When You Read This
For fans of Maria Semple and Rainbow Rowell, a comedy-drama for the digital age: an epistolary debut novel about the ties that bind and break our hearts.Iris Massey is gone. But she’s left something behind.For four years, Iris Massey worked side by side with PR maven Smith Simonyi, helping clients perfect their brands. But Iris has died, taken by terminal illness at only thirty-three. Adrift without his friend and colleague, Smith is surprised to discover that in her last six months, Iris created a blog filled with sharp and often funny musings on the end of a life not quite fulfilled. She also made one final request: for Smith to get her posts published as a book. With the help of his charmingly eager, if overbearingly forthright, new intern Carl, Smith tackles the task of fulfilling Iris’s last wish.Before he can do so, though, he must get the approval of Iris’ big sister Jade, an haute cuisine chef who’s been knocked sideways by her loss. Each carrying their own baggage, Smith and Jade end up on a collision course with their own unresolved pasts and with each other.Told in a series of e-mails, blog posts, online therapy submissions, text messages, legal correspondence, home-rental bookings, and other snippets of our virtual lives, When You Read This is a deft, captivating romantic comedy—funny, tragic, surprising, and bittersweet—that candidly reveals how we find new beginnings after loss.

When You Read This Details

TitleWhen You Read This
Author
ReleaseFeb 5th, 2019
PublisherHarper
ISBN-139780062834706
Rating
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Adult, Womens Fiction, Chick Lit

When You Read This Review

  • Angela M
    January 1, 1970
    This story is not a straight forward narrative and it took me a little while to get into it, into the rhythm of the emails and the blog posts, and the texts that tell this story. Once I did, I couldn’t help but like these characters and feel for them, want them to get through the things they were facing. Most of all I loved how they connected with each other. This was described as a comedy-drama and that’s a good description as it’s not always light, but there are some really humorous parts. It This story is not a straight forward narrative and it took me a little while to get into it, into the rhythm of the emails and the blog posts, and the texts that tell this story. Once I did, I couldn’t help but like these characters and feel for them, want them to get through the things they were facing. Most of all I loved how they connected with each other. This was described as a comedy-drama and that’s a good description as it’s not always light, but there are some really humorous parts. It is about grief and regrets, and coming to terms with the past, and finding ways to move forward, and it it’s full of heart. Iris Massey is dead of cancer at the age of 33, but she looms large throughout this novel as we come to know her through the blog she wrote before she died. It’s moving and enlightening to know her thoughts as she faces death. She leaves a printed copy for her boss and through a post-it note asks him to publish it in book form. Smith Simonyi is having problems trying to pull his life together. He’s divorced, estranged from his mother and his PR business is falling apart and he has a gambling problem. But Smith misses Iris and wants to follow through with her wishes. He contacts Jade, Iris’s sister to get her permission to publish it. Jade has some issues of her own, but she loved her sister. Her refusal is the beginning of a series of e-mails and texts between Jade and Smith. Another character, Carl, the overly ambitious intern who works for Smith didn’t seem to be a central character, but his e-mails to Smith and the things he takes into hand provide a good bit of the humor and move the story along. I found it so fascinating how much we learned about these characters through these writings. I hope that readers will not pass this up because its not a conventionally told story. They would be missing a wonderful debut about life, family, and the beautiful way that people touch each other’s lives.I received an advanced copy of this book from HarperCollins through Edelweiss.
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  • Larry H
    January 1, 1970
    I'm not crying, you're crying.With When You Read This , Mary Adkins has written a novel that is at times funny, poignant, and frustrating (because of the characters' actions or lack thereof; not because of any shortcoming of Adkins).This is a book that deals with being honest with yourself, facing the realities you try to hide, no matter how much they might hurt. It's a book about how we handle grief and regret, and how accepting that others may grieve, too, can actually help us. And it's also I'm not crying, you're crying.With When You Read This , Mary Adkins has written a novel that is at times funny, poignant, and frustrating (because of the characters' actions or lack thereof; not because of any shortcoming of Adkins).This is a book that deals with being honest with yourself, facing the realities you try to hide, no matter how much they might hurt. It's a book about how we handle grief and regret, and how accepting that others may grieve, too, can actually help us. And it's also a book about how we find the strength to start again, sometimes more than once.Iris Massey was only 33 when she died, after battling cancer. For four years, Iris worked as the assistant to PR expert Smith Simonyi, and the two managed his oddball assortment of clients with skill and more than a few outlandish ideas. Iris and Smith thought the same way about things, and each brought out the best in the other.With Iris gone, Smith is adrift. He has more than his share of other problems, problems which threaten the future of his firm, his finances, even his freedom. His clients start leaving the firm and he's unable to find new clients to take their place—and a new, overeager intern threatens to upend everything.Before Iris died, she started a blog about what it's like to face a terminal illness at such a young age, how difficult it is to deal with the fact that your dreams may go unfulfilled, and coming to terms with your feelings about the people in your life. Her dying request is that Smith get her blog posts published in book form, which he thinks is a terrific idea—but first he must convince Iris' prickly sister, Jade.Jade, Iris' opinionated older sister and a chef at a Michelin two-star restaurant, is rocked by grief. She's also preoccupied with concerns about her mother's being able to cope by herself. She feels robbed by Iris' death and wants to hold someone responsible. Did the doctor not prescribe the right treatment? Was Iris' boyfriend good to her? Was Smith holding her back from pursuing her dreams? Jade can't accept the fact that her sister is gone, and she definitely can't accept the idea of publishing Iris' thoughts about dying. When You Read This is told through emails, blog posts (sometimes illustrated with diagrams), text messages, and online therapy posts. You get a unique perspective into the minds of the characters, as you see everything filtered through their eyes. The epistolary style really draws you in, and I think it intensified the emotions I felt as the plot unfolded.I loved this book, even if I found Carl's character to be little more than a device to move the plot along, and I had to re-read a piece near the end to be sure I understood something that had happened. Smith and Jade's characters were fascinating, however, and of course, Iris' presence was tremendously felt throughout the book. I'll admit I teared up more than once while devouring this amazing story.How would it make you feel to read the thoughts of a family member or friend who had died? Would you be able to understand their choices, to honor their wishes? When You Read This gives you a lot to think about. It's definitely a book that will stick with me for a long time to come. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.Check out my list of the best books I read in 2018 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2018.html. You can follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/yrralh/.
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  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    So much more than a rom com! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ The first thing that strikes me about When You Read This is that it’s fresh and different! And I love that! It is an epistolary novel for the digital age comprised of emails, texts, and blog posts. Also included were drawings from Iris, the main character. When You Read this is a romantic comedy centered around Iris Massey who is dying from cancer. Notice the juxtaposition in that? She’s dying, but this book is full of humor, insight, and an endearing sweet So much more than a rom com! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ The first thing that strikes me about When You Read This is that it’s fresh and different! And I love that! It is an epistolary novel for the digital age comprised of emails, texts, and blog posts. Also included were drawings from Iris, the main character. When You Read this is a romantic comedy centered around Iris Massey who is dying from cancer. Notice the juxtaposition in that? She’s dying, but this book is full of humor, insight, and an endearing sweetness. Iris works for a public relations hound, Smith Simonyi, when she is given the heartbreaking diagnosis. Not only is her cancer terminal, she has little time left. She secretly writes a blog, which she shares with Smith after she passes away, in hopes that he’ll find a way to publish it. While you would think Iris’ story would be tragic, and it certainly pulled on my heartstrings and made me tear up on several occasions, there is a lightness. I mean lightness, as in airy and refreshing, not as in too easy or trivial. The writing is sincere, and the messages are important in how we handle approaching death for ourselves, and how we come to terms with the death of our loved ones. It’s a topic I connected to on a personal level.In other words, When You Read This was much more than what I expected it would be. The pages are filled with fun, humor, and heart. I’m hoping Mary Adkins will gift us with another book (or three!) that leaves me feeling this same warmth. I buddy read When You Read This with my friend, Mere, and it’s the perfect type of buddy read with topics to discuss and a sentimentality you will want to share with a friend. Thanks to Harper Books for the complimentary copy. All opinions are my own. My reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com
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  • Meredith B. (readingwithmere)
    January 1, 1970
    4 Heartfelt with a side of Comedic Stars! The thing is, there isn't one meaning that you remember or you don't. It was what it was and is what it is, both simultaneously, along with every version is evolved into along the way, and will, the million interactions all stacked up on top of each other like cans. Iris is a thirty-something year old woman and just found out she only has six months to live due to a deadly cancer diagnosis. She works for Smith, who owns a PR firm. Once Iris passes away ( 4 Heartfelt with a side of Comedic Stars! The thing is, there isn't one meaning that you remember or you don't. It was what it was and is what it is, both simultaneously, along with every version is evolved into along the way, and will, the million interactions all stacked up on top of each other like cans. Iris is a thirty-something year old woman and just found out she only has six months to live due to a deadly cancer diagnosis. She works for Smith, who owns a PR firm. Once Iris passes away (no this isn't a spoiler, it's in the blurb), Smith finds a blog that she kept for the last six months of her life. His business is struggling and he thinks letting the story of his best friend's journey be published can help a lot of people. However, Smith has to get the OK from Iris' sister, Jade. Jade and Smith become unlikely friends and develop a relationship through the love they had of Iris.Smith and Jade continue to communicate in hopes that they can comfort each other. One day Jade finds out about Smith's pitch to a couple publishers in regards to Iris' blog after she explicitly stated she did not want it published. Smith challenges Jade to understand why she wouldn't want that for her sister and what Jade really wants out of life. Ultimately the hurt that they feel and the parallels in their lives help them heal and move forward.This story is full of love, loss, grief and quite a bit of humor. It really shows the different ways that people grieve as well as the way people come together when they're hurting over the same person. I luckily have not known many people to go down the cancer journey but I think this book does a great job of documenting the bits and pieces of what goes on in a cancer patients head. It wasn't sugar coated, it was real and I loved that. This book is not written as a traditional novel. It's all in blog, text and email form, which for me worked, and it made the book a very fast read. It also allowed for Iris' blog to have graphics which helped tell her story. Although it was a story of loss and grief, it didn't make me cry. There were times it was a little sad but I felt it was more of an honor of Iris rather than a pity party. I also loved that because I think everyone deserves to be celebrated. There were also times when it was funny with a few laugh out loud moments or chuckles. I loved the range of emotions.Also, I loved Carl. Carl is Smith's Intern. He is so over the top and the things he said in his emails made me laugh. You love to hate him.Overall, this was a great read and I read it in less than a day. I would definitely recommend if you are looking for something a little on the lighter side and a quick read. These are easily characters to enjoy!Thank you to Harper Books for my advanced copy of this book and for Jen (tarheelreader) for buddy reading with me!
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  • Nikki (Saturday Nite Reader)
    January 1, 1970
    Has a book ever made you laugh and cry at the same time? Well this book will make you "craugh" and craugh hard. The story unfolded over a series of emails, texts and blog posts. I had never read a book entirely in that format and it totally worked here. It was expertly done! I read a majority of this book in one sitting because I needed to keep turning the page. Thirty-three year old Iris Massey has died of a terminal illness. She left behind a blog and instructions to her former boss, Smith, to Has a book ever made you laugh and cry at the same time? Well this book will make you "craugh" and craugh hard. The story unfolded over a series of emails, texts and blog posts. I had never read a book entirely in that format and it totally worked here. It was expertly done! I read a majority of this book in one sitting because I needed to keep turning the page. Thirty-three year old Iris Massey has died of a terminal illness. She left behind a blog and instructions to her former boss, Smith, to share her words with the world. Smith along with those close to Iris are experiencing and dealing with grief in different ways, which makes Smith's task of publishing Iris' work a bit of a challenge. Author Mary Adkins wrote of different grief journeys in a beautiful way. It felt as if all the blog posts, texts and emails I read were from real people. It was authentic and raw, and communicated with a side of humor: with such a delicate subject, the author inserted humor at all the right places. There are even budding romances in the book - but do not feel forced- it all felt very real. So you can see why one would "craugh" throughout the book. ;)I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did! I definitely recommend the read.Thank you to the kind folks at Harper who sent me an advanced reader’s copy of this book!To read my reviews visit: www.saturdaynitereader.com 
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  • Cheri
    January 1, 1970
    “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” The Summer Day - Mary Oliver ”Here’s the thing I need to figure out. This whole time I thought my real life hadn’t started yet. Turns out that was my life. I have six months or so to make that okay, somehow.” A simple thing like a phone call, especially one in the morning shortly after you’ve arrived at your work – early, but not too early, shouldn’t be life changing, shouldn’t herald news of death, especially your own. “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” The Summer Day - Mary Oliver ”Here’s the thing I need to figure out. This whole time I thought my real life hadn’t started yet. Turns out that was my life. I have six months or so to make that okay, somehow.” A simple thing like a phone call, especially one in the morning shortly after you’ve arrived at your work – early, but not too early, shouldn’t be life changing, shouldn’t herald news of death, especially your own. But that is where Iris is when she is told that she has a lifetime of dreams to compress into maybe six months of living, possibly less. She is 33. There is a bittersweet humour in her story, in the way this is told through a variety of emails, her blog posts, her thoughts, and the other characters in this story: Smith who is / was her boss, her mother, her sister Jade, and Carl, an intern hired by Smith after Iris shares her news with Smith. Each character adds a bit more to this story as Smith tries to fulfill Iris’s wish that he publish her blog. As such, the narrative takes some turns, seemingly detours, throughout this story, which gradually merge, a little at a time. Carl, whose energy and ‘enthusiasm’ for his new job have him constantly overstepping his boundaries as an intern, adding frustration to Smith’s life; Smith, who already feels overburdened with bad life choices, a divorce, money problems, and missing Iris’s presence in his life, is trying to fulfill Iris’s wish, so he contacts Jade, to let her know that Iris had asked him to publish her blog. An exchange of emails, texts follow, and more of their stories, their relationships with Iris, and with others, add even more to the story. Iris may be gone from this life, but she lives on through their love in these pages, we come to know more of her life story, and more of the others, as well. I loved that Iris had a dream of, and a savings account for, opening a bakery, and that her sister Jade is a chef who hates desserts, or anything sweet, and that they included a recipe she creates with a thought of pursuing her sister’s dream.A touching often bittersweet epistolary patchwork made up of family drama, a dash of romance, a pinch of satire with a smidgen of satire make this a pleasure to read. The insight into the emotions of grief and regret that come with a loved one’s passing make it a heartfelt message on handling grief, and all that it entails. A literary hug.Many thanks, once again, to the Public Library system, and the many Librarians that manage, organize and keep it running, for the loan of this book!
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve always been a huge fan of epistolary novels, there’s such an intimate feeling when you’re reading someone’s emails or text messages that satisfies my nosy side. Most of the ones I’ve read in the past have been on the lighter side, but this has some heavy moments, (it does take place after Iris’ death after all) that really gave this one unexpected depth for me.The stars of the show are Jade and Smith, but there’s a supporting cast of quirky characters that brought some much needed life and I’ve always been a huge fan of epistolary novels, there’s such an intimate feeling when you’re reading someone’s emails or text messages that satisfies my nosy side. Most of the ones I’ve read in the past have been on the lighter side, but this has some heavy moments, (it does take place after Iris’ death after all) that really gave this one unexpected depth for me.The stars of the show are Jade and Smith, but there’s a supporting cast of quirky characters that brought some much needed life and light to a oftentimes sad tale. Jade and Smith begin communicating after Iris dies and begin to find comfort in each other that they both desperately need. Just when things would get a little depressing Carl, Smith’s intern would appear with some off the wall idea or big gaffe that would crack me up.If you’re a fan of epistolary definitely check this out, a really fast and surprisingly fun read that charmed me.When You Read This in three words: Fresh, Poignant and Touching.
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  • Lori L (She Treads Softly)
    January 1, 1970
    When You Read This by Mary Adkins is a very highly recommended, heart-breaking epistolary novel set in our current digital-age.Iris Massey, 33, worked for four years helping clients perfect their brands alongside Smith Simonyi in his PR firm. Once she found out she only had six months to live, she began blogging on Dying to Blog, a blogging platform for the terminally ill. Now, after Iris has died, Smith is surprised to learn about her blog. She also had one final request for Smith: she wants hi When You Read This by Mary Adkins is a very highly recommended, heart-breaking epistolary novel set in our current digital-age.Iris Massey, 33, worked for four years helping clients perfect their brands alongside Smith Simonyi in his PR firm. Once she found out she only had six months to live, she began blogging on Dying to Blog, a blogging platform for the terminally ill. Now, after Iris has died, Smith is surprised to learn about her blog. She also had one final request for Smith: she wants him to get her blog posts published as a book. Smith looks at fulfilling this request with the help of his new intern Carl, while trying to get approval from Iris's sister, Jade. Jade, however, is adamantly opposed to this, but the two begin a correspondence and relationship while trying to deal with their grief.The chapters in this novel are all emails, blog posts, online therapy sessions, text messages, legal correspondence, charts and graphs, comments, instant messages, etc., that work together to create a montage of interpersonal communication and relationships in the digital age. I enjoy epistolary novels when they offer insight into characters and situations. This one is an excellent example of the format. The communications are charming, tragic, insightful, hilarious (yes, there are some very funny moments), surprising, empathetic, belligerent, and self-aware. They provide the platform for present day actions and part of the backstory to the flawed characters.Adkins did a great job keeping all the various correspondence from the characters true to their personalities along with what they are experiencing, feeling, and thinking. Carl is the impetus for much of the humor, along with Smith's patience with him. There were also several heartbreaking things shared, helping to further the development of the characters through this modern format. While the layout of this novel may not appeal to everyone, for those who can appreciate the format When You Read This is a real treat. Oh, and expect to cry. Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of HarperCollins.http://www.shetreadssoftly.com/2019/0...
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  • Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
    January 1, 1970
    What a delightful cast of characters. Centered around Iris, the girl who died all too young from cancer, Adkins brings us a group of characters, mainly her sister, Jade and her boss, Simon, who are dealing with the aftermath of her death, the blog she left behind and unanswered questions that bring them together and also threatens to tear them apart.Along with these "main" characters, we get introduced to YOPLAY, who I found annoying and endearing BUT WHO TYPES WITH CAPITAL ALL THE TIME?! Carl, What a delightful cast of characters. Centered around Iris, the girl who died all too young from cancer, Adkins brings us a group of characters, mainly her sister, Jade and her boss, Simon, who are dealing with the aftermath of her death, the blog she left behind and unanswered questions that bring them together and also threatens to tear them apart.Along with these "main" characters, we get introduced to YOPLAY, who I found annoying and endearing BUT WHO TYPES WITH CAPITAL ALL THE TIME?! Carl, the intern who comes to take Iris's place at Smith's agency - who lives in his own little eccentric world. While he repeatedly irritated me with his mercury in retrograde and inability to follow simple directions, his comic relief and brightened take on the world provided some much needed levity throughout the read. (Carl, I want to have coffee with you!)At the end of the day, it all comes down to Jade and Simon. Each wanting to do what they think Iris would have wanted and having to come to terms that they both knew a different side to her. The biggest stories here are theirs to tell. The ups and downs of love, loss and grief. Certainly some learning moments throughout.Written in various forms of blog posts, emails and texts, this book pulls at the heart strings, gives some hope to the world and takes a real look at how people deal with grief. (And I do believe I'll be trying to make those Orange-Kissed Chocolate Chip Cookies.)Thank you Harper Books for this copy.
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  • SueKich
    January 1, 1970
    e-pistolary.Using emails, texts and blog posts to convey a story is now a somewhat hackneyed device but it invariably makes for a fun, breezy read and this – despite its dark side - is no exception. The characters fairly pop out at you from their missives: Smith Simonyi the surprisingly tolerant owner of a struggling PR firm, Carl his annoyingly ambitious intern, Jade the star chef who’s walked out of her job and her younger sister Iris who worked as Smith’s assistant. It is the blog about Iris’ e-pistolary.Using emails, texts and blog posts to convey a story is now a somewhat hackneyed device but it invariably makes for a fun, breezy read and this – despite its dark side - is no exception. The characters fairly pop out at you from their missives: Smith Simonyi the surprisingly tolerant owner of a struggling PR firm, Carl his annoyingly ambitious intern, Jade the star chef who’s walked out of her job and her younger sister Iris who worked as Smith’s assistant. It is the blog about Iris’s imminent death from cancer that is the glue holding the plot together. This is a promising debut by Mary Adkins: smart writing, wry humour and a light touch with her serious central subject matter. I found Smith Simonyi to be an immensely appealing protagonist - I’d rather like to hear more from him.My thanks to Hodder & Stoughton for the review copy courtesy of NetGalley.
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  • MaryBeth's Bookshelf
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Harper Books for gifting me a copy of When You Read This in exchange for an honest review.When Iris Massey dies of cancer, her loss is felt by everyone that knew her. Told through text messages, Iris's blog posts, messages to therapists between Iris's sister, Jade, and e-mails between Jade, Iris's old boss, Simon, and Simon's crazy new assistant, Carl, Adkins weaves a beautiful story of loss, life, and love. I adored this book. It made me laugh, it made me cry.
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  • Andrea
    January 1, 1970
    Not at all what I was expecting, but this one was satisfyingly odd :)
  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    When You Read This is a story told thru emails, text messages and blog posts. I am not sure what genre I would classify this book as. It reads a bit like Women's Fiction mixed with some comedy and a bit of romance.This story is about Iris. She dies and we get to see how she affected those around her. We get to read her blog entries (after her death). We see how her boss Smith and her sister Jade are coping in the aftermath.It was an interesting way to tell a story. But I found the book sort of s When You Read This is a story told thru emails, text messages and blog posts. I am not sure what genre I would classify this book as. It reads a bit like Women's Fiction mixed with some comedy and a bit of romance.This story is about Iris. She dies and we get to see how she affected those around her. We get to read her blog entries (after her death). We see how her boss Smith and her sister Jade are coping in the aftermath.It was an interesting way to tell a story. But I found the book sort of sad and a bit morbid (reading the blog of a dead woman).The book does have some funny parts. Mainly to do with Smith and his intern Carl. Carl is constantly doing things that completely mess up Smith. But I just found most of these things to be super annoying.I liked Smith. And I enjoyed Iris's sister Jade. But unfortunately I just found this book to be somewhat depressing. The book was just okay for me.Thanks to edelweiss and HarperCollins for allowing me to read this book.
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  • Jasprit
    January 1, 1970
    I went into When You Read This not really sure what I was expecting, and to be honest this book did end up surprising me in a lot of ways. Although the story was given to us from the main character Iris’ blog, I liked how despite Iris not being here anymore, the blog had an effect on all those left behind. Those individuals who were an integral part of her of life were bought together in the most unexpected of ways. I really liked the way the story was given to us in the form of emails and text I went into When You Read This not really sure what I was expecting, and to be honest this book did end up surprising me in a lot of ways. Although the story was given to us from the main character Iris’ blog, I liked how despite Iris not being here anymore, the blog had an effect on all those left behind. Those individuals who were an integral part of her of life were bought together in the most unexpected of ways. I really liked the way the story was given to us in the form of emails and text messages, I’ve read a handful of books where this format has worked before, and I’m pleased to say that Adkins was also able to make it work with this book too. It is typically an unusual format, but once you got to know the characters, the story really begins to flow easily amongst them. Despite the story focusing on loss, I liked how Adkins was able to sprinkle some humour in the story too and gave us some lighter scenes to turn too when things became a little grim. I wish I had more of a connection with certain characters, that definitely would have made this story for me, but overall I did enjoy this book and how Adkins showed people dealing with a loss in their own different way.
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  • Taylor (shihtzus.and.book.reviews)
    January 1, 1970
    IM NOT CRYING! YOU ARE!! Full review to come!
  • Kristen Beverly
    January 1, 1970
    Loved it! This book is hilarious, moving and tear jerking all at the same time. At the end I cried big fat baby tears. It’s told through a series of emails and blogs, but still manages to capture the reader and endear you to each of the characters. I received an early manuscript for review purposes. Full review to come.
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  • Saly
    January 1, 1970
    This one was okay! I expected too much I guess and I also felt I never really "got" to see characters interacting only read about in emails. All characters in this are flawed, gambling addict, abusive parents, dead parents, relationship hang-ups etc. It could be a case of just me.
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  • Sarah Russell
    January 1, 1970
    What a fun, but also sentimental book. Reads like a rom-com but you’ll also find yourself crying in parts. Debuts can be risky, but I loved this one and can’t wait for Mary Adkins to release her next book.
  • Georgette
    January 1, 1970
    OMG. Bawling at the end. What a great book about the end. Sisters, coworkers, friends, lovers. And what you leave behind. Loved it!
  • Suzze Tiernan
    January 1, 1970
    Written as emails, blog posts and texts. After Iris dies, her sister, her boss and the intern who takes over her position discuss publishing her blog posts as she was dying. Sometimes funny, sometimes sad.
  • Katie/Doing Dewey
    January 1, 1970
    Summary: The format of this modern epistolary novel was the best, but parts of it worked out a bit too neatly."For four years, Iris Massey worked side by side with PR maven Smith Simonyi, helping clients perfect their brands. But Iris has died, taken by terminal illness at only thirty-three. She also made one final request: for Smith to get her [blog] posts published as a book. Before he can do so, though, he must get the approval of Iris’ big sister Jade, an haute cuisine chef who’s been knocke Summary: The format of this modern epistolary novel was the best, but parts of it worked out a bit too neatly."For four years, Iris Massey worked side by side with PR maven Smith Simonyi, helping clients perfect their brands. But Iris has died, taken by terminal illness at only thirty-three. She also made one final request: for Smith to get her [blog] posts published as a book. Before he can do so, though, he must get the approval of Iris’ big sister Jade, an haute cuisine chef who’s been knocked sideways by her loss. Each carrying their own baggage, Smith and Jade end up on a collision course with their own unresolved pasts and with each other." (source)I loved the format of this book. Following the characters' stories through their e-mails, I felt like the story was actually happening as I read it. The fact that you'd actually read e-mails, blog posts, etc made the experience of reading them feel authentic. It helped that each of the characters had their own, distinct voice. I think given any random paragraph from the book, I could probably guess which character was supposed to have written it.I found the characters and their interactions believable and enjoyable with one exception. At the end, the author went a step too far making things work out neatly. It made me realize how much she'd depended on Smith's unbelievably incompetent, annoying intern to make the whole plot possible. I found his behavior infuriating throughout and couldn't believe Smith put up with him. At the end, the fact that the author pushed things a little too far made me realize what a plot device his unbelievable behavior was. With this one exception though, I really enjoyed getting to know the characters and the format of this modern epistolary novel was exceptional. I'd love more of the same from this author without that one flaw.This review was originally posted on Doing Dewey
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  • Sarah Obsesses over Books & Cookies
    January 1, 1970
    "I'm not sure I believe in regret. Everyone has regret, but that doesn't mean the choices we made were mistakes, or that we even could have acted differently. It just means we look back and feel like we could have." Smith Simonyi This was a cute book and it is about death and illness and regrets but it's so fun and light in parts and done in a creative way that I didn't feel the sadness that maybe would be normal. (also i seem to have a heart of stone and really do want to read something that wi "I'm not sure I believe in regret. Everyone has regret, but that doesn't mean the choices we made were mistakes, or that we even could have acted differently. It just means we look back and feel like we could have." Smith Simonyi This was a cute book and it is about death and illness and regrets but it's so fun and light in parts and done in a creative way that I didn't feel the sadness that maybe would be normal. (also i seem to have a heart of stone and really do want to read something that will make me cry so please send your suggestions if you have any- I'm in need of some cleansing).So the premise is a story of a guy named Smith who runs a strange branding business and his assistant Iris who he is quite fond of and she of him but she has cancer and so we the reader are treated to the little communications via email and texts about life after- but also in between we get to read Iris's blog she kept all about her thoughts on the diagnosis and her slow acceptance. This might sound more bland than it really is. It really is a cute novel and there is so much levity and it's such a quick read if you come across this you'll knock it out in a couple hours. (some pages are a couple lines with the set up of the email taking up most all the space.) It's not about plot and yes it's probably somewhat predictable but it's not that you're looking to be surprised with the story but just how the characters respond to things and what they each think is what shines in the book.
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  • Angie
    January 1, 1970
    When You Read This will make you laugh and cry in equal measuresIris Massey wrote an online blog. Her boss wants to publish it, her sister doesn’t. Iris can’t make the decision because she is dead.The book is written in the style of emails and text messages, plus blog entries that tell the story of Iris, her death at the age of 33 from cancer, and the impact it has on her boss Smith and her sister Jade specifically.I enjoyed reading this book, the relationships between the main characters and al When You Read This will make you laugh and cry in equal measuresIris Massey wrote an online blog. Her boss wants to publish it, her sister doesn’t. Iris can’t make the decision because she is dead.The book is written in the style of emails and text messages, plus blog entries that tell the story of Iris, her death at the age of 33 from cancer, and the impact it has on her boss Smith and her sister Jade specifically.I enjoyed reading this book, the relationships between the main characters and all the people they come into contact with are heartfelt, even if they are just brief exchanges. All entries are relevant to the story, even if you think it’s not at the time.Although the subject of cancer and of death is not a cheerful one, the book doesn’t drag you down whilst reading about it. It is sad and moving of course, but the book interlaces the humourous sections just right so you never feel as though you can’t go on. In fact, I couldn’t put it down (except only once because I had to sleep)Carl was a great side character, he provided such humour with his well-meaning initiatives, trying to help Smith and often landing him in trouble. If you can cope with the style in which it is written, then I recommend this book to anyone who can find hope in the darkest of situations.
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  • Donna Hines
    January 1, 1970
    First off I must note that I had just undergone an FNA biopsy on Valentine's Day for possible malignant throat cancer as I picked this book up. I had just learned on Saturday the 15th of February that the results were good. I had no idea I once again bet the odds with a 3cm solid nodule on left side of a 5cm space that it was benign so I was still dealing with that fact upon reading this just two days later.When You Read This was set up as a blog left behind by Iris who died of cancer. She showe First off I must note that I had just undergone an FNA biopsy on Valentine's Day for possible malignant throat cancer as I picked this book up. I had just learned on Saturday the 15th of February that the results were good. I had no idea I once again bet the odds with a 3cm solid nodule on left side of a 5cm space that it was benign so I was still dealing with that fact upon reading this just two days later.When You Read This was set up as a blog left behind by Iris who died of cancer. She showed her funny side in these blogs as she discussed the end of life.Her dying wish was to have her blog published and so with co worker Smith and intern Carl they got it done with the approval of her sis Jade.Of course this leads to a relationship with Smith and Jade as each deals with their own pasts and this tremendous loss.I simply couldn't connect with any of it even though I myself was living it..so sorry I wanted to love this one.
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  • Tara (Spinatale Reviews)
    January 1, 1970
    I’m a huge fan of epistolary novels so I was intrigued by When You Read This since it’s told entirely through emails, blog posts, and other online communications.As expected, I loved the format! I thought that the author did a good job of utilizing various types of online communication to create the story. I thought that the inclusion of Smith's business emails added a much needed lighter note to the book.However, I found it a bit difficult to connect with the story because of the characters. I I’m a huge fan of epistolary novels so I was intrigued by When You Read This since it’s told entirely through emails, blog posts, and other online communications.As expected, I loved the format! I thought that the author did a good job of utilizing various types of online communication to create the story. I thought that the inclusion of Smith's business emails added a much needed lighter note to the book.However, I found it a bit difficult to connect with the story because of the characters. I felt like I just never glimpsed enough of who they were to really become invested in them. I was most attached to Carl, the main character’s intern, because I could see his growth throughout the novel.I think a lot of readers will love this book but it ultimately wasn’t for me. I do hope to see more books in this format in the future though!*Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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  • Lovely Loveday
    January 1, 1970
    When You Read This by Mary Adkins is a heartbreaking and tear-jerking read that is sure to tug at your heartstrings making you want to cry your minute and laughing out loud the next. A story that is told through a series of emails, blog posts, text messages, and letters that is sure to capture your attention from the beginning. The characters become more real and relatable with each page you read as you feel each character deal with the passing of Iris (the main character). The comedic relief is When You Read This by Mary Adkins is a heartbreaking and tear-jerking read that is sure to tug at your heartstrings making you want to cry your minute and laughing out loud the next. A story that is told through a series of emails, blog posts, text messages, and letters that is sure to capture your attention from the beginning. The characters become more real and relatable with each page you read as you feel each character deal with the passing of Iris (the main character). The comedic relief is felt through Carl, the intern. He is hilarious and offers a light-hearted touch to a sad story of grief and healing. I found this to be a quick read that will require a box of tissues.
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  • Denysha
    January 1, 1970
    So although this book is naturally sad given the nature of the story there were some really laughable 'lol' moments. Carl was the character I enjoyed the most. He helped to soften the tone of the book. At first, I was skeptical about the path the story was taking as well as the writing style. However, I quickly wrapped my head around the idea and what the author was trying to do. This was a great read and I can definitely see people enjoying this a lot. I look forward to reading more from this a So although this book is naturally sad given the nature of the story there were some really laughable 'lol' moments. Carl was the character I enjoyed the most. He helped to soften the tone of the book. At first, I was skeptical about the path the story was taking as well as the writing style. However, I quickly wrapped my head around the idea and what the author was trying to do. This was a great read and I can definitely see people enjoying this a lot. I look forward to reading more from this author. PS: I received a free copy from the publishers for my honest review.
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  • Cayla
    January 1, 1970
    When done well, epistolary novels are such a fun reading experience. Exhibit A: When You Read This. I enjoyed getting to know the characters through their emails/blogs/texts..it made them real and relatable (and I laughed out loud more than once at Carl antics). Due to the format, this is a fast read, but it was definitely hard to put down. *Thanks to Cheryl for graciously giving me her extra ARC!
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  • Alison
    January 1, 1970
    This was definitely a book written for me. It's epistolary via emails, texts, and a blog; it has absurdist but/and charming characters; it's depressing and delightful all at once. If you have the headspace to read about flawed people dealing inexpertly with the death of a loved one (but funny!), I do highly recommend this book.
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  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks Harper Books for the free review copy!Iris Massey dies from cancer at age 33. This book explores the aftermath of her death through email, texts, and blog posts. The format is fun and keeps the pages turning quickly, but the subject matter of grief is serious and deep. Bittersweet and funny is how I would best describe this book.
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