[ARC] The Easy Way Out by Steven Amsterdam

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The central theme of the novel is the assisted suicide, so the easy way out the title hints.

The book is set in a country where, thanks to the legislation, some hospitals have opened an experimental programs ward to help die some incurable patients. To access this procedure the patient goes through some interviews (with the objective to assess the actual desire of the patient) and confirmation modules: the nurse are not to influence the patients in taking the decision.

Evan is a nurse and he works in the “suicide” ward, and from the first pages we know that his duty was to evaluated the patient’s assistants, and that for the first time he will be involved directly in the procedure.

Thanks to Evan’s point of view – ironic, reflexive – we are presented the different moral and ethical dilemmas regarding assisted suicide: can a procedure truly evaluate a person’s desire? Which patients to include or exclude? And so on.

These doubts are enhanced by the protagonist’s behaviour, since Evan on one side becomes part od a group who helps private people (not admitted in the official procedure) die with Nembutal and mask their death as collapse, and on the other side he has to face his mother’s illness (she has Parkinson’s’) and her desire to die in case the illness got worse.

Evan finds some answers (in his past and thanks to friends and lovers), but the novel leaves behind some question that are very difficult to reply with a unique, correct answer.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me the copy necessary to write this review.


* The Easy Way Out by Steven Amsterdam ★★☆☆

*I read this book in english

[ARC] Broken Dolls by Tyrolin Puxty

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Ella is a doll. A long time ago she was a human being, but she does not remember anything from that time. She lives in the attic of the professor who created her and she loves to dance.

Ella lives in something like a perfect world: she spends her time keeping company to her creator and dancing and imagining every sorts of adventures.

This perfection starts to crumble when Lisa appears, another doll – a goth one – who oddly remembers something about her past as human girl and who has no desire to spend her life as a sentient object. Lisa ends up being quite unstable in her relation with Ella, but is able to instill some doubts about their creator activities.

In the meanwhile Ella meets also Gabby, the professor granddaughter, who has a viral illness that will soon kill her.

In Broken Dolls the author creates an atmosphere that from strange becomes soon creepy: what is the real purpose of the professor? What makes him changing some people in dolls? Will this be the fate of Gabby?

During the novel Ella begins to doubt her reality and becomes aware of some limitation that are imposed on her: she can’t go out of the attic and she only can aim to be a dancer; and at the same time the reader begins doubting everything about the professor and the dolls.

Despite some imperfections the novel develops some interesting ideas and the story is quite engaging and some turn of events can unsettle the reader. This book is the first of a series, and maybe in the following ones – as one can suppose reading the preview – the context the story takes place in will be described with more details.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me the copy necessary to write this review.


* Broken Dolls by Tyrolin Puxty ★★★★☆

*I read this book in english

John Green and dying young

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Two times till now I wrote in a comment this thing about dying young, and both times it was about a John Green‘s novel – the only two novel of this writer I read for now, I honestly hope his other works being more happy.

The former I read is the well-known “The fault in our stars” that takes the title by a Shakespeare quote:

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.

and that is being the inspiration for a movie that will soon come out; the latter is “Looking for Alaska” that in this case is not the State but a girl and that it should be read before “The fault in our stars”.

When I read them – but this reflection mainly concerns the former one – my review was enthusiastic (the review is the one below, only little bit less passionate than the original version), but after some time I began to think that maybe it’s a clever book that plays on emotions and empathy, so my whole opinion could be reviewed.

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