Thursday, September 1, 2016

369 Book Review


By David Swan

Emily is a young girl unable to cope with her father's passing. In order to escape from the pain she and her friends embark on a summer project to build a star-vehicle based loosely around outlandish spiritual theories found by her geek friend Alan. He was sent in to keep an eye on Emily and ensure she was coping well with the grief. A sort of secret-counselor. Along with her best friend Tabitha they while away the summer building the contraption while Emily tries to keep at bay increasing hallucinations that started in her dreams and were now spilling out into her day. 

After her father passed away she started to dream of a white puma called Boo. A sort of guardian Angel that tried to show her a different way of seeing the universe and cope with grief but it wasn't working. When she starts to see Boo during the day she starts to panic and her friends become concerned. Is she having a spiritual awakening? or is it the onset of a psychosis brought on due to the grief? Luckily for Emily her Mother keeps a watchful eye over her and follows her outside on the night she attempts to take her life. With the help of a doctor and her friends she gets the help she needs to get her life back together again. 

369 is a tale about grief and the different coping mechanisms we deploy to deal with it. Interwoven through-out the story is each character's tale told about how they coped with Malcolm's passing. Malcolm had a history of alcoholism and they all shared his pain in dealing with this. As well as Emily's adventure into the supposed magical world there is also Malcolm's tale of redemption and seeking peace through meditation which mirrors his and his daughter's parallel spiritual journeys.


Before Emily’s father dies, he whispers to Emily the number 369. She has no idea what he means by telling her that, but since he dies, she can’t ask him. It seems like everywhere she turns, she sees those numbers, or hears the limerick playing. Taking that to be a sign from her father, she keeps hoping to wake and find him alive. Her friends Tabitha and Allen try to comfort her to no avail. Since she and her father were very close, she has a hard time coping with his death, leaving her grief to overwhelm her.

I was confused throughout this story. The father’s name starts out as Malcolm, but later is changed to Michael. And that is only one of many typos that were distracting to say the least. The story starts with him dying, but then the chapters went back and forth between Emily in the present, and her father after his tumor diagnosis but before his death. I understood and related to Emily’s grief and her being unable to express it. I was the same way with my own loss. The plot led you to believe that there would be some type of revelation revealed eventually, but I was highly disappointed, and left feeling letdown.

**The above opinions are 100% my own, whether I purchased the book or it was given to me to review.

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