The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver


Two Lives. Two Loves. One Impossible choice.

When I started this book, I was a girl on a mission: I told myself I had to give another chance to all the books I had previously dnf'ed so clearly, I started with what I thought was going to be an easy ride to romance-land but boy if I was wrong.

The premise is this: Lydia loses her fioncè on her birthday, taking with him everything she believed in, their dreams, hopes, projects. Everything. She wasn't interested in life anymore.
When her doctor gives her some miraculous pink pills to help her sleep, she soon finds out that they are the ticket to what her life was supposed to be, living in two worlds: one, the real, painful one, without him and the other, with him.

Basically a romanticised Matrix situation with no leather coats and less action - and definitely more tears.

At first, she flirts with both worlds: she tries to survive in her house without Freddie, with her mother and sister taking care of her, constantly feeling that pain in the chest, a scar on her heart. Suddenly the real world becomes a bit more bearable, only because the chance of the "other world" is there to take but the more she stays in both, the more she notices some differences that make her question whether or not is worth it.

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird isn't a sad book par sè, it's just those little things, those ordinary moments that make you break a little and make the main character a little less fictional and a lot more human, relatable, someone you want to take care of, maybe even call for a chat.

I loved how it made me smile one moment - because it is actually very cute and with a great cast of characters! - and then sob in the middle of the post office while waiting, reaching for an almost empty pack of tissues at the bottom of my bag.

What I loved most is the family factor. Lydia's parents and sister are so caring and loving and even though I didn't agree with them whenever they tried to tell her it was time to move on - because nobody has the right to say how to mourn or for how long - I really could feel the love and support.

What really strikes me, reading this book, is the topic of grief. Lydia feels and acts like she's the only one who has the right to mourn Freddie because of the relationship they had. Her pain cannot compare to others because she has just lost the person she wanted to build her future with, her family, her life. Which means that, for her, nobody has the right to mourn him the way she does, not even his best friend. 

Grief is grief, and the different kinds of relationships don't mean different kinds of mourning. And comparing how you feel to how others feel and make it on a scale and then judge it based on different shades of love, is wrong.

Overall, I really liked seeing her grow and change and face new challenges even if terrifying at first. It means she decided her life was still worth living even without Freddie, and that's actually a pretty great lesson.
I'm Lydia Bird, and I'm still here.

I did really enjoyed this one, the writing style is at points funny and deep - I started sobbing pretty early on - but definitely easy to read. Highly recommended!

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird

Lydia and Freddie. Freddie and Lydia. They'd been together for more than a decade, and Lydia thought their love was indestructible. 
But she was wrong. On her twenty-eighth birthday, Freddie died in a car accident. 
So now it's just Lydia, and all she wants to do is hide indoors and sob until her eyes fall out. But Lydia knows that Freddie would want her to try to live fully, happily, even without him. So, enlisting the help of his best friend, Jonah, and her sister, Elle, she takes her first tentative steps into the world, open to life--and perhaps even love--again. 
But then something inexplicable happens that gives her another chance at her old life with Freddie. A life where none of the tragic events of the past few months have happened. 
Lydia is pulled again and again across the doorway of her past, living two lives, impossibly, at once. But there's an emotional toll to returning to a world where Freddie, alive, still owns her heart. Because there's someone in her new life, her real life, who wants her to stay. 

Get your copy here.

*This book has been kindly gifted to me by Penguin Random House but all opinions are my own.