Lorna Love is dead. After an evening out at a dinner party, she stumbles into the road in front of an oncoming car and is killed.

She finds herself on a spaceship called HVN, where she can do what she wants, be anyone she wants, and have anything she wants. The novel follows Lorna looking back on her life while she is in ‘heaven’, going through every decision and mistake she’s made.

I’m a bit unsure of what genre I would place this in as it’s both science fiction and general fiction. Only a small fraction of the novel takes place on the spaceship, the majority of it is Lorna looking back on her life. However, I feel like the science fiction element overcomes everything, but I don’t want to spoil the plot by going into too much detail about that.

Charlie Laidlaw sent me a copy of his novel in return for an honest review. If it wasn’t for him offering to send me the novel, I don’t think I would have been tempted to read it. Since I’m not usually a fan of sci-fi, the cover was definitely offputting because of the spaceship. But having read it now and knowing that the majority of the book wasn’t even set in space, I’m really glad I did read it.

The Things We Learn When We’re Dead is heartwarming and is completely different from everything I’ve read before. It’s such an original idea for a book and although, to begin with, I did struggle to get into the book, I’m glad I held on because it really was an enjoyable book.

Lorna is a brilliant protagonist as she’s believable. She has her own faults and problems and definitely isn’t a perfect character. I loved that she was so realistic and not a fake persona.


Rating: ★★★★

Genre: Science Fiction

Started Reading: 21/03/2018

Finished Reading: 03/04/2018

Get it in the UK here and the US here

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