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Bracing yourself for an impact that never arrives is a strange sensation When it becomes clear that the anticipated pain is not going to make an appearance, there s a moment of confusion before the tensed muscles release, before the flinch fades, before the shielding hands come down A suspended second where the expectation and the reality don t quite connect, and you have to reassess what s going on As I read The Survival Kit, I think I had been unconsciously readying myself for an emotional kick in the solar plexus, only to reach the epilogue without any such violent impact If anything, as I put the book down, I felt the distinct empty space where I had expected the strong emotional response to be And I can t help but think that this does a disservice to the book, and the things I actually did feel about it Have I confused you yet In a genre with no shortage of grief books , Donna Freitas writing and approach to a heavy subject sets The Survival Kit apart Her approach is both respectful and empathetic, striking a balance between the inherent sadness of her topic and a genuinely uplifting subtext, without coming off either deliberately tear jerky or TV movie cheesy The focus is on Rose s growth, her progression through grief, and the eventual affirmation of her personal beliefs about life The story opens after the death of Rose s mother, with the discovery a survival kit A signature gift that Rose s mother has been making for other people over the years, the survival kit is a paper bag filled with small personalised objects and mementos, like tiny tethering devices, keeping hope alive in their recipients The sections of Rose s story loosely centre each object in her survival kit Originally seeing them as specific clues or pieces of a message, Rose slowly comes to find her own interpretation of the gifts, a way to incorporate them in her life and rediscover what she thought she had lost What was almost immediately apparent to me, and definitely a welcome change to the prevailing trend, was the lack of high school clich s to found in this book Cheerleaders who are not stereotypes Football players who are not written as mindless jocks Diversity An absence of Mean Girl caricatures Beautifully rendered friendships The passing of real, actual time and the gradual burgeoning of romantic feelings view spoiler Despite some slightly predictable moments, Rose and Will s relationship is definitely a highlight of this story, with some genuinely poignant, honest scenes hide spoiler A lot of what I liked in Survival Kit had to do with Rose and Will then only later with Rose with and her family, particularly her with her brother as they dealt with what they had to It s an emotional read, but not as emotional as I was thinking it was going to be Sure, most of what I felt for them was something quiet and sad, yet there were moments too that felt sweet and lovely and only a couple of bits that had me or was it Rose feeling maybe bitterly disappointed.Will I thought I had him pegged In fact, the moment he was in the picture memories of Sarah Dessen books came flying back Were they to be another one of those pairs, her sad and broken, him there to help her If I felt that way for some pages, I was soon disabused of such a notion because things between the two Were glacial, and I don t mean cold but rather glacial as in glacially slow in progression which is not necessarily a bad thing, because then we saw, or at least, I saw them go from the barely there idea of a them to somethingAnd what sis Will wasn t, didn t really prop her up all the time because how could he when he was similarly situated Supporting cast I love that not once were any of them negative Most of them are considerate, thinking individuals, and never was there a moment of them falling into stereotypes Take Chris, the ex boyfriend He s there and could actually be rather thoughtful Add that fact that he and yes, even Rose were not the long suffering types They each knew where the other was coming from and acted appropriately well, himthan her What addedto this for me were the moments with her family The feelings of being worried about and angry at one or some or all Or even moments of jealousy or being overwhelmed about what needed doing It all felt accurate Sure, before the book had started there were hints that maybe Rose was wallowing, running away and not confronting certain things, but it s in this where she tries to cope where they try to cope sometimes successfully, other times not all It all felt accurate, the portrayal of grief and moving on But like I said, for her, it wasn t the boy, but her own actions, decisions that got the ball rolling with a little push from the rather meaningful contents of her Kit.3.5 5 The Survival Kit is written for the readers who painstakingly shy away from issue novels from the inevitable pain and hurt and pure emotion that they bring While Freitas s novel is beautifully written, capturing the emotions of grief and heartache in a seamless manner and integrating within this story a romance that is both deep and palpable, the inevitable punch that is common to most grief novels you know, that moment when it seems as if the wind has been knocked out from you and the floor has fallen beneath you and all of a sudden your vision is blurry with pooling tears never comes Unfortunately, sometimes all I want is a real kick to my gut a true feeling that reminds me that my life isn t all that bad, that my own feelings don t matter in the realm of this book or this character Although The Survival Kit evidently deliver in the way I wanted it to, I can t say that I ve regretted a single moment I spent with this breathtaking novel in my hands Arguably, the beginning of this novel is the weakest Although its first few pages are gripping a funeral, a dead mother, a survival kit put together by a dying mother to help her daughter cope the following chapters are forgettable As is Rose, our main character Until, that is, the story suddenly picks up and before I knew it, the pages were flying beneath my fingertips While Rose is inscrutable and hidden to us at first, after the initial slow start, she slowly blooms, opening up to the reader and becoming strikingly real Not only does her narration become faraccessible, de cluttering from the previous tiresome passages of description or introspective boredom, but her journey truly begins as well Once Rose begins to take that first peek into the survival kit her mother made her full of items such as an iPod, a star, or a box of crayons and then makes the conscious decision to survive life, not just get by, I began to love her Honestly, there is nothing I lovethan a protagonist who is willing to take her future into her hands and mold it While Rose was still grieving heavily, unable to return to cheerleading or listen to music, I love that she allowed others to help her Whether it was her grandmother who became her rock to lean on or her best friend, Krupa, who lent her her hand and shoulder whenever she needed it, Rose slowly began to emerge from the shroud of depression.As a character, Rose is three dimensional and real, never succumbing to unnecessary drama and proving to be every bit as real with others in her life as she is with the reader And while her support system is incredible, that doesn t mean her life isn t falling apart For one, her father has resorted to drinking away his problems, unable to cope with the death of his wife Further, her older brother, Jim, is struggling in his own way While Rose was able to slowly handle her mother s death on her own and with the help of her friends, seeing her come to a full circle and help her family heal together was a touching journey All too often, grief novels neglect others in their portrayal of one individual s grief, but I m glad that Freitas gave ample attention to the grief of a father, a son, and a daughter with this one Further, Rose is not the only grieving character in our tale Enter Will As the gardener in Rose s home, Will has been overlooked quite often until he suddenly isn t For me, the greatest strength of this novel lies within its love story Will and Rose s blooming romance is slow, deliberate, and utterly adorable Seriously, the swoons and aww s will just keep coming when it s about these two And yet, their relationship was real and went through hurdles that were realistic, not contrived All the , Will becomes a truly in depth character as well, proving to bethan just the love interest of our tale Freitas s integration of both the romance and self growth in this novel was beautifully rendered, all with the theme of the survival kit in the background Still, not all is perfect in this novel Honestly, I can forgive a novel for a slow start, but what I cannot forgive are the mixed feelings As I mentioned before, I was seeking a punch with this one one that never came although I expected it to Additionally, though, I felt as if some aspects of Rose s life were just too convenient For one, her cheerleading friends and Krupa were supportive all the time and while this is ideal, it isn t realistic As much as we d all like to be that perfect friend, life happens We have good days, we have bad days, we have days when we can t deal with a moping, depressed friend, no matter how bad their life is For me, these friends were rocks for Rose, but never characters in their own right Where was their depth Further, Rose s mother is also cast as an angelic figure in this book And although I understand the need to create a perfect image of a deceased person, the truth is, people are not perfect And I doubt Rose s mother was too What happened to the classic mother daughter arguments that are characteristic of teen years Where was the guilt, the anger, the betrayal Surely, not all of that could have been lost simply because Rose s mother had cancer For me, small aspects like this one went a long way into making the overall impact of this novel suffer The Survival Kit, though, is one of the rare beauties that contemporary has to offer On a rainy afternoon like this one, Donna Freitas managed to capture and hold my attention long enough for the pages of her unexpectedly little known novel to pass by And although The Survival Kit is not perfect and often left me swinging between feelings of pure elation from one minute and disappointment to the next, I wouldn t hesitate to recommend it Not at all. Everyone knows there isn t a cure your brain absorbs this unconsciously from ads you see on television and all those races for the cure that people sponsor But when someone you love is diagnosed, all rationality disappears You think there has to be exceptions to this rule, and I wanted Dr Stellar to tell us that Mom was one of these As someone who lost a parent after a horrible battle to cancer,I completely enjoyed in this amazing book.For the last couple of months I ve been reading fantasy sci fi books,so I was kind of craving for a good realistic story.This one was the perfect choice,trust me.Things I really liked in this book 1 The main character Rose.I went through every phase of grieving,just like her,so for me she was very relatable and realistic.She tries her best to keep a good memory of her mom,to do things she would wanted her to do and to keep her family from falling apart.While doing these things,she finds her true self and starts discovering how loyal her friends are and how her life can be beautifuleven if she s not the footballer s girlfriend.2 Survival kits.Making these was such an amazing idea and I kinda wish my dad made me one before he passed away.But who knows,maybe I ll make one for someone else in the future.Things I didn t like in this book 1 I just wish that there wereinformation about Krupa and Keicia,they seemed pretty cool.Favourite quotes Each day before I left for school I took the crystal heart from a tiny dish on my bedside table and clasped the chain around my neck, careful to keep it hidden under the shirts and sweaters I bundled on to stave off the icy air I carried both hearts, my own, filled with growing feelings for Will, and my mother s gift, like secrets Why is it that when we lose something big, we begin to lose everything else along with it Yes, I ll go to the prom with you I have to, right Apparently, it s the oldest story in the book The former cheerleader and the hockey player You know the one I m talking about, I said, and took Will shand and led him toward the house. Nothing has been the same since Rose s mother died Rose misses herthan anything, and her absence makes Rose s entire life feel off kilter When Rose finds a Survival Kit that her mom made especially for her, she realizes that she needs to at least try to heal Her mother left her a paper bag containing a picture of peonies, a crystal heart, a box of crayons, a paper star, an iPod with an empty playlist, and a paper kite, and Rose owes it to her mother to make the most of what she s been given It ll take time, but with help and comfort from a surprising source, Rose will come to realize that even though she can t change what s already happened, she can still look forward to new beginnings and happiness The Survival Kit is a beautiful look at coming to terms with the absence of a loved one I ve read a good amount of novels similar to this one, and despite the similarity in storyline, I love The Survival Kit just as much as those other books Freitas s strength is by far her ability to so realistically capture the emotions of the moment in each of her characters Her writing, both delicate and beautiful, draws readers in and refuses to let them leave Rose s story until it s over Though I completely love this story, I m not sure if the strength of Freitas s writing is enough to distinguish The Survival Kit from other stories like it, if only because my favorites from these stories have been equally as well written and moving There is no doubt though that this novel is a truly powerful story of healing that is worth reading.The Survival Kit appeals to readers who also enjoyed The Alison Rules by Catherine Clark, A Map of the Known World by Lisa Ann Sandell, Lipstick Apology by Jennifer Jabeley, and Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver.reposted from Readalong with Reynje My copy was given to me by her too I can t thank her enough.This one is hard to rate and review.Let me just say that I was out of sync with this book from the start The author and I are not cognitively compatible If you liked the book, please skip the next part or know that this is my personal reactioin and just an example of bad chemistry between an author and a reader.The book starts with, I found it on the day of my mother s funeral, tucked in a place she knew I would look There is nothing wrong with this sentence It s that for me it set a tone that the book was written in first person which is fine and that the main character, Rose, was looking back to what she discovered on her mum s funeral day, in other words, what happened to her in the PAST let it be months ago or a week ago it doesn t matter As I read through I realised that the envents in the book were happening to her in the present although it s written in the past tense Again, it would ve been absolutely fine However, Rose is just too aware of her surroundings My mind kept saying, How did she know about all that without looking around How would she be able to pay so much attention when she s grief stricken It s poetic at a time, which I LOVED, but Rose pays attention to such details it felt unrealistic and completely pulled me out of the story Orlike it made me very aware that I was reading a story If it had been written in a way Rose was looking back or even in third person, this book would ve been less distracting for me Am I picky Maybe, but it felt as if it was trying too hard to be two things first person subjective poetic descriptive all seing and objective in a way when it s impossible to be two Also, particularly during the first half of the book, Rose verbalises and explains the obvious and it felt as if the author was in my head correcting my interpretation This didn t go too well with being poetic as it didn t allow me to just feel I imagine a person behind each character in a book, with a complete set of personality, temperament, feelings, motivation, intention etc so that I will be able to see reason in their behaviours or comments I couldn t do that with Rose or any of the characters partly because some of the lines were just so unnatural to me I wanted to yell, Nobody talks like that or She He wouldn t say do that Or some of Rose s behaviours are so unacceptable to me I actually said WTH view spoiler For example, the way Rose treats Chris on page 225 He s not a bad person And how Rose shares her Survival Kit with her friends before telling her brother about it was seriously unthinkable hide spoiler .READ EBOOK ⚕ The Survival Kit ⚖ When Rose S Mom Dies, She Leaves Behind A Brown Paper Bag Labeled Rose S Survival Kit Inside The Bag, Rose Finds An IPod, With A To Be Determined Playlist A Picture Of Peonies, For Growing A Crystal Heart, For Loving A Paper Star, For Making A Wish And A Paper Kite, For Letting GoAs Rose Ponders The Meaning Of Each Item, She Finds Herself Returning Again And Again To An Unexpected Source Of Comfort Will Is Her Family S Gardener, The School Hockey Star, And The Only Person Who Really Understands What She S Going Through Can Loss Lead To Love Sigh The Survival Kit was just one of those beautifully wistful, yet tender and gut wrenching and haunting kind of reads I tumbled through a dizzying cycle of emotions, as Rose dealt with the loss of her mother, and as the burden of moving on crushed Rose Her life, her whole world, and her sense of self deteriorates around her, and her only way out of it all is to just survive.At first, I was shocked and disappointed with Will But then his indiscretion and my disappointment reaffirmed the initial heartbreak and aching loss I felt when I first started reading this book I guess the story wasn t meant to necessarily be a happy one, in terms of the fantastical romance, and fairy tale love story How can it be One cannot possibly be the same ever after losing a MOM, or in Will s case, a dad Therefore, for a moment, I was equally shocked when things all of a sudden turned around for the better between Will and Rose I think the story would have been just as good, if notpowerful if Rose and Will separated completely Nevertheless, I deeply felt each meaning, concept, symbolism and emotion behind each word in this book I liked the romance aspect, but I loved seeing Rose picking up the remaining pieces of her life, and learning to move forward The items in the Survival Kit were so touching, heartfelt and sad yet I couldn t help but feel a surge of hope for Rose And as others have mentioned, the characters in this story are deep, heartfelt, endearing, full of flaws, and far from embodying predictable stereotypes I m glad the book progressed from the morose, heartbreaking, wistful and tragic start to the hopeful and promising ending. Jederzeit, selbst in den Momenten gr ten Gl cks, kann unsere Welt ohne Vorwarnung in St cke zerbrechen Der Verlust lauert berall und zeigt uns sein h ssliches Antlitz immer dann, wenn wir es am wenigsten erwarten S 325Zum BuchinhaltEin iPod mit Liedern, ein Foto mit Pfingstrosen, ein Kristallherz, Papiersterne das alles befindet sich in der schlichten braunen Papiert te mit der Aufschrift Roses Survival Kit, die Rose am Tag der Beerdigung ihrer Mutter findet Es ist ein letztes Geschenk ihrer Mutter und der Beginn einer Reise Z gernd l sst Rose sich darauf ein und jeder Gegenstand scheint sie dabei auf seltsame Art zu Will zu f hren, f r den sie schon bald mehr empfindet als blo e Freundschaft Meine Meinung Wie viel Leben passt in eine T te ist ein Buch, auf das ich ohne die liebe Bloggerwelt niemals aufmerksam geworden w re, was wirklich schade gewesen w re, da mir eine der sch nsten Geschichten, die ich jemals gelesen habe, durch die Lappen gegangen w re Donna Freitas hat sich mit ihrem wundersch nen und feinf hligen Schreibstil direkt in mein Herz geschrieben Von der ersten bis zur letzten Seite war ich in der Geschichte versunken und habe es einfach nur genossen dieses Buch zu lesen bzw durch die Zeilen zu fliegen Mit zunehmender Seitenzahl ist in mir schlie lich der Wunsch aufgekommen, dass Wie viel Leben passt in eine T te niemals enden mag Seit dem Tod ihrer Mutter hat sich in Rose s Leben einiges ver ndert sie hat sich ver ndert Von dem einst fr hlichen und lebenslustigen M dchen, das Musik und Tanzen ber alles geliebt hat, ist nur noch wenig brig geblieben Rose hat sich fast vollkommen in sich zur ckgezogen und h lt ihre Freundinnen sowie ihren Freund Chris zunehmend auf Distanz, da sie mit ihrer Trauer allein sein m chte Hinzukommt, dass sich Rose gro e Sorgen um ihren Vater macht, der seinen Schmerz ber den Verlust seiner Frau, immer h ufiger im Alkohol ertr nkt Ein Lichtblick in dieser schweren Zeit, gibt ihr das letzte Geschenk ihrer Mutter ein Survival Kit, in dem sich einige Dinge befinden, die Rose helfen sollen langsam zur ck ins Leben zu finden Und tats chlich zeigt das Survival Kit seine Wirkung Es ver ndert Rose und ihr Leben St ck f r St ck Nicht ganz unbeteiligt an dieser Entwicklung ist aber auch Will, mit dem Rose auf fast schicksalhafte Art und Weise immer wieder zusammengef hrt wird Rose war mir vom ersten Augenblick an sympathisch und ich konnte ihre Trauer nur zu gut verstehen Mit dem Tod eines geliebten Menschen klarzukommen ist alles andere als leicht, da es ein tiefgreifender Einschnitt in das eigene Leben ist In einem Moment scheint noch alles in Ordnung zu sein, man ist gl cklich, sorglos etc und dann pl tzlich ist diese heile Welt verschwunden Was bleibt ist der Schmerz und ein Haufen Erinnerungen an die gl cklichen Tage, die nun so weit entfernt scheinen Einen Verlust zu akzeptieren und nach vorne zu schauen, braucht seine Zeit Zum Gl ck ist Rose nicht ganz allein, sondern hat ihre Freundinnen, das Survival Kit und Will an ihrer Seite Will versteht so gut wie kein anderer was Rose gerade durchmacht, da er in seiner Vergangenheit wie sie einen schweren Schicksalsschlag erlitten hat Darum ist er auch ein eher ruhiger und in sich gekehrter Junge, der lieber unauff llig bleibt Rose und Will verbringen im Verlauf der Geschichte mehr und mehr Zeit miteinander, f hren Gespr che und kommen sich dabei langsam n her, was sooo sch n zu beobachten ist Donna Freitas hat ihre Charaktere sehr liebevoll gestaltet, sodass man sie einfach in sein Herz schlie en muss Sie haben f r mich diese Geschichte auch ausgezeichnet Ach ja ich wei gar nicht, was ich noch sagen soll au er, dass Wie viel Leben passt in eine T te ein kleiner Schatz ist Nat rlich bekommt man nicht nur fr hliche Momente zu lesen, sondern auch traurige um ehrlich zu sein habe ich innerhalb der knapp 400 Seiten jegliche Art von Emotionen durchlebt wobei am Ende die Freude berwiegt Mein FazitMit Wie viel Leben passt in eine T te erz hlt Donna Freitas eine wirklich ber hrende Geschichte ber das Abschied nehmen und wie man nach einem gro en Verlust langsam zur ck ins Leben findet Mich hat das Buch von Anfang an gefangen genommen, sodass ich es gar nicht mehr aus der Hand legen wollte Dar ber hinaus waren mir die beiden Protagonisten Rose und Will so sympathisch, dass ich sie einfach in mein Herz schlie en musste Alles in allem war Wie viel Leben passt in eine T te ein wahres Lesehighlight, das ich euch nur w rmstens empfehlen kann Rose was always close to her mother After her mother dies from cancer, she and her family her father older brother Jim must recover from her death Rose s mother was infamous for making Survival Kits for the parents of children she taught These kits contained items to help the parents through their difficulties of missing their children and they were very popular Rose discovers one of these kits in her closet, containing six items that will allow her to move on from her grief As she tries to break out of the grief and return to her normal life, she wonders if she can ever love again.Now, this book came recommended heavily I figured that since I enjoy contemporary fiction it would be a good read for me The theme of grief, while important, has been a bit overused in fiction as of late, and the romance a key part isn t my forte I found myself disliking the book quite a bit even as I liked some parts.In the end, I feel kind of unsure on what I think I ll start with the good The characters were all very unique Where Freitas could have fallen into stereotypes cheereladers, football boyfriends she managed to subvert clich s and make them unique, original characters that avoided tropes However, I felt like most of the characters didn t get much development Rose and Will developed, changing as they continued their very cute romance But the other characters seemed static, never changing or developing I also felt like I didn t know many of the characters Rose and Will had personalities and I understood their feelings, families, and histories But the others like Rose s three best friends never seemed to even really be developed They were simply there, almost like props, just to move the story along.For the plot, it was yes, a bit predictable I expected it to be predictable almost instantly, though I may have been being cynical But it was sweet, and the romance made me smile The romance is also very well developed, forming over a long period of time instead of the dreaded instalove formula that appears in so many books There were some things that seemed off, however The Dad s sudden change is very predictable and his character seemed to suddenly change after his pivotal event I felt like the climax of the story was also a little off, as it was all based around one event the dad s pivotal moment However, the story was sweet and it would make a nice fit for romance fans.The writing was nice, smooth and easy to read I thought that Freitas s authors note also added a bit to the story read always read the authors notes She explained that the Survival Kits actually did exist Her mother, whose situation parallels some parts of the story she sadly also died from cancer created the Survival Kits for her friends and family, and like Rose s fictional mother, became infamous for her kits I thought that changed my reading of the book a bit, as I could see itas an semi autobiographical novel as well as a sweet romantic read One final note I would absolutely love to get my own Survival Kit someday.