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Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano

There are 191 passengers aboard a flight headed from Newark to Los Angeles. Each passenger carries their own emotional baggage and stories written on their faces and in their temperaments. 

“We contain the other, hopelessly and forever” 
 
The plane crashes in Colorado and every single passenger is dead except a 12 year old boy who has not only seen his whole world wiped out within a matter of minutes but also left with the burden to draw a new path out of this new reality that seems like an alternate reality to his young brain. 
 
Ann Napolitano tells the story of a survivor through Edward and the readers will come to realise that being a survivor by chance doesn’t automatically make you a strong person. But waking up and rising to the challenge of living and to create a new life from the ashes of your old one makes you a survivor. Edward staggers to adjust to his new life, going to live with his aunt and uncle who have their own struggles. 
 
It is a story of survivors, arrogant men, running away wives and a childless couple. The author tells the story of various characters, of lives lived to the fullest in limos and arms of beautiful men and women. She tells the story of a woman’s past life and people who believe in calling on spirits. She tells the story of his aunt and uncle who can’t find love because they can’t have a child. 
 
Edward talks to the President and learns to walk again. He writes to the families of the dead from the plane crash and shares the collective pain that they all live with. They call him the ‘miracle boy’. Edward makes a friend in a headstrong hispanic girl who pushes him to his best, they bond over Harry Potter. Through Edward the author also explains how very different teenage years can be for males and females. 
 
The book is in three parts. Each telling the story of ifferent years as Edward progresses from a 13 year old to adulthood. The first part focuses on how he copes with the loss of his family and the strangers whom he never knew but still feels like he lost a part of himself with them. A young boy climbing out of depression and hopelessness, trying to make sense of what normal means. 
 
The second part follows Edward through ages of 14-16 where he finds himself growing taller and buffers and stronger. He describes the irritation of having more hair on his body and the weird feeling he gets when he sees his best friend in a swimsuit. Although he still misses his brother and describes losing him as if he lost a limb. 
 
The third part is the culmination of 7 hard years and our protagonist makes it to adulthood. He’s looking for answers now, he finds that his parents weren’t entirely in love and his brother had found his first love right before he died. He finds answers to questions he never asked out loud. 
 
Edward falls in love with his best friend. 
It seems like the fulfilling start to a new life that Edward deserves after everything that has happened to him. 
The story is slow so patience is recommended on part of the readers. The writing is fulfilling in all aspects, it is complete and compact. It makes you feel sad and uncomfortable when the characters are feeling low. The story is not poetic but very realistic, touching on survivors guilt and nightmares that follow such a traumatic experience. The underlying motive of the book and the story focus on reiterating the fact that lives goes on and time stops for none. 

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