Come See About me started out as a grief book but ended up veering into "chic lit" territory with a stale friends with benefits storyline.
Leah is a Canadian twenty year old college student with a perfect boyfriend, named Bastian. When Bastian is killed she is overcome with grief, and her life starts to fall apart. This is where the book had something to say about relationships. Grief is something that certainly everyone on earth will have to face. Why do we find ourselves at a loss as to what to say when someone we know loses someone? We know exactly how they feel.
You would think having faced that situation ourselves, we would know the right thing to comfort someone. I don't despite having lost my grandfather in 2001. My father's death as a child was confusing because I never knew him. A girl in my class told me that I was cold and horrible for not crying when asked about my father and I replied he had died. It hadn't just happened that day but three years previously when I was eight. Was I suppose to break down and cry on her shoulder? I understood Leah's constant fretting that others judged how she grieved.
The underlining theme of this book is that each person handles their grief differently. Leah's parents could not accept that her grief was on a different timeline than theirs. Rather, Leah avoided everyone so she did not have to face herself not being able to deal with them. What I gathered from her character was that she felt uncomfortable around people living their lives. This was part of the book that worked best. Scenes such as the concert she attended with her friend or when her boss fired her.
Leah is a relate-able character to anyone who is trying their hardest to avoid accepting they need help. People with addictions, depression problems, bad relationships, anything shameful really will go at lengths to avoid those who love them to avoid having to change themselves.
Why was grieving her boyfriend a shameful habit?
It should not have been but Leah let her grades, bills and her job slip out of control instead of asking for help. She tried to cover these problems by avoiding those closest to her.
I liked this half of the book a lot.
My issue was with the second half of this novel when it simply because stock romance novel Irish guy and witty banner that wasn't actually all that witty. Everyone but my mother knows the original Life on Mars
show is better than the remake, but both series endings were rubbish. Cheese and onion crisps are tasty, but they aren't a patch on paprika chips I got in Germany. It didn't help I pictured this guy and not Michael Fassbender as Liam.
Hey, she said he wasn't Hollywood good looking but an apparent less accepted version of hotness in Irish tv.
I was not charmed by Liam. He was the boring guy who tells a girl not to get attached and whines about his ex girlfriend. The mix signal guy is not my favourite.
While Liam was flawed the dead boyfriend was not flawed enough. I'll forgive the rose coloured lenses of how we view dead people, but as far as the love story went this was a problem.
This book did not affect me the same emotionally on the actual dead guy, Bastian, unfortunately. Who was he? He wasn't as realised as other dead characters such as Alina from The Fever Series
or Uncle Joe from The Piper's Son
. Their loss was palpable on every page. I felt I knew those people just from how the other characters talked about them.
The French film Blue
dealt with a woman whose husband had died. Her grief was cut by learning he had an affair during their marriage and how this changed what she thought she had with him. Blue is my favourite film about grief while The Piper's Son is my favourite novel on the subject.
Come See About Me could have had more impact had he simply dumped her. My mom has a viewpoint that it is better when someone dies than leave you. She thinks it hurts less if they don't choose to leave you. I disagree with this statement wholeheartedly. What about everyone else in their life?
I guess the happy resolution was Leah finding someone else that bothered me. My older sister's phrase used to be "The only way to get over a guy is to get under another one." [She no longer feels it is acceptable to use someone. The love triangle in Twilight bothered her for that reason.]
This makes this relationship come off very Bella Swann. Leah admits to mourning being in a relationship as much as missing Bastian. The story could have fit the tale of being dumped just as easily.
I felt utterly nothing for Liam or his problems. Scratch my idea about her being dumped. We could have had two Liam's with that storyline. That arc was
there as she was essentially a succession of women he slept with to get over his girlfriend. Not at all romantic. I did not swoon over this couple. The scene where she asked Bastian out was sweet by comparison.
There is something to be said that her hamster did not die. I thought he was a goner when she hoped nothing would happen to Albertson. That is usually a death warrant for a pet. Take a look at the film Willard
or the tv show Strangers with Candy
if you doubt me. I fretted for the little guy whenever Leah would forget to take his wheel out of his cage that he'd be dead. There was a sadly hilarious scene in an Australian tv show called Halifax
about a guy who loses his friends and coworkers to a gunmen attack. He finds his dog dead on Christmas and discovers the generic rat poison is next to the same generic blue dog food box. He had poisoned his dog. I was afraid poor Leah would come home from the British speciality shop she worked in to find the little guy dead. I'd have cried over his death. I felt I did know all about little Albertson and his habits.
I have quite a sad story about a bear hamster named Pansy Parkinson. She was eaten by my dalmation, Fox, who puked her up in my bed. It was sad and gross. The moral of the story is not to name your hamster after Harry Potter characters. My older sister's hamsters Harry and Hermione did not meet nice ends either. Fox's nickname used to be dinky dudderdums like Dudley Dursley. He was fat and had watery blue eyes.