In the Way of All Flesh by Caitlin Alise Donovan

You will be thinking about this novel long after you finish it.

What was the book about?
Before going any further I must make note of trigger warnings in this novel: suicide, mental health, child abuse.

To be honest I haven’t read many YA books and they aren’t my usual go-to but this one is different. Manee Srikwan is not your typical teenager, she can see your death if she touches you. Trying to deal with this from an early age and now in high school, she hasn’t let anyone get close to her and has no friends. Stephanie Pierce, outgoing and drawn to Manee, is determined they will be friends. When Manee explains to Stephanie why she is so withdrawn, Manee is shocked to see that Stephanie actually believes her. Manee is so sure that once she sees a person’s death there is nothing that can be done; Stephanie, however, is sure that is not the case. The determination to change an outcome puts in motion a series of events that affects all those around them.

Featured Tropes
Young Adult, fantasy

Book Strengths
There is an intensity to this novel that makes it hard to put down. The concept of being able to see how someone dies is so intriguing, both fascinating and terrifying. The main characters are believable and the way they try to cope with what they have been dealt is moving. You want them to overcome.

Book Weaknesses
The only weakness is that I thought the ending was a little rushed.

Character Chemistry
Manee and Stephanie’s relationship moves from friendship to one of first love. In Manee’s desperation to save Stephanie from her fate you feel the pain that makes Manee pull away from the friendship in order to do this. Feelings are raw whether from what horrors Stephanie has had to endure from her own family to those of Manee’s trying to understand what she experiences.

Wrap up
Because of the aforementioned intensity of this novel, I’ll be definitely watching this author closely to see what comes next. I couldn’t put this novel down and haven’t stopped thinking about it since I finished it. It truly makes you think…”what would I do?”.

Star Rating

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