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The Survival Kit

The Survival Kit

The Survival Kit

When Rose’s mom dies, she leaves behind a brown paper bag labeled Rose’s Survival Kit. Inside the bag, Rose finds an iPod, with a to-be-determined playlist; a picture of peonies, for growing; a crystal heart, for loving; a paper star, for making a wish; and a  paper kite, for letting go.As Rose ponders the meaning of each item, she finds herself returning again and again to an unexpected source of comfort. Will is her family’s gardener, the school hockey star, and the only person who really understands what she’s going through. Can loss lead to love?  When Rose’s mom dies, she leaves behind a brown paper bag labeled Rose’s Survival Kit. Inside the bag, Rose finds an iPod, with a to-be-determined playlist; a picture of peon

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3 Comments/Reviews

  • Amanda Welling says:
    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    It’s a must read!, October 14, 2011
    By 
    Amanda Welling (Lancaster, PA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: The Survival Kit (Hardcover)

    First Impressions: I was initially drawn to this book when I read the synopsis and seen similar attributes between this book and one of my favorite movies, PS I Love You. They both have very similar concepts and themes so I thought I would really enjoy reading this book.

    First 50 Pages: I never read any other books written by Donna Freitas, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I immediately loved her style of writing and how realistic each of her characters is. The Survival Kit is yet another book with impeccable characters that feel so alive and are easy to relate to. I gobbled up this book in less than a few hours because it was very difficult to walk away from.

    Characters/Plot Points/Style of Writing: While the plot isn’t exactly original since it has been done before, like I mentioned earlier in the movie PS I Love You, it wasn’t boring or predictable in the least. The author put her own spin on an old story by using teenagers to play the main characters.

    Rose is the main character and she is my favorite as well. Throughout the book, she is trying so hard to pick up her life and reboot after her mother’s tragic death. It’s this constant struggle of trying to seem normal again and it was fascinating to see her progress and how much she has changed by the end of the story. Death is never an easy topic to write about, much less write a good story about, but this author handles that tough topic brilliantly. Each person will handle death differently, and in Rose’s case she puts her whole life on pause. She seemed like the most realistic of all the characters in this story and I was rooting for her to put her life back on track. Rose’s grandmother was a hoot as well. I loved her bluntness and how she always had a way of telling it like it is. She reminded me very much of my own grandmother and I think that is why I enjoyed her character so much.

    I loved how the author incorporated music into this story. For anyone who has ever lost someone, hearing songs that remind you of the person you lost can be incredibly difficult. For Rose, listening and enjoying music again is very painful to her and it becomes one of her biggest obstacles in overcoming her grief. It was just another delightful part of this book that felt very realistic to me. When my grandfather passed away, I had a very hard time listening to Eric Clapton’s song, “Tears in Heaven.” It took me a long time to overcome that hurt whenever I heard that song on the radio.

    One thing I feel could have been done much better was the growing romance between Rose and Will, her gardener/boy she goes to school with. There were points in the story where I really loved what the author had done with these two characters as a couple, and other points where I had wished the author could have expanded her thoughts.

    Final Thoughts: This is an outstanding, touching and realistic story about how to overcome one of life’s hardest obstacles. The author accomplishes this tough obstacle with grace and comes up with this wonderful story. For fans of P.S. I Love You, you need to read this book! It is going to be on my shelves for a long time to come!

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  • Anonymous says:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Heartwarming and addictive, February 5, 2012
    By 
    Lucy (Reading Date) (Los Angeles, CA) –

    This review is from: The Survival Kit (Hardcover)

    Family relationships, friendships, love and the healing power of music are some of the themes explored in this heartwarming story.

    I found this story to be very lovely, with genuine and likable characters and an addictive story. I was pulled into the story immediately and couldn’t put it down until I was finished. Rose’s journey is easy to relate to, and to understand where she’s coming from. She has shut herself off from her boyfriend, cheerleading, and music because she is mourning the loss of her mother, and having fun doesn’t feel right to her. Each step she takes with the help of the survival kit enables her to begin to live her life again. She also has the burden of taking care of her father, who is engaging in self-destructive behavior as a means to cope. All of this makes Rose seem very mature and wise beyond her years, and it’s interesting to watch her take small steps in the healing process.

    This book is not all doom and gloom, however. It is actually quite charming. One of the aspects I liked a lot is that Rose gets involved with watching hockey games with her cheerleading pals, and Will happens to be a star hockey player. It’s fun to see Rose get hooked on the game and it brings her closer to her friends again while getting closer to Will. It’s also great that the cheerleaders are portrayed as really nice and friendly, as well as talented athletes in their own right, and not stereotypes at all. Even Rose’s former boyfriend Chris is not a typical football player and manages to surprise.

    The romance is believable and sweet, and a little rocky at times. Will is a complex guy and has a lot in common with Rose. The romance is slow building and they have great chemistry and many swoon-filled moments. Rose’s mom did a good job of matchmaking with these two.

    Also, I always fall for books that include music in the storytelling and this book is no exception. I loved how Rose slowly added music back into her life one song at a time. It really added something special to the story.

    This is one of the best written contemporary books I’ve read and ranks right up there with Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour and The Sky Is Everywhere. The characterizations, pacing, story, romance, and themes were all wonderful. Can’t wait to read more from this author.

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  • Anonymous says:
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    I love a well written young adult contemporary book. The Survival Kit is just that., January 27, 2012
    By 

    This review is from: The Survival Kit (Hardcover)

    I love a well written young adult contemporary book. The Survival Kit is just that.

    Donna Freitas wrote a beautiful story about Rose. I cried, smiled, and laughed multiple times during this novel. One certain memory Rose had about a day after her mother’s death had me crying pretty hardcore. I got one of those what I like to call “crying headaches.” I enjoyed going on this journey with Rose and the survival kit her mother left for her after she died to help her cope with her mother’s death. We get to see how different she is from page one until the epilogue.

    Many times in a young adult story, we see the protagonist dump her boyfriend (or get dumped) and he’s a bad person. Donna wrote Rose’s boyfriend at the beginning of the book to be a good guy and he stayed a good guy until the end of the book. It was refreshing to not see the girl running from a bad boy to a good guy or vice versa, but having to decide for herself between a couple of good ones.

    The romance between Will and Rose was so slow and so stinking cute. They started off slowly talking as friends because they both had lost a parent…it couldn’t have been more perfect.

    There’s music in this contemporary! I’m sure many of you will LOVE this! It isn’t overpowering in any way. Donna has even supplied us with a playlist at the end of the novel. Thank you Donna!

    For those of you who have read This Gorgeous Game, the story is completely different, but I loved it just as much! I’m looking forward to reading anything else she publishes!

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