Review: Dear Edward (Ann Napolitano)
“Take stock of who we are, and what we have, and then use it for good.”
Author: Ann Napolitano
Page Count: 333
Published: 6 January 2020
Plot: (9.0 / 10) Characters: (10.0 / 10) Ending: (9.0 / 10)
One summer morning, a flight takes off from New York to Los Angeles: there are 192 people aboard. When the plane suddenly crashes, twelve-year-old Edward Adler is the sole survivor.
In the aftermath, Edward struggles to make sense of his grief, sudden fame and find his place in a world without his family. But then Edward and his neighbour Shay make a startling discovery; hidden in his uncle’s garage are letters from the relatives of other passengers – all addressed to him.
Ohhhh this book has immediately become one of my all-time favourites. I’ll be totally honest, this was a case of being drawn towards a book because of how beautiful the cover is, but I’m so, so glad I picked it up. The story alternates between the story of the plane and it’s passengers, and Edward, learning to navigate his life in the aftermath of the tragedy. The story is a coming-of-age story, but it’s so much more than that. Edward has lost his entire world, and needs to find his place in the new world he has found himself in.
I think the amazing thing about this book is how much I cared about every character. Napolitano shares the stories of several other passengers on the plane, making all of them so real – it’s so beautifully written, the descriptions so vivid, I could picture them all perfectly. Knowing what the outcome would be for the passengers on the plane made each story more poignant. The people Edward meets after the crash are the people shaping his future, and I think they are all brilliant characters, especially Principal Arundhi, but still at the centre of everything he does, is his brother Jordan.
The letters from the relatives of the victims were done very well – I liked how the reader is given a select few to read, some relating to those characters who have been introduced, or who Edward noticed on the plane, others from those he never saw.
“It feels unkind that they are shoving their emotions at him when his own sadness and fear are so vast that he has to hide from them.”
This book isn’t full of twists and turns, there aren’t any shocking surprises (as someone who reads a lot of thrillers this is very unusual for me!) but that is what makes it such a special book. I actually got a little teary at the very end – it was one of those books I didn’t want to finish, though equally I thought the ending was perfect. It’s a book that I immediately want everyone to read!
“The air between us is not empty space.”