Thursday, January 22, 2009

"Veronika Decides to Die" Paulo Coelho

I picked up this book from my library after it was recommended by an article on The Savvy Reader. The premise: Veronika has decided to kill herself, even though she is a young woman, simply because she doesn't wish to do the same things over and over again for the rest of her life, pleasing others and not herself. She doesn't want to get old, because in her opinion everything is downhill from there. She swallows several packets of sleeping pills but instead of dying she wakes up in Villette, a mental hospital known for it's severe treatment of the patients. Once she wakes from her coma she finds out that although she failed at her first attempt to take her life, she will soon succeed. Her heart is irreversibly damaged and she has only days to live.

What follows is the account of Veronika's last days once she finds out that she is about to die. She starts taking chances in her life and figures out that all along she was trying to please others but wasn't being true to herself.

I'm kind of on the fence about this book. It wasn't the greatest book I've ever read and at times I had to force myself to continue reading, yet the story sums itself up quite nicely on the last pages, and it does manage to come together as a whole. In the last pages the book explains that we need to view each day of our existence as a miracle, instead of something that we just need to "make it through". This is a great point; I spend too much time looking ahead to the future and back at the past without concentrating on the beauty of the here and now. For this reason, I am thankful that I took the time to read this book. The message is simple, yet needs to be said.

For more on "Veronika Decides to Die", please check it out here.

Up Next: I've just read the first page of "Coraline". The commercial for the movie caught my eye and because the book is almost always better than the movie I want to read it before I watch it. I don't read a lot of children's literature, but I'm excited to give this one a try!


  1. I've read two books by Paulo Coelho. I read the first on the recommendation of a friend. I wasn't overly impressed by it, but for some reason I bought and read another one by him. I was even less impressed. They sit on my bookshelf to this day, unread and unrecommended.

  2. I wouldn't read this one, then. I wasn't overly impressed.