by Ben Sherwood
Genre: Paranormal Romance | Fantasy
In a snug New England fishing village, Charlie St. Cloud tends the lawns and monuments of an ancient cemetery where his younger brother, Sam, is buried. After surviving the car accident that claimed his brother's life, Charlie is graced with an extraordinary gift: He can see, talk to, and even play catch with Sam's spirit. Into this magical world comes Tess Carroll, a captivating woman training for a solo sailing trip around the globe. Fate steers her boats into a treacherous storm that propels her into Charlie's life. Their beautiful and uncommon connection leads to a race against time and a choice between death and life, between the past and the future, between holding on an letting go -- and the discovery that miracles can happen if we simply open our hearts.
Charlie suffers the lose of his younger brother, separation from his mother, and a dead-end job all for the reason of keeping a promise. A promise he made to Sam, his brother, when they both died in a car wreak. Yet, Charlie was brought back to life by a paramedic that fateful night for a second chance at life. A new life he has no idea what to do with. Since he already crossed over once, he's know graced with the ability to see the newly dead. For thirteen years, he remains a fixture in Marblehead, Massachusetts by working at the Waterside cemetery. "Now twenty-eight, Charlie had spent his adult years looking after the dead and the living of Waterside. He had sacrificed greatly to keep his word to Sam. He had given up on big dreams . . . " (pg. 47) But, that all changes when the appealing minor celebrity in town, Tess Carroll, walks into his life. After a sweet love affair blooms between the two, tragedy strikes in a why that could tear them apart forever. Yet, Charlie is determined to not give up on Tess, even if that means breaking his promise with Sam.
You may be one of those people that saw the tear-jerking trailer on TV about the movie Charlie St. Cloud and thought . . . lame, but you'd be wrong. I actually watched the movie on the big screen first (loved it!) and went out and grabbed the book second. Books are always better than their movie adaptions and this is one that doesn't falter on that fact. I enjoyed the sweet connection between Tess and Charlie and the book just extends on their relationship. I have the say, the brother connection was adorable in the movie, but Sam's character in the book gets more evolved and Tess gets a lot more interaction as well. Overall, I kept wanting more from everyone when I finished The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud. It was really enjoyable, sweet, and had just the perfect touch of silliness to make this a great summer read.
Likes: I wish my town had a Bella Hooper "The Woman Who Listens".
Dislikes: This book points out the fact that too many good people die a little when they lose someone they love. Which is a sad, but true fact.