If a book makes me feel so many emotions in just one go, then that’s what I call a book worth reading. This is exactly my sentiments for Michelle Muto’s Don’t Fear the Reaper
Don’t Fear the Reaper is basically about this teenage girl who committed suicide because life was already too unbearable for her after experiencing the death of her twin sister. Through this act, she finds out about the realities of the afterlife firsthand with the help of the reaper who took her soul and a demon who was tasked to ferry her soul to hell since, as religion would argue, suicide is a sin and therefore, people who take their lives go straight to hell.
It may sound like a cliched plot at first, but this book contains so many surprises and twists that would engage the readers to keep reading.
CHARACTERS: (Spoiler alert!!)
- Keely Morrison – Protagonist of the story, the teen girl who committed suicide. I personally saw a well-planned character development in Keely, having starting out as a weak and cowardly girl but ending up as a tough soul who faced greater challenges in the afterlife due to decision she made to save her sister’s soul and her new-found friends. It was a decision I personally didn’t see coming and, if you fell in love with the novel the same way I did, I’m sure that twist would blow you off your seats.
- Jordan Morrison – She’s Keely’s twin sister who was murdered by an older man whom she had this fling with. My personal impression of her is that she is weaker than Keely and more frightened to face the realities of the afterlife but her love for her sister is admirable. Unlike Keely who had two others to accompany her in her first few days as a wandering soul, she faced her first few months alone.
- Daniel – He is the demon who was supposed to bring Keely’s soul to hell. He was introduced as this badass character who gets easily irritated but, same as Keely, he developed throughout the novel. The readers would get this impression that the whole demon thing is just merely a facade. His heart and intentions are truly good, despite the way he portrays himself. It would be better if the author mentioned his backstory in detail, even if it’s just a short description. With his attitude about his family and his occasional slip-of-the-tongue, the readers would become very curious and, well, perhaps they’d want to know about it. Oh, and one more thing, I ship Keely and Daniel as a pair.
- Banning – He is the reaper who took Keely’s soul and served as “her father” in the afterlife. He guided her with utmost patience and love, as if he was his very own daughter. His backstory is quite saddening, though.
- Pete – the man who murdered Jordan. Not much is said about him, except how he already killed six women (including Jordan) and how he allows himself to be in the presence of demons.
- Personally, I saw how well the plot was developed with the way the twists and turns were very unexpected in a way that even the small details matter. I like how misleading the novel is, misleading in a sense that it would build up a definite situation in your head but with sudden twists of events, the whole thing just became a whole lot better.
- I like how this isn’t a love story, but the author didn’t completely take that romance aspect away from her work. She implied certain pairings that would leave readers squealing in their minds but it didn’t go as far as proving that pairing or allotting parts of the novel for it. It was just right to give a lighter mood to the dark-themed story.
- Despite my utmost love and awe for this novel, I’ve rated it 4.5/5 stars due to sensitivity. Some people may be very sensitive with the situations and concepts mentioned in the novel.
- If you aren’t very sensitive with death and if you aren’t too much of a religious critic, this novel is truly worth reading. It takes the readers to a journey in the afterlife, with the perception of a deceased. It teaches lessons about life and how we all should value everything, even the simplest things.
- This is a very good recommendation to those who’ve already attempted to commit suicide or to those suffering from depression and have considered / are considering suicide because it would make you think twice. The events of the afterlife may be fictional here, but the lessons learned are very insightful.
- It’s the kind of book you wouldn’t want to put down. It’s a total page-turner and nearly all chapters have surprises in store for its readers.
REMARKS REGARDING THE AUTHOR:
- I admire her ability to create sudden and unpredictable twists.
- I admire how she gives out enough details to stir up the readers’ imaginations and make them visualize everything that’s happening in the novel yet it isn’t overly detailed that would make the novel too draggy.
- Her works are most definitely worth looking forward to and I wish her books are available here in the Philippines.