Review: Life at the Speed of Us by Heather Sappenfield

Life at the Speed of Us by Heather SappenfieldLife at the Speed of Us
Heather Sappenfield

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

After the car accident that takes her mother’s life, Sovern stops talking. She tries to lose herself in dating the boy she shouldn’t, in the rush of speeding downhill on a snowboard. But when another accident disconnects Sovern from even more of her life, she embarks on a quest outside time with only a strangely familiar boy who doesn’t speak her language as a guide.

There were things about this book that I liked. I thought it was cool that Sappenfield used Sovern’s dyslexia throughout the story. She really hammered home the idea that just because Sovern didn’t recognize letters as they were written did not mean she was by any means less intelligent. I liked the scenes in the Ute tribe.

In the scene where Sovern leaves the tribe behind to go home, I had a really hard time following what happened. It’s possible that it’s an issue resolved between the galley version that I read and the final published version. Sometimes I had a hard time connecting with Sovern’s character. The bad boy boyfriend thing seemed a little cliché. I liked that he turned out to be more than that, but I wanted the revelation of who he really is to involve him more, to give me reasons to invest in him more.

I’m going to break a cardinal rule and make a comparison between this book and a BIG book, which I really cringe to do, but hear me out. I think if you like the type of story that is Slaughterhouse Five, you might enjoy this book. I’m not comparing the quality of the writing in one versus the other, but more the somewhat disjointed, go where the story goes feeling that I had in reading Vonnegut’s novel. If you liked I Crawl Through It for the story, not the writing style, you might also enjoy this book.

The style of the narrative is a lot more straightforward and simple than the books I listed.

Language Content
Extreme profanity used moderately.

Sexual Content
Sovern and her boyfriend Gage share cigarettes and kisses together, but she doesn’t have sex with him. Sovern and a boy from the Ute tribe are treated as a married couple after rumors that they’ve slept together. She holds back from giving herself to him, though, unsure whether they can remain together.

Spiritual Content
The Ute believe that a bear chooses someone who is gifted with an ability to travel to other places. Sovern becomes interested in the ideas about the multiverse and theorizes ways to reach other universes.

Soldiers come to destroy the Ute village. Two tribe members fight them, one is fatally injured. Sovern is injured in a snowboarding accident and then speared by porcupine quills.

Drug Content
Sovern mentions that she and Gage smoke marijuana together.

Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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