review: The Death & Life of Charlie St. Cloud

i keep being delightfully and immensely surprised by fiction that i probably wouldn't have otherwise picked up!

first with The School of Essential Ingredients, that i wrote about in my last post, which i couldn't put down, to this one, The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud, which had everything going for it to indicate that i would never read it in a million years. the previews for the movie coming out this friday made the movie look like a Nicholas Sparks novel, and while many drool over Mr. Sparks work, i am, shall we say, less than impressed by both his books and the movies that get based on them.

but what rescued this from the 'never' pile for me was the title of the book. if you look quickly, you might not even catch that the words death and life are in the order they are in. {another black mark for the movie is that they shortened the title to just Charlie St. Cloud... why?!} but the order of death and life intrigued me, so on Sunday night, i found the book on, and downloaded it to my eReader.

given that i was tired, i figured i'd read a few pages before i fell asleep, but by the time i managed to turn the light out, i had gotten nine chapters in and the last thing i wanted to do was stop reading. right from the very first page the book captivated me. and as i finished the last ten chapters last night, i was almost giddy at the Cecelia Ahern-like twist that Mr. Sherwood so skillfully weaved into the story. {if you don't know of my great and passionate love of all things written by Cecelia Ahern, you may may read a bit about my love here, and also know that her If You Could See Me Now is one of my top three fiction EVER! if you haven't yet read it, stop what you are doing, yes, stop reading this, and go here to buy it now.}

about the movie, given how perfectly brilliant the book has been, not to mention what i've seen of the previews, i'm not sure if the movie is for me. to be honest, i'm not even sure that a movie could compare to the brilliance of the book, especially one the appears to veer as far from the actual story as this one does.

so it seems i am two for two in the 'fiction i cannot put down category'. do you have anything you can recommend to make it three for three?