I was graciously given the unique opportunity of reading an advanced copy of “To Die to Live” by Jason Hershey in exchange for an honest review. That being said, it has not altered my opinion of the book whatsoever. You can expect Jason’s book to hit shelves November 2nd 2016.
If you’ve followed my blog at all, you’ll realize I break down books in several different ways. One is the cover. If I were to see this particular book on the shelf, I don’t believe I would be drawn to it- most likely this particular book would have to be recommended to me. Just because a book does not appeal to a reader aesthetically, does not mean that you won’t enjoy it.
At the sight of the first page of this book, I really liked the author- he got to my inner nerd, which truly isn’t that hard, but I do enjoy seeing aspects of it in books. To most, a mere quote from Game of Thrones may not come across as nerdy, but hey, not everyone goes around quoting one of my favorite book to TV show adaptations. The prologue resonates with me to a T- the everyday dread of the alarm clock ringing, and the inevitable aches, pains, and all around tiredness that comes with people who are not morning people.
Meet Thelonious Mitchell- our seemingly main character of the story. It seems as though Theo has been adopted by his Aunt and Uncle. Per usual, the reader is introduced to all the trials of a teenager; Theo is enrolled in a new school where the student body all looks similar with their name brand clothing. Theo compares this school to his old school, no metal detectors, no clear backpack, and no security guards- a stark difference to his new school. Theo is feeling a bit self conscious since he doesn’t fit in with the rest of the school. After his first class, he reluctantly made his first friend, Draven. Although not immediate best friends, at least Theo has introduced himself to one person on his first day.
At the end of his second class, Theo has the displeasure of meeting a group of kids who are anything but the welcoming committee. Tormented teasing leads to a hallway brawl where Theo is the victim. Beaten to the point of blacking out, the only image he saw clearly was his newly made friend Draven interceding on his behalf. The boys are all traipsed into the office to discuss the offenses, and Draven’s miraculous intervention.
Theo continues to feel alone, and still threatened, even though the hallway brawl boys were suspended from school. With no one to talk to, Theo keeps his emotions bottled up on the inside. He keeps to himself, eating lunch at the “loser’s table”. After weeks of avoidance, Draven finally approaches Theo to strike up a conversation. Theo thanks Draven for saving him from the fight, and their friendship hits another level- an invitation to play Xbox.
Follow Theo and Draven’s friendship throughout “To Die to Live” and see how death can be life’s greatest encouragement to follow your dreams.
Although I would consider this more of a short story than a book, I did enjoy it. There were a few times that I wished there was more backstory, but overall the story flowed well, I would definitely enjoy another book written by Hershey.
Jason- I sincerely thank you for allowing me to read your debut novel! You have a very successful future ahead, and I genuinely hope to work with you again!