Friday, April 8, 2011

The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud

by Ben Sherwood


Anyone ever see the movie "Just Like Heaven"? This book is the same story, except set in Marblehead, MA, and with a little brother ghost instead of a dead wife. True, the book came first, but I happened to see the movie first, so I knew what was coming. I knew Tess was a spirit the second Charlie saw her at the pond.

Despite its predictability, it was a heart-warming story. Good to read for a nice dose of miracles. Plus, who doesn't love a good, twisted love story? Charlie was stuck in a rut, and it's Tess who helps him see that his life could be better. Both Sam and Charlie finally realize they're holding each other back and they can let go and be happy. Yay! Smiles for all!

I loved the images it invoked in my head of the spirits - shimmering with a glow about them. One section speaks of Sam facing the sun a certain way and shining through him, giving him a sheen. Not the cheesy vampire sparkle from Twilight, but a subtle, heavenly aura, almost like a halo for the whole body.

Many good lessons can be learned in this book, mostly cliched, such as let go of the past, life is short, don't waste time, live for love, dive for dreams, etc etc etc. It is a good pick-me-up type of book for when you're down; I just wish I couldn't see what was going to happen before it did. Predictable books are always hard for me to get into because there's no excitement in the action.

This book gets 3 stars out of 5. I liked it; it was endearing and gave me the warm fuzzies. But its predictability and few spurts of too much sappiness lost the 2 stars. It's ok, but probably not one I'll read again.

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