My Awesomely Random Life (and Everything in Between)

Posts tagged ‘Before I Go’

Book Review: Before I Go

Hey guys! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

To kick this week off with a bang, I thought I would share with you my review of one of the top five books I’ve read so far this year (and I have read a lot of books, so you know this must be a goodie).


*Warning: This book will make you feel all the feels.

My first reaction to Colleen Oakley’s incredible debut novel, Before I Go: Oh don’t mind me, I’m just over here ugly crying.

On the cusp of Daisy’s four year anniversary of being cancer-free, she gets the dreaded call from her doctor: her cancer is back! But this time it not only invades her breast, but has also travel to other parts of her body. Including an orange size tumor that has taken up residence on the back of her brain. If this news isn’t enough to cause a huge blow, her doctor proceeds to inform her that she has approximately four to six months to live.

But Daisy doesn’t have time to die. She has too much to do. Including caulk the windows, fix the door that sticks, a laundry list of other household chores … not to mention, her husband Jack needs her. Who will pick up his dirty socks off the floor or scratch his back? Who will pack his lunches and make sure that he doesn’t eat cereal for every meal? And, that’s when it hits her. Daisy will find Jack a replacement wife.

And so her search begins. Along with her best friend Kayleigh, she searches coffee shops, dog parks and even places an ad (pretending to be Jack) at an online dating site. She is going to make sure that, before she goes, Jack is sufficiently taken care of. What she didn’t expect was the guilt and jealousy that would come along with it. Could she really handle seeing Jack with another woman? But can she go in peace knowing that he doesn’t have anyone to care for him?

Cancer has touched all of our lives at some point. We tend to watch how those afflicted, whether it be a friend or a loved one, navigate through the disease, struggling, fighting and not giving up hope. And we feel incredibly hopeless, knowing that there is nothing we can do but be there and offer our support, our love, our prayers. But what if it was us in that position? If we were the ones to be told we had a limited number of days/months/years left to live? We all have an expiration date. But what if that date was imminently sooner than we had hoped. How would you spend your remaining days? Would you think of others like Daisy did? Or would you live out your last days checking things off your bucket list?

Saying that I loved this story doesn’t even begin to touch on how I truly feel about this book. The way the author brings the characters to life with each word that she writes is amazing. There are many books that I’ve read and enjoyed, but it takes a special story and writing style to get the effect that this book had on me. And the way that she takes such a serious topic and perfectly incorporates humor is sheer brilliance.

If you’re looking for a book that will make you laugh one minute, cry another, but leave you appreciating life a little more than you did before you started the book, then you must read this book!


My brain on dating

Dating is awesome.

It can be fun, exciting, and surprising. There’s nothing quite like getting those first “getting to know someone, what should I wear, holy crap is my hair alright?!” butterflies pterodactyls in your stomach.

Dating is awesome.

But it can also suck like a vacuum.

In case you were looking for another reason — Reason #623, let’s call it —  why dating can be the absolute WORST:

Let’s think about the brain. We’ll use mine as an example. Okay. So on any average given day — here’s today’s — my brain is thinking about that book that I just read (Before I Go, which was btw sooooo super good, but just a warning, it WILL make you feel all the feels), sandwiches, what book books I’m going to read next, sandwiches, mindlessly staring at things, work, sandwiches, existential mucking around, and bodily functions.

There’s a lot going on in there.

Compare that to my brain on dating:my-brain-date1

It’s incredibly irritating. I don’t want to believe that it’s true. I hate hate hate that it’s true. But honestly? It’s kind of true. I sit around, aimlessly waiting for a phone call, a text, a sign, ANY sign that the date went well and he likes me, he really likes me! And I KNOW it’s not just me who does this. Right?


My rational brain knows that it’s statistically unlikely that it’s ever going to work out. My rational brain is trying to evaluate this person based upon their personality, attractiveness, sense of humor, charisma, intelligence, and appeal. My rational brain is trying to process a lot of information — so tell me about your job! where did you grow up? how many siblings do you have? do you randomly sprout out Seinfeld quotes on the regular too?! – and see if there’s a connection, a compatibility. My rational brain is telling me to take things slowly. My rational brain is telling me to chill the vanilla cupcake out already!

My emotional brain however, well, it’s taken on a life of it’s own. My emotional brain just picked out the floral arrangements at our wedding. My emotional brain is naming our kids and deciding between the suburbs or the city. My emotional brain is the all of the WORST.

By the time I remember that I’m still on a date and focus back on the conversation and the actual person sitting in front of me, inevitably I’ve said something weird and the moment’s over and I’ve totally blown it and there’s truly no way of explaining what just happened and then I wonder why the good ones never call me back.


So yeah. This is why I’m sorta kinda bad at this whole dating thing.

And more to the point — this is why I don’t do this all that often. It gets exhausting, losing your brain like that. Even if only for a few days.

But despite what it does to my brain,  and my usually pristine amount of “sandwich thinking time”, dating is pretty awesome.

The butterflies, the dinners, the long romantic walks on the beach. (Is that still a thing?! I need to find a beach.)

It’s all awesome.

I just need to mash up my rational brain and emotional brain, a super-dating hybrid if you will (I may even wear bring out the tights and cape). I need to calm the vanilla cupcake down, have fun, and see where this whole dating thinng takes me.

I may have an incredibly awkward time.

I may meet the man of my dreams.

But no matter what, it’ll be a chance to learn, a chance to grow, a chance to wear that LBD that’s been taking up dust in my closet.



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