Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho (read December 17, 2015)
I had enjoyed The Alchemist by Coelho, and that was the sole reason I picked this book up at a library sale. I cannot express to you how great a decision this was; this is now one of my favorite books, and I honestly cannot recommend it enough.
I usually annotate my books in a pretty simple way: circling words I don’t know, underlining lines that appeal to me, bracing passages I like, and bracketing things that I want to look into further. All of this is typically very modest (the last book I read containing 8 pencil marks in all). This book was different; I found myself underlining or squaring off entire paragraphs, some pages covered in my lines.
From the very beginning, I was blown away by the subject matter and the writing. This story is one inspired by a real-life Veronica that Coelho met, and his own stints at mental institutions. This allows the writing to be incredibly genuine and thought-provoking. What is insanity? More importantly, what is sanity? The repetitiveness of days, the glass ceiling of society, the fact that Veronica had it all already. It could only get worse, so what was the point in living.
But through death, one sees life. The life that Veronica experiences after trying so hard to encounter death is amazing, and what’s greater than that is how everyone can see and feel this change, not only in her, but in themselves.
I wish I could show you all how fantastic this book is, because I know that these words alone do not do it justice. I am currently shaking my hands trying to emphasize how important this book is, and I HAD NEVER HEARD OF IT. I tend to try to read classics because, let’s face it, they’re well-known, so a bunch of people had to think they were awesome, right? But Veronica Decides to Die is undoubtably better than many classics I have read, which just goes to show how true the book is. Who cares what everyone else thinks. What’s right is right only because a bunch of people said so.
Rating: 5 out of 5