Like I’ve said many times before, 3 star books are very hard to review. I’m my opinion, 3 star books aren’t life-altering, but they aren’t terrible either. I’m rating How To Walk Away 3.5 stars because I enjoyed many aspects of this book, but disliked many as well.
Margaret has what looks like the perfect life: she just landed her dream job, she is beautiful, and just said yes to the proposal from her equally perfect boyfriend, Chip. As an almost-graduated pilot, Chip proposed to Margaret in his airplane but minutes later, the plane crashed due to a malfunction caused by weather. Chip walked away without a mere scratch; Margaret walked away a paraplegic. After months in the hospital enduring occupational therapy, physical therapy, overcoming mental obstacles, and wondering why Chip has only visited twice, she learned she would never walk again. Margaret’s perfect life as she knew it is over and that’s a hard pill to swallow.
I enjoyed the storyline and reading the obstacles Margaret had to overcome. She was a very likable character and I was definitely rooting for her the whole time. She had such a positive outlook and sense of humor that she was easy to love, however the other characters were very easy not to like. Her mom bothered me SO MUCH; she was manipulative, passive aggressive, and selfish most of the book. She drove me nuts! Chip was not likeable for obvious reasons after breaking up with a paraplegic as a result from the plane HE crashed. Her dad is a nice guy, but doesn’t seem to be able to stand up to the mom and we don’t learn much about him. Her sister, Kitty, is estranged from the family, but eventually does come around and I do end up liking her relationship with Margaret.
The message of this book was enjoyable and relatable: life isn’t always a fairytale, but you have to roll with the punches and make the most out of the cards you are dealt. However, I don’t feel that the writing conveyed this as best as it should. The first half of the book moved together well, but the second half felt sporadic and some of the things that happened came out of the left field. The end was dramatic and a tad unrealistic; it also felt rushed. The best part of this book, in my opinion, was the Epilogue 10 years later that reminds us of the message of the book – life is hard and unfair; you will experience things that are unbearable and unthinkable, but you will get through it and you will come out on top, however that looks to you. I enjoyed How To Walk Away, but it probably isn’t a book that will stay with me for days, months, years later.