Book Review of Goodbye For Now by Laurie Frankel

Posted August 3, 2012 by Kara in Uncategorized / 9 Comments

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday

Release Date: August 7th, 2012
Pages: 304
Genre: Adult Contemporary
Source: I won a copy from LibraryThing.

Blurb: Sam Elling works for an internet dating company, but he still can’t get a date. So he creates an algorithm that will match you with your soul mate. Sam meets the love of his life, a coworker named Meredith, but he also gets fired when the company starts losing all their customers to Mr. and Ms. Right.

When Meredith’s grandmother, Livvie, dies suddenly, Sam uses his ample free time to create a computer program that will allow Meredith to have one last conversation with her grandmother. Mining from all her correspondence—email, Facebook, Skype, texts—Sam constructs a computer simulation of Livvie who can respond to email or video chat just as if she were still alive. It’s not supernatural, it’s computer science.

Meredith loves it, and the couple begins to wonder if this is something that could help more people through their grief. And thus, the company RePose is born. The business takes off, but for every person who just wants to say good-bye, there is someone who can’t let go. 

In the meantime, Sam and Meredith’s affection for one another deepens into the kind of love that once tasted, you can’t live without. But what if one of them suddenly had to? This entertaining novel, delivers a charming and bittersweet romance as well as a lump in the throat exploration of the nature of love, loss, and life (both real and computer simulated). Maybe nothing was meant to last forever, but then again, sometimes love takes on a life of its own.

Review:  If my husband died, would I want someone to create a program for me so I could talk to him via video chat or email, even in death? I’m not sure about the answer to that question, but that is how Sam’s service works. Now mind you, you are not REALLY talking to your loved one, but an algorithm that puts together all of the past video chats and emails the person had online and compiles them into an avatar. So while it really LOOKS like your husband, it’s just a computer program. But still. That would be a pretty cool thing to have.

But here’s the thing. If my husband died, and I talked to him every day, how would I get over the loss of him? How would I move on with my life? Would I ever? Or would I spend all my time indoors, in front of the computer, talking to him? I might lose my friends, my job, MY LIFE. It’s kind of an ethical dilemma. Is this company doing a good thing or a bad thing? Should the dead stay dead? I don’t know. And that’s what this book does. It makes you think.

I am more of an emotional person than most, I think. Please don’t be offended by this statement. I’m not trying to compliment myself at all. I actual wish I wasn’t. Living would be a lot easier if I cared less about the goings on in my life. So I’m just thinking, something like this program, I think it would really mess me up. Scar me for life. Ruin my sanity. As hard as it is, I think I would want to move on. I would really worry that if I had a program like this, it wouldn’t help me at all. It would KEEP me from moving on. Ya know what I mean?

Now let’s talk about the actual book. I did sort of have an issue with the characters. Because I didn’t really love the idea of this program, I never really liked the characters. I didn’t think the protagonists were doing a good thing. The author never said that they were either. She sort of left it up to the reader to decide, and I completely appreciate that and applaud that good writing decision. But still, it made me not get as close to the characters as I could have. I am totally okay with unlikable characters in books as long as I liked the story, and in this case I did.

That brings me to my next topic. The story. It was amazing. I mean seriously. So original and unique. The dialogue is fantastic and the book is extremely well-written. While I normally don’t read books like this, I was really interested in the blurb. And I won a copy, so I went for it. And honestly? It was a fantastic idea, and it was executed brilliantly. I don’t know what else to say without spoiling things, but if the blurb interests you AND you enjoy adult fiction, I think this is a book that you should read. The other thing you should know is that the book is pretty depressing, but there are some moments of humor and scenes in the book that might inspire you. So it’s not all sad, but it IS a book about death and dying. So sometimes I had to put it down for a little bit and read something else.

There is a twist to this book. And I can see people getting pissed off by said twist. The thing is though, it was entirely necessary. When you get to that part, if you just take a step back to stop and think about it, you will understand why it had to happen. But you will be shocked and that’s all I am saying. I could have gotten mad, and normally something like that would make me throw things, but I understand where the author was coming from and to me, there was only one way this book could wrap up. The author did the right thing.

All in all, I think this book is going to be a huge hit. I know I rambled for paragraphs about absolutely nothing, but whatever. The movie rights for this book have already been sold and normally there is a good reason for that. Not always,  cough *Beautiful Disaster and 50 Shades* cough, but this should be a good one. It’s a beautiful book that will make you think, even if I didn’t agree with the message all the time. I’m posting the book trailer below because IT ALONE will make you want to read this book.

To purchase a copy of Goodbye for Now from, click here: Goodbye for Now: A Novel And if you do purchase it, please purchase from my links. I am an affiliate! 

9 responses to “Book Review of Goodbye For Now by Laurie Frankel

  1. It sounds like a modern “You’ve Got Mail” in a twisted sort of way.
    I think this is a grand concept. I wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes a real thing in the future.
    I’m not too sure I would enjoy the program. I have a hard time letting go. I still call my grandfather’s voice mail, even thought he will have been gone for 3 years in November. Can computer Papa rival Kitchen Papa?
    I’ll check this one out, it sounds very interesting. Great review!

    • Kind of. It sounds similar but once you get to the meat of the book, it is pretty different. Yeah, I don’t think this program would work for many people. I know it would not work for me. I know how you feel about your grandpa. I was very close to my grandparents too and missing them hurts me still every single day. 🙁

  2. This sounds quite unique and I’ve never heard of it before. I think you’re right, having that program wouldn’t allow people to grieve and move on, which is a natural thing to do!

  3. That concept sounds REALLY cool. I don’t know if it would be quite as awesome without having ever been in love. I feel like this one would have more immediacy to readers who are in committed relationships and can really think about what this would be like for them. Still adding to my list, though.

    • It’s not just about committed relationships though, Christina. Users can video chat with any family member as long as they have a history on video chat. One girl in the book used it to chat with her grandma. So I think you should read it. Anyone with strong relationships might enjoy this one.

  4. This concept sounds really neat. I agree with what you said though, about not being sure if I would want to talk to my loved one, because then I wouldn’t be able to move on. The program would keep them alive in a small way, and I don’t think I’d be able to grieve properly. I’m definitely intrigued by this one and am going to add it to my list.

    • I completely agree. For some, it makes the grieving process easier to manage. But for me, I don’t think it would work. You should read it. It’s a good thinking book. 🙂

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