Wednesday, December 16, 2015

*Review* Live and Other Near-Death Experiences by Camille Pagan

Photo Credit: Goodreads
Genre: Chick-Lit
Published: November 1, 2015
Pages: 254
Ages: 16+


Libby Miller has always been an unwavering optimist—but when her husband drops a bomb on their marriage the same day a doctor delivers devastating news, she realizes her rose-colored glasses have actually been blinding her.

With nothing left to lose, she abandons her life in Chicago for the clear waters and bright beaches of the Caribbean for what might be her last hurrah. Despite her new sunny locale, her plans go awry when she finds that she can’t quite outrun the past or bring herself to face an unknowable future. Every day of tropical bliss may be an invitation to disaster, but with her twin brother on her trail and a new relationship on the horizon, Libby is determined to forget about fate. Will she risk it all to live—and love—a little longer?

From critically acclaimed author Camille Pagán comes a hilarious and hopeful story about a woman choosing between a “perfect” life and actually living.


I used Amazon's whisper sync to both listen to and read this book, which is the first time I've ever done that. I learned that I should not switch between the two unless I'm at a chapter break, otherwise it gets a little confusing. Overall, I enjoyed the narration. The opposite gender voices weren't great, but they weren't that bad either (I may be getting used to those issues now that I've been listening to more audiobooks). I even still felt fully engaged in the story while listening.

The book itself I felt was like a pessimist's Eat Pray Love. There were several times where I thought to myself, "This feels a lot like Elizabeth Gilbert's Bali." It was just the general feelings engendered by the experiences that made me feel like that. Libby, the MC in this book, didn't have the same sunny outlook on life that Ms. Gilbert displays though, but with very good reason. 

The basic question this book made me think about was "What would I do if I had nothing left to lose?" Libby was fortunate enough to be in a good position financially when it came her turn to answer the question, which gave her a lot more options. I think most of us would love to be able to say, "Fuck this shit, I'm out," for a month or so at least once in our lives, and that's exactly what Libby did. I did spend a lot of time wondering if her reaction and actions would have been different without her husband's bombshell though. 

Overall I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars because it was very entertaining and kept me engaged, even when I was listening instead of reading, and overall the narration was pretty good. - Katie 

Buy the Book

About the Author

Camille Pagán's work has appeared in dozens of national publications and websites including Fast Company, Forbes, Men's Health, O, The Oprah Magazine, Parade, and Women's Health. She is the health editor at Real Simple magazine, and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with her family. Visit her at


This book was our selection for our book club book for November/December, and was recommended by another member of the book club, so I used it to fulfill my "Book a friend recommended" category for the Popsugar reading challenge. And since it was on my list to be read for almost two whole months, I used it for 1/4 of the 4 books blog on Book Bingo. 

Other categories it could fulfill include
A book published this year
A funny book
A book by a female author
A book with antonyms in the title
A book by an author I've never read before

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