The A to Z of You and Me, by James Hannah, is a book like nothing I’ve ever read before. Firstly, thanks to the guys at Sourcebooks for my review copy of the book! This fabulous book was one of the selection of books I loaded onto my kindle before heading off on my holiday to Spain, and I’m honestly so glad that I did. It’s pretty obvious what’s to come for the lead character, but that doesn’t stop it from being a thought-provoking tale of loss, what-ifs and making the most of life while you can!
I found that this book was one which had me heartbroken from the word go- you knew exactly what was coming once the end of the book – and the Z – was reached but getting there was an adventure which I enjoyed beyond belief. The book introduces Ivo, a young man who, as a result of a combination of diabetes and carelessness, has been admitted to a hospice for end-of-life care. We learn, throughout the book, of how he lost the love of his life Mia to an accident, and how he holds his best friend responsible for her death. We learn of how his father died of cancer when he was just a young boy. We learn of all these horrible, traumatic and devastated events and how they come together to destroy our protagonist; mentally, physically, and emotionally.
I absolutely loved how much focus is put on Sheila, the nurse responsible for looking after Ivo and ensuring that he was as comfortable as possible as the end of his life drew near. This aspect particularly resonated with me as both my cousin and my boyfriend’s mother are nurses and it really put nurses – rightfully- in an excellent light. I honestly didn’t expect to be so moved by it but I found myself filling up with tears at the end. I’m just glad my friends didn’t notice that I was silently sobbing behind my sunglasses, quite frankly!
The themes presented were pretty heavy but enjoyable none the less! I’ll be looking out for future books by the author as I definitely think that he’s one to look out for!