Would You Want to Know? The Immortalists

The Immortalists

The Immortalists

By: Chloe Benjamin

Grade: C

Four young siblings seek out a neighborhood psychic who can and does tell them the specific dates they are going to die. Knowing that Simon, Klara, Daniel and Varya must go about trying to live their lives (or not) with that knowledge hanging over their heads. Would you want to know the exact date your going to die? Do you think fate plays a hand? Are you responsible for your choices in that situation? What would you do? Live or hide?

This is a book that appeals to me on the level of the big questions. And obviously everyone is going to have a different response to something like that. I would not want to know. I’m not even good with knowing it will happen one day. There is a little story in the beginning about how it might not be a bad thing to know. (An older woman is given two very different diagnosis about her fate by Doctors and the psychic tells her what’s up so her family can be with her. But that’s different then telling kids.)

But after the initial opening the book splits off and follows the four siblings in sections which was definitely hit and miss for me. I was split down the middle on the siblings liking the Simon and Varya sections a lot more than Daniel and Klara.

Simon and Varya play out the different options of throwing yourself into life versus essentially hiding whereas Daniel and Klara run somewhere down the middle of the two. I really don’t want to give too much away. The Immortalists also deals with the rise of the AIDS epidemic, suicide, murder, mental health issues, aging, animal experimentation and probably some other things I’m forgetting although a lot of it is little more than touched on.

There’s another scene at the end where one of the sibling asks the old lover of another if they ever considered not doing something since it was so dangerous and they say it wasn’t a question of that vs. death but living versus the fear of dying and I think that’s another important part of the book.

So long story short I was split on the characters and didn’t always connect to the siblings but found the idea of it and the bigger picture fascinating. Chloe Benjamin is definitely an author I will pay attention to in the future.

Recommend: Yes. Overall it’s a book that’s idea, for me, makes it worth it though that’s going to be a personal mileage varies thing that not everyone will like.

 

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