Tuesday, September 13, 2016

My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman | Review

My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Publication Date: April 5, 2016 (in English)
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Humor
Pages: 400
Source: Received a copy for an honest review through Booktube Tours
Find on Goodreads

Goodreads Description

From the author of the internationally bestselling 'A Man Called Ove', a novel about a young girl whose grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters, sending her on a journey that brings to life the world of her grandmother's fairy tales.

Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy, standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-men-who-want-to-talk-about-Jesus-crazy. She is also Elsa's best, and only, friend. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother's stories, in the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal.

When Elsa's grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa's greatest adventure begins. Her grandmother's letters lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and totally ordinary old crones, but also to the truth about fairytales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.

My Thoughts

I had heard a lot of amazing things about this author's previous novel, A Man Called Ove, but I hadn't heard anyone talking about this one. Going into it I had high expectations because of the previous praise but I also had an open mind since I didn't know what to expect.

Because all seven-year-olds deserve superheros. And anyone who doesn't agree needs their head examined.

I'm not really sure the best way to start talking about this book because the beginning was a little all over the place and chaotic, just like Elsa's grandmother. Elsa's grandmother is one of my favorite parts of this story. She loves Elsa fiercely and does everything in her power to make sure Elsa doesn't dwell on the things that have upset her. Elsa is different so her grandmother is her only friend and for that Granny is Elsa's superhero.

The currency there is imagination; instead of buying with coins, you buy it with a good story. Libraries aren't known as libraries but as "banks," and every fairy tale is worth a fortune.

Growing up, Elsa's grandmother told her stories about the Land-of-Almost-Awake. This is one of Elsa's favorite things. In a way, the stories are a way for  her to escape the reality of her situation. However, not too far into the book Elsa's grandmother dies and she is alone. It seems all she has left to keep her company are the stories her grandmother told her.

The mightiest power of death is not that it can make people die, but it can make the people left behind want to stop living.

After her grandmother dies and she is on one last adventure (from her grandmother) to deliver apology letters, Elsa realizes that all the people she grew up around are all connected in some way. As Elsa gets to know each person she also realizes that each of them is also connected to the stories her grandmother told her about the Land-of-Almost-Awake. In this story, everything is partially fantasy and partially reality.

It's possible to love your grandmother for years and years without really knowing anything about her.

While I really enjoyed the story, I felt like there were some moments of disconnection. At times I felt like was being pulled out of the story or missing out on connections with characters because of the way the story was told. I'm not sure if this was intended to be told this way or that's just how it ended up after translation. There were multiple times where this bother me but it didn't take away from the story, just a bit of the reading experience.

If this sounds like a book you would be interested in, I definitely suggest you check it out. It was a really enjoyable read and I'm looking forward to reading more by this author.

Other Quotes I Loved

"When it comes to terror, reality's got nothing on the power of the imagination."

Because not all monsters were monsters in the beginning. Some monsters are born of sorrow.

Shattered with such force by the wave that the shards of glass were dispersed all around the world.

"Maybe she was disappointed in you because you're so disappointed in yourself."

She wants to yell that Granny was wrong, that different is not always good, because different is a mutation and almost no one in X-Men has a family.

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