I’ve seen every Nora Ephron movie a hundred times, so naturally, I always knew I would find love in a good old-fashioned rom-com “meet-cute”.
I was wandering around the bookstore, not really paying attention (and certainly not looking for love) when we ran into each other. Honestly when we were face to face, well I lost my breath. I shyly looked away and mumbled about being sorry and we went our separate ways. I’m not going to lie, I did turn for another look.
I walked around the store a for a while, and we kept running into each other again. Somehow I kept finding myself back to where we first met. There was just something that kept drawing me in. When I took the time to really look, the inside was just as wonderful as the inside. I fell in love the more we got to know each other. Honestly, I am guilty of judging a book by its cover and boy am I glad I did.
Look at this cover! Seriously, the picture doesn’t do it justice. It is just striking, with the contrast of bright colors against the black background. What really made want this book was the excerpt of the book on the back:
“Milo woke up by the water, as he’d done almost ten thousand times. Death was there with him, sitting cross-legged. She was always there when he awakened, watching him with those watery, sensitive eyes, wearing her long black hair like a cape. She didn’t have to be there. She could snuff out his life and leave him to wake up on his own. But she never did. Not once. ‘Suzie,” he whispered. (She didn’t like to be called ‘Death.’ Who would?)”
This book by Michael Poore is absolutely wonderful. The story is about Milo, the oldest soul. Everyone gets 10,000 tries at reaching perfection, and Milo is at around 9,995. The book starts walking us through the last day of one of Milo’s lives (and the day of the shark who eats him, a shark who was once the 1985 Strawberry Queen at a Strawberry Festival in Ohio).
The style of writing in this book is so good. It comes off as cool and casual like sitting down with a friend while they tell you a story. He has a very unique style of phrasing. One of my favorite lines is when Milo is a teenage boy and sees a girl he likes:
“She fit into her King’s College uniform like so many sleeping kittens. There was no place on her body that Milo didn’t imagine his hands, petting.”
Isn’t that wonderful? The imagery it paints!
On top of being a truly interesting story idea, it is actually very complex. Michael Poore builds so many different worlds. There is the afterlife, as well as so many of Milo’s different lives. We see present time lives, as well as past and future and ALL of the worlds, feel so real and organic. We also get a peek into Suzie’s life being Death and being unhappy. All she really wants to do is open a candle shop. It is funny as well as touching, and even heartbreaking at times. It is incredibly hard not to fall in love with.
I have already brought it to work to show my co-workers and everyone I know is tired of hearing about it, but the 1 or 2 of them that have read it already have thanked me for pushing it on them.
I know what you’re thinking, and no me and the book are not running competing bookstores, as far as I know, this isn’t a bet or a stunt for an article. Although I do sometimes have the urge to take my glasses off and take my hair out of a ponytail when it is around.