Friday, May 23, 2014


The End or Something Like ThatThe End or Something Like That by Ann Dee Ellis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One day my best friend named Kim died.

So begins Ann Dee Ellis’s quirky, funny and sweetly sad novel, THE END OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

Ellis’s simple opening sentence accomplishes several things at once. The reader learns the problem, that a best friend, Kim, is dead. We understand, through the short, clipped prose, that the protagonist is hurting. And we take our first taste of Ann Dee Ellis’s concentrated style of writing. Her words are spare but each practically shouts in the voice of the protagonist. We hear Emmy talk, see the world through her eyes. By not very many pages into the book, she’s as real to the reader as though she were sitting next to us, telling her story aloud.

And that’s important because Emmy’s story is strange. It might even be unbelievable if Emmy weren’t so darned believable. Her dead friend, Kim, has made Emmy promise to try to contact her. Emmy tries but it’s the dead science teacher who appears instead, and Emmy didn’t even like her. Through flashbacks, we learn the story of Emmy and Kim’s friendship and come to know quirky Kim through Emmy’s memories. We ache with Emmy and we learn with her.
I loved this book.

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