Home > Realism, Senior Fiction, Uncategorized, Young Adult > The beginner’s Guide to Living by Lia Hills

The beginner’s Guide to Living by Lia Hills

The Beginner’s Guide to Living by Lia Hills. Pub. Text Publishing, 2009

This book is deep. I wasn’t expecting anything like this but boy am I glad I read it. This is a finalist in the NZ Post Book Awards and deservedly so but it is for a limited audience of those that are sensitive and think deeply about life and death.

It is essentially the story of 17 year old Will who is grieving over his mother’s death. Anna has been runover by a drunk driver in a red Honda and Will is in turmoil. He seeks answers in philosophy and reads from Nietzsche, Buddha, William Blake, the Doors, John Paul Sartre , Annais Nin and a number of others.

Does it do him any good? It would be nice to explain things in a few words but you can’t. You take what is given and deal with it.

Will is a sensitive boy but finds love in the person of Taryn, a 16 year old with plenty of depth herself. She helps him and herself as well, and their relationship is one of the highlights of the book.

Lia Hills must have boys because she shows great knowledge in her presentation of Will and her creation is very believable but with a greater depth than most boys reveal to anybody. I liked that.

The book is divided into four parts perhaps showing Will going through the steps of grieving from denial through anger to acceptance.

Definitely Senior Secondary in appeal or to anyone who likes to contemplate the meaning of life and death.

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