‘Dear Edward’ by Ann Napolitano – eARC Book Review

Blurb from Goodreads

A heart-wrenching, life-affirming novel about a 12-year-old boy who is the sole survivor of a deadly plane crash

One summer morning, a flight takes off from New York to Los Angeles. There are 216 passengers aboard: among them a Wall Street millionaire; a young woman taking a pregnancy test in the airplane toilet; a soldier returning from Afghanistan; and two beleaguered parents moving across the country with their adolescent sons. When the plane suddenly crashes in a field in Colorado, the younger of these boys, 12-year-old Edward Adler, is the sole survivor.

Dear Edward recounts the stories of the passengers aboard that flight as it hurtles toward its fateful end, and depicts Edward’s life in the crash’s aftermath as he tries to make sense of the loss of his family, the strangeness of his sudden fame, and the meaning of his survival. As Edward comes of age against the backdrop of sudden tragedy, he must confront one of life’s most profound questions: how do we make the most of the time we are given?’

My Review

“Dear Edward” follows the story of a plane crash with just a single survivor, 12 year old Eddie who after the flight chooses to be called Edward. The story unfolds over two time periods; the events that occurred on the flight and the storylines of its passengers, and then following Edward as he comes to terms with what his survival truly means to him and to the world at large. 

I really wanted to love this book and had thought that I would find it deeply moving but sadly I found the writing to be in too much of a detached style for my personal taste. I preferred Edward’s story and struggle to come to grips with what happened to him a lot more than the stories of the people on board the plane. Those stories to me seemed to be rather confusing and I was constantly getting mixed up between characters due to the style of narrative used. I do however also think that because I read an eARC copy that is not the finalised version, that its formatting on my kindle paperwhite made things more difficult for me to follow and added to my lack of enjoyment. For the last quarter of the book I switched to using the Bluefire app on a tablet and the formatting was 100% better. 

As I said earlier, I very much preferred following Edward’s story. I thought it was very interesting to read about how he dealt with survivor’s guilt and the loss of his entire family along with his medical problems and upheaval to a new life with his aunt and uncle. His relationship with his new friend Shay was the highlight of the book for me and I really loved how their friendship helped to create a new normal for Edward. 

Overall I’m sad to say that this book wasn’t completely to my liking but it did have some very touching moments that hopefully a different reader would enjoy more than I did. 

*An e-copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher, Penguin Books UK/Viking, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

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9 thoughts on “‘Dear Edward’ by Ann Napolitano – eARC Book Review

  1. I’m about a third of the way in and decided to look up some reviews as I can’t decide whether to keep reading. I’m also having problems with the formatting on my Kindle as it’s not clear when it changes perspective. I think I may keep reading for now, I’m just struggling to see where it’s going. Finding out about the characters on the plane seems fruitless when you know they all die.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so sorry I am late in replying to you. Your comment somehow got tagged as spam and I only just discovered it in the spam folder this evening. My apologies.
      This book was very strange indeed. I did not mind the idea of learning about characters who would ultimately die but really to me no character ever seemed to clear, not one character really made me feel emotion, I simply did not care about the tragedy of this flight… Sad really, as the premise was quite an interesting one.


    1. I’ve seen a lot of positive reviews though Mani!! So it really might just have been a case of me being the odd one out. You might end up loving it and that’s what’s so great about reading. No two people react the same way. I really hope you like it a lot more than I did :)))

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, sorry to hear that this didn’t live up to your expectations! Reading the blurb it does sound like it has the potential to be fairly heartbreaking… Still sounds interesting though, but might sample it first when it comes out before deciding if I want to spend $ on it! Hope your next read is more enjoyable, Emer 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A lot of other reviews I’ve read have seemed very positive so who knows, could’ve been my mood or something crazy the week I read it! I had really thought I’d love it. Oh well. These things happen I guess :))


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