Title: Minus Me
Author: Ingelin Rossland
Release Date: October 2015
Retail Price: $19.99
Overall Rating: 7/10
Genre: Contemporary, Drama
Minus Me is a fresh and rare novel, that I have not come across before reading this one. Minus Me is written by Norwegian author, Ingelin Rossland and this novel is a translation of Minus Meg. Minus Me is one of those novels where the reader does not notice the deeper meaning until it hits right at the very end of the book. This stirring novel leaves you with a somewhat “calming” state-of-mind that everyone will enjoy. If you are searching for a different novel that touches your heart, Minus Me is the one for you.
Minus Me is about Linda, a thirteen year old girl, who has spend most of her life living a typical 21st Century childhood. Until one day, Linda discovers she is diagnosed with a rare heart condition, that leaves Linda and her over-protective parents stunned. After believing she only has a short while left to live, Linda persists on finishing off a bucket list created by her and her best friend. Linda sets out to tick everything on her list but on the way she discovers Zac, a young boy who accompanies her on her journey. Along the way, she learns a myriad of life lessons that are priceless in Linda’s heart.
*SPOILERS AHEAD FOR MINUS ME BY INGELIN ROSSLAND*
To be frank with you, I was a bit skeptical of reading this novel. First of all, the main character was thirteen which worried me as a reader and I feared that she would be annoying and immature. She did prove herself reckless and immature but that added a sense of reality into the story. The characters were hard to click with but I enjoyed reading it from what felt like, a bystander point-of-view.
Linda really grew throughout the novel, which I really enjoyed reading. At the start of the novel she really frustrated me, her morals were not set out straight and she was such a princess. The way she treated her friends annoyed me as she believed everything was about her. However, as she continued onto her journey, by the end when she met her “boyfriend”, Axel, the way she dealt with the situation at the end showed her improved maturity.
Zac, Linda’s brother, was a nice complement to the storyline and really brought out this hint of ambiguity to the story. It was really nice to try a guess who Zac was the Linda. Originally, I believed that Zac would become Linda’s boyfriend but I was proven completely wrong. I was blown away by the fact that Zac was Linda’s brother. I really liked how we discover this at the end of the novel as it leaves the reader with this obscure ending that would leave the reader with questions. even after finishing the novel. The final scene in which Linda watches Zac come into the real world was really intriguing and the ending was my favorite part about this novel.
The storyline was very different. I have never ever come across a book like this one. However, it was a little reminiscent to Sonya Hartnett’s “The Ghost Child”. Before reading this book this was one of the things that also made me hesitant to open the novel, the storyline seemed too over the top for my prior liking but I was proven wrong. It felt refreshing to read from a completely different perspective on life, friendship and family. It felt child-like but it felt nostalgic, which really surprised me. I enjoyed the journey they took across the country and it the twist at the end truly stunned me. It was interesting to read a translated book and in a way, it was an insight to their culture, which proved to be very similar to our society.
Overall, the novel was enjoyable but at times it was hard to click with some of the characters. Unfortunately, this won’t pull you out of your reading slum but will definitely cause you to questions some of the decisions you’ve made before. I recommend it if you are looking for something unique and different. It was truly one-of-a-kind and I do not know if I ever will come across a novel much like this one again.