I found this book among dusty and worn out gems in a secondhand bookstore. I tend to enjoy torturing myself for some reason by reading novels that I know will make me bawl my eyes out and this one did just that. It is essentially about a girl named Lois, who receives a book called The Manual when she’s twelve years old. It is a book written by her father, who passed away when she was only five. This book is basically a manual to help Lois go through her formative years. It includes fatherly advice, birthday notes, and a miscellaneous section that tackles everything from puberty to boys. By The Time You Read This allows us to witness the joys and horrors of being a girl as well as the changes that Lois goes through from the age of twelve up to thirty. The Manual is a way for Lois to feel as if her father had never left her and at the same time, it becomes her secret confidant and guide towards living in the real world.
This isn’t an entirely new idea, of course, but it is interesting to note that the author, Lola Jaye, has written the book from a father’s perspective. She was able to give him his own voice, which echoed through the pages. However, I did find some of the content to be contrived as it’s far too convenient for Lois to experience something and then read about it and get advice from her father through the manual. Still, it is a lovely story with plenty of endearing and funny accounts from The Manual, as well as letters from her father that squeeze your heart dry. The book ended in an unsurprisingly happy note, but it was an enjoyable read nonetheless.
This was a post by Hanna, who is wearing a green shirt with a penguin on it. She made a promise to write a review about this book to her sister, who is sick and badly needs cheering up. The Exchange sends you good vibes and chicken soup.