs a funeral business and one of the standout scenes here is a burlesque funeral where elderly dancers celebrate "their fallen comrade." It's a funny and sweet book. You'll mo This was a darkly funny and moving exploration of love, loss, and grief. Tess is my favorite thing about this book. She's a prickly, sarcastic character with an arsenal of witty one-liners, and her relationships with the people around her (from her selfish mother to her bumbling, awkward dad) are truly well done. Her dad runs a funeral business and one of the standout scenes here is a burlesque funeral where elderly dancers celebrate "their fallen comrade." It's a funny and sweet book. You'll most likely enjoy it if you're a fan of John Green.
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  • Kathi
    January 1, 1970
    Didn't address the heavy subjects, just kind of swept them to the side. The characters were all whiny and annoying and the story was like every other YA book out there.
  • Book
    January 1, 1970
    YA female protagonist written by male author. Wary. Weary. Covfefe.
  • Wendy
    January 1, 1970
    In “Things I’m Seeing Without You” which I won through Goodreads Giveaways Peter Bognanni blends grief, love, humor and the promise of hope into a stirring tale that begins when seventeen-year-old Tess Fowler hearing about the death of her online boyfriend Jonah leaves high school to work for her father’s funeral planning business. Feeling adrift already with the death of a boy she hardly knew but loved, Tess struggles not only to find closure for her loss but purpose in her life.Together with D In “Things I’m Seeing Without You” which I won through Goodreads Giveaways Peter Bognanni blends grief, love, humor and the promise of hope into a stirring tale that begins when seventeen-year-old Tess Fowler hearing about the death of her online boyfriend Jonah leaves high school to work for her father’s funeral planning business. Feeling adrift already with the death of a boy she hardly knew but loved, Tess struggles not only to find closure for her loss but purpose in her life.Together with Daniel Torres who kept up Jonah’s online connection with Tess months after his roommate’s life, consumed by depression and anxiety spiraled out of control, they begin a journey trying to understand the boy who took his life only to discover that life’s complicated as they discover love and hope again.Beautifully written the plot explores not only the pain of loss with Jonah’s suicide, a new way of looking at death and grief as Tess plans alternative funeral services for an aging burlesque dancer and “Sarge” a prized racehorse but also her struggle to heal from her pain as she reconnects with her father again, and finds understanding and love with Daniel. Emotionally-charged and stirring Tess who’s looking for affirmation and love in her life after her divorced and irresponsible parents abandoned her to Forever Friends, a Quaker Academy, finally shatters when she discovers the boy she met once and fell in love with on the Internet is dead. Skilfully the author breaks the intensity of the plot with wry dashes of humor like Tess’s verbal conflicts with Daniel; revealing online snapshots; and a burlesque dancer's final farewell. Romance blossoms as Tess and Daniel explore their feelings about Jonah’s death and their relationship deepens while her father explores a new friendship with Grace the owner of Greener Pastures who befriends her after pulling her from a cold lake. Entertaining and flowing smoothly the story grips you and holds you captive until the end.Peter Bognanni creates complex and believable characters like Tess Fowler who’s aloof at school, vulnerable when she learns of Jonah’s death but determined to find closure for her pain. Good with people, empathetic and clever she quickly fits into the funeral planning business but continues to grieve finding an answer to her pain when she and Daniel plan a special funeral. Daniel Torres an only child, bullied as a youngster loved his friendship with the popular and likable Jonah, a computer geek like himself. Shattered and guilt-ridden he looks for answers behind Jonah’s terminal decision. It is beautifully- crafted characters like these that bring realism to a story you can’t put down until finished.I enjoyed “Things I’m Seeing Without You” and intend to read other books by this talented storyteller.
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  • Kristi Housman
    January 1, 1970
    I won a copy of this book from goodreads.While this wasn't the perfect book, I did end up liking it a lot. The added humor helped break up some of the more serious parts. My favorite thing was the relationship with Tess & her dad (them working on it). I wish there was a little more, but I know the focus was mostly on Tess dealing with the loss of her online boyfriend and trying to figure out her life.
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  • Jennifer Bradshaw
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book through the Goodreads Giveaways -- thanks!I sat down and read this book in one sitting. I love Tess, her great ideas, and her snarky, teenaged self; she is a funny, empathetic young woman dealing with a lot of emotions. This book talks honestly about the complex process of grieving and proposes some healthy reframings of life and death.
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  • Jessica Lyn
    January 1, 1970
    I think this was a great plot, but I just could not connect to the characters at all. I wanted to like this book, but I didn't.But I think the author's writing is beautiful!
  • Alice
    January 1, 1970
    I had received an advanced copy of this book via the Goodreads giveaway. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I really enjoyed this book. It was a very quick read, and I honestly didn't want this book to end (a rarity for me). Normally, I tend to avoid books which deal with suicide and death. But, I decided to give it a chance, and I'm so glad that I did. Tess Fowler is a normal high school student who is very much in love with her long-distance boyfriend, Jonah. When Tess finds out that Jonah I had received an advanced copy of this book via the Goodreads giveaway. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I really enjoyed this book. It was a very quick read, and I honestly didn't want this book to end (a rarity for me). Normally, I tend to avoid books which deal with suicide and death. But, I decided to give it a chance, and I'm so glad that I did. Tess Fowler is a normal high school student who is very much in love with her long-distance boyfriend, Jonah. When Tess finds out that Jonah has committed suicide, Tess drops out of school and moves in with her estranged father. Her father's newest business venture... an unconventional funeral planning service. In spite of death and grief being the main focus of this book, it is hilarious, and not in such a way where the humor bludgeons all the emotion from the story. Somehow this book managed to be funny, touching and thought-provoking. Tess is an excellent protagonist who approaches death with brutal honesty. I adored her rants and I wish there was more YA fiction with protagonists who don't always have the answers to everything. Although this is definitely not necessarily a light-read (it's about death and grief what do you expect), I would recommend this book.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    So I'm not sure if it's because I recently read Sarah Dessen's new book Once and for All but in the beginning of this book I felt like there were a lot of similarities between the two. Both main characters are involved with their single parent's business, both meet a boy once and fall in love with them long distance, and (view spoiler)[ both of those boys die. (hide spoiler)] But this book went off in a completely different but still good direction. Tess's voice really made this book for me. I l So I'm not sure if it's because I recently read Sarah Dessen's new book Once and for All but in the beginning of this book I felt like there were a lot of similarities between the two. Both main characters are involved with their single parent's business, both meet a boy once and fall in love with them long distance, and (view spoiler)[ both of those boys die. (hide spoiler)] But this book went off in a completely different but still good direction. Tess's voice really made this book for me. I love her struggle (like this girl straight up throws her laptop and then herself into a lake in the beginning of the book!) I really loved the funerals Tess did with her dad and I wish we had gotten a bit more of that. Grace was amazing, I was hoping when we first met her she'd come back in later chapters and I was not disappointed!I'm not sure if I can talk about Daniel without being spoilerly but I feel like I need to talk about him. I was completely floored by his introduction into the novel. He was just so earnest and there were so many times where he tried was too hard and so many times where he didn't try hard enough. I loved when he was crashing on Tess's couch it was so awkward and so perfect. My opinion of him kept changing constantly. One moment I felt bad for him, then I thought he was just pathetic and hurtful, and there were times when I felt like I could be him in certain moments(view spoiler)[like that hotel scene where he just assumed Tess left him with no warning or being better online than in person (hide spoiler)]. I really really loved the first 2/3 of this book but the end lost some of the personality that made the rest of the book so good. Most of the book felt real and relatable but then as it got closer to the end it started to edge towards the fantastical. I am happy with the compromise Tess and Daniel made and the very very end brought back the reality factor. Overall I would recommend this book, there are some great conversations about loss and broken families and trust.
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