Title: Dying to Know You
Author: Aiden Chambers
Publisher: Amulets Books
Karl, aged seventeen, is hopelessly in love. But the object of his affections, Firella, demands proof, and poses him a series of questions regarding his attitude to the many sides of love. But Karl is dyslexic, and convinced that if Firella finds out, she will think he is stupid, and unworthy of her, and leave him.
So Karl asks a local writer to help him construct his replies – and an unlikely, but extremely touching, friendship develops between the two men. They both come to learn a great deal about about life from a very different perspective, and when an act of violence shatters their calm, they find their respective appraisal of life shifting in profound ways.
When I picked up this book from the library last week I was using it kinda like a filler. I had the intentions to read Name of the wind by Patrick Rothfuss a rather large book so I wanted something easy to read on the side.
What I ended up getting was a lot more than I was expecting though. I was expecting a book driven by a romance and honestly wasn’t expecting much more than that. This book is narrated by a local writer (he was never official named) a young adult writer around the age of 60. Basically what happens is Karl a 18 year old plumber comes to this writer to ask for help from him to win the heart of his girlfriend, Firella. She had asked him to write her letters answering a long list of questions about himself and what he believes in. Karl is dyslexic and fears Firella will leave him if he tells her, so he goes to meet her favorite author to ask for his help. When he accepts that is when the story really gets started.
I was so fascinated in this book. When I think YA I expect a teenager perspective so I was nervous about the POV. I ended up really enjoying the perspective though. It took me a few chapters to get into the writing because a lot things don’t happen right away, action wise. This book is written with a lot of dialogue almost the whole chapters are conversations and I liked that. A lot of books are heavy handed in descriptions and a lot of the time I find that unnecessary. The writing here though was straight forward everything felt like it was needed in the writing with no unnecessary chapters or pages.
Romance is not the focal point in this book. Don’t get me wrong I love a good romance but I feel it doesn’t always have to be the focus so I’m always happy to find a hidden gem like this. The focus was on Karl’s and the Authors friendship. Besides that it was focused on Karl and him dealing with his problems like the death of his father years ago and dealing with the fact that he felt useless because he was dyslexic.
I loved the relationship between both of them. How similar they both were and felt like I could really relate to both of them. Writing the letters together and thinking about the answers helped the duo bond. The only wish I had was that they answered more of the questions and wrote more letters. I liked the letters and emails that were sent through out the whole book. The letters they did have in here I loved.
Karl and the author were so fun to get to know and very enjoyable. Aidan Chambers has written a beautifully simple book without having any major drama. I’m loving that about contemporaries lately that they aren’t all fluff and cuteness but can deal with real problems.
I would recommend this all of you guys to pick up!