Hey, You Should Read This Book...

Book review tennis with a few friendly folks. The same folks behind Hey, Watch This Movie.

The Returned



I have an almost-five-year-old little boy and a second little boy on the way. I’ve always had a soft spot for children in stories (I mean, really, I do have a soul), but now I can almost not bear to read or watch a young boy go through anything painful without my heart breaking in half. I also immediately relate to every mother of every boy in every book or movie. So, yep, that was me crying for Augustus and Hazel’s parents. And that was me sobbing like an idiot at the beginning of Guardians of the Galaxy. Don’t even get me started on This is Where I Leave You (I just hope my boys will be there for each other and still need hugs from their mom when they’re grown people).

There is a point to this, I promise.

While reading The Returned, I immediately and completely related to the parents of the “returned” little boy that the story revolved around. That’s not surprising, given my history. But Jason Mott wrote these people so well. It didn’t matter how different they were from me; I felt what they felt. I understood them. I liked them and got attached to them, and I knew exactly what it was to want to protect the little boy whose circumstances were so unclear. 

What I didn’t expect was how deeply I would understand so many other characters that I really couldn’t relate to at all. As people returned from the dead all around the world, the series of consequential events felt so very true to human nature. Mott unfolded layer upon layer of questioning, compassion, suspicion, fear, and disgust—each one just as believable as the last. I couldn’t relate to every character in this book, but I understood every character in this book.

The story was intriguing from the beginning and I got drawn in immediately. Things lulled a little in the middle, but overall I think this book was very well done.

Our book-clubber Laura, frommybookbook, chose this book for August/September. She said that the entire time she was reading it, she kept thinking, “What if?” I’d say that’s a pretty good description of the experience. I was right there, too. What if people did start returning from the dead? What if I could get back someone I loved? What if the people and government around me reacted this way?

I didn’t realize until recently that this book was the inspiration for a TV show, ResurrectionI’ve watched the majority of the first episode, and it seems like it’s a good show. I’m just not sure I’m ready to jump into the TV version of these characters, which are altered slightly for TV purposes. But then, I’m not sure I’m ready to be done with this story, either. 


#readinglunch Book Club Update »


Hi friends!

Remember that time we promised to have information on September’s book club posted the first day of the month? And then that other time that September 1 came and went and we posted nothing?

Yeah. That.

So here’s the deal. When you work in higher ed, as we do, and then enlist two…