Thu, March 1, 2012

The Survival Kit by Donna Freitas Review

The Survival Kit by Donna Freitas book cover

The Survival Kit
By Donna Freitas
Publish date: Oct. 11, 2011
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), 368 pages
Source: Library

When Rose’s mom dies, she leaves behind a brown paper bag labeled Rose’s Survival Kit. Inside the bag, Rose finds an iPod, with a to-be-determined playlist; a picture of peonies, for growing; a crystal heart, for loving; a paper star, for making a wish; and a paper kite, for letting go.

As Rose ponders the meaning of each item, she finds herself returning again and again to an unexpected source of comfort. Will is her family’s gardener, the school hockey star, and the only person who really understands what she’s going through. Can loss lead to love?

— Amazon.com description

I started to write a list being all like, “This book is great for fans of XYZ…” but then the list was huge. So, let’s cut through the comparisons and just get to the point because this book stands on its own.

The Survival Kit is a beautiful, sad and moving novel that had me alternatively sobbing like a baby* and swooning like a, well, teenager.

This is a story about grief and what it takes to pick yourself up from a devastating loss. Rose uncovers a survival kit her mom made her and, piece by piece, begins to put herself back together again.

Of course, part of that involves romance, thus the swoon part above. Will is a hockey player/shy boy/gardener who knows a thing or two about loss himself. You’ll love him.

As for the sobbing: It’s a very personal experience to read this book, and I assume every reader will react differently, depending on their own experiences.

However you react, I have a feeling most of you will find yourself emotionally moved somehow by this touching story about healing and strength and love.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

*Sobfest 2012 continues, y’all!

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Posted by: Anna   •   In: death, donna freitas, family, romance
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12 Comments

  1. A. Knight said:

    I’ve heard things along similar lines for this book. I absolutely adore the concept behind it! And yes, it does sounds as if fans for a lot of books would like this one, and I think I fit under that category. Plus, I wanna meet Will! :D

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, March 1, 2012

  2. Tara said:

    This is coming up soon in my to-read stack… I’ll make sure to have the tissues ready.

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    Testing the reply function do not be alarmed ;)

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, March 1, 2012

  3. Jennifer aka YA Book Nerd said:

    this sounds like a good book – a bit similar to 13 Little Blue Envelopes. I hate the cover and how the wording is broken up

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    Posted on: Thu, March 1, 2012

  4. Jacinda @ The Reading Housewives said:

    I agree with you 100% and I cried bunches too! and I loved Will!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, March 1, 2012

  5. Magan @ Rather Be Reading said:

    Gosh, this was one of my favorite books to read this year. I loved ab-so-lute-ly everything about it.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, March 1, 2012

  6. April books & wine said:

    I didn’t sob or anything, but I was definitely in on the swoon business.

    Totally LOVED the survival kit.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, March 1, 2012

  7. Allison (Allure of Books) said:

    There was definitely swooning on the Will front.

    I loved this one too!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, March 1, 2012

  8. Jasmine Rose said:

    I won this one a while back, but I’m not in a cry-my-eyes-out mood very often so I still haven’t gotten to it. I’ll definitely keep it in mind next time I’m feeling like a good cry, though. Great review, Anna :]

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, March 1, 2012

  9. capillya said:

    Mel sent this’n to me so I know it’s going to be up my alley. Oh but I can’t handle any more sobbing! I’ve cried so much at TV and film and books lately!

    But that GIF makes me giggle.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, March 1, 2012

  10. Sam said:

    This book was awesome!! love every minute of it. Does anyone have similar books that i would enjoy just as much??

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, March 1, 2012

  11. Annie said:

    Sounds like a more mature version of The Sky is Everywhere, minus the mixed media – sound about right? Nice review. :-)

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, March 1, 2012

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