Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Review: 6 Seconds of Life by Tonya Fitzharris

I'm excited to be today's stop on the tour for 6 Seconds of Life by Tonya Fitzharris!  Click the banner above to see the list of bloggers participating.  You'll find more reviews, excerpts, guest posts, and more!

6 Seconds of Life
by Tonya Fitzharris
Published September 1, 2012
Genre: New Adult

  Maura has just jumped.

Now she has precisely six seconds until she hits the water below her--just six more seconds until she is finally freed from her mundane and aimless existence. Freed of all of the regrets and disappointments that have haunted her throughout her nineteen years.

She just needs to be free.

But as she falls, the most pivotal points of her life start to replay like a movie in her head: her family falling apart, her first love, her first heartbreak, and her first betrayal. As she remembers these moments that brought her to this point, will she feel a sense of peace? Or will her death be her greatest regret?

"6 Seconds of Life" is a new adult novel that not only explores the ups and downs of college life, but the ups and downs of life as we know it.

My Review

Wow!  This was a really intense and gut-wrenching read dealing with depression and suicide.  It made me want to cry, made me want to shake the main character, made me want to scream at her parents, made me want to punch out her supposed friend.  An author who can make me feel so strongly is doing something right in my opinion.

Maura has just jumped from a bridge in an attempt at suicide.  Told in snippets that start in high school and end in college, we see glimpses of the major events that have shaped Maura's life and brought her to rock bottom.  There are large gaps in time which may be jarring to some readers, but I found that it enhanced the feeling that Maura is falling and we're just seeing those moments that flash before her eyes.  

Maura is one of the best-written characters I've come across in a long time.  She is an utterly damaged person.  She has a severe lack of self-esteem and crippling depression that overshadow her relationships with every person she meets.  She acknowledges that her life is a disaster but has no idea how to make things right.  Her attempts to improve her life are really just cries for help.  She becomes obsessive and jealous about her boyfriend.  She becomes a borderline alcoholic to loosen up and have fun.  Despite her desire to form normal relationships and fit in, she continues to spiral out of control to the point where she feels she has nothing left anymore and the world would be a better place without her.  This was really quite an amazing and intimate look at a person struggling with their own self-worth.

As for the plot, I found it absolutely compelling.  I knew where things were going to end.  I'm not giving anything away when I tell you that she jumps.  But throughout, I just kept hoping that something would change for her.  From one event to the next I wanted more.

This was a very well-written and compelling read.  I highly recommend it to anyone looking for realistic fiction that doesn't mind subject matter that's a little bit dark.  

Check out my previous post here to read an excerpt from the book.
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