Please note that I got this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating of this book.
So I have pretty much loved about every Nick Spalding book I have read. There have been two misses for me, but for the most part he is always enjoyable. In his latest we follow 33 year old Nathan James who though he has about everything to live for (has a fat bank account and a hot girlfriend) is told that he is an inoperable brain tumor.
Spalding has Nathan going through some of the stages that you would see someone go through if someone died (hello Mr. Anger) as well as him trying to find meaning in his life by trying to find those left fortunate than him (the donkey sanctuary scene had me in hysterics). Ultimately though, Nathan realizes that no matter what he does, he eventually is going to die, he just needs to determine how he plans on living until that occurs.
I adored Nathan. Usually Spalding's book has a double POV. For this one we stay firmly in Nathan's head the whole time. What works though is though you may realize that Nathan is a little bit superficial (okay a lot) there is no maliciousness in him. So when he gets his diagnosis you do feel as much grief as the character does. When Nathan goes around breaking the news to his family and girlfriend, Spalding still manages to mix the absurd with the tragic so you will find yourself torn between tears of sympathy and laughter while reading.
The secondary characters were really good. Nathan's mother and her sculptures sounds like the stuff of nightmares. And heck at least Nathan realizes that his girlfriend though hot is terrible. There is another love interest in this one that I really did enjoy and thought worked well. I do wish that we had been able to spend more time with Nathan's cousin and her son, there seemed to be a lot going on there. Maybe Spalding will follow up with a second book since there are still some loose ends to follow up on in this one.
The writing was great. I had tissues nearby due to some sniffles, but also because I laughed so hard I cried three times while reading this book. The flow was great. Spalding tops off the top of each chapter with the month so you know how much time has passed. That is important cause a doctor Nathan sees initially mentions 6 months for him to live.
The book takes place in England. There are some mentions of Trump and his terribleness in this one, so apparently taking place in our current timeline. I did have a question about something though. Spalding via Nathan mentions at one point downloading the Uber app to his phone. I didn't think Uber could operate in England?
The book ends on a bittersweet note. I like that Spalding didn't try for some third act deus ex machina.
Please note that I read this book for The (Mostly) Dead Writer's Society 52 week challenge: March 12-18: Green cover.