Friday Review: The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley

The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson

The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson

The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley is the heartbreaking, gorgeous tale of Drew and his creation Patient F.

Drew believes he was suppose to die in the crash that killed the rest of his family. Now he lives in the hospital, sleeps in a forgotten closet, works in the cafeteria, and hangs out with the nurses all while avoiding death who roams the hospital searching for him. The only thing that gives him much comfort is working on his comic about Patient F. But when Rusty screams into the ER covered in burns, Drew is drawn out of hiding and finds new hope about a future outside of the hospital. But first he has to deal with death, and the truth about himself (and Patient F).

This book had me openly crying on the train several times while reading through it. It’s a poignant story about a boy so afraid of who he is and of losing that image he’s created that he denies himself the chance for a life outside of the hospital. Drew is such a sweet, conflicted character that I wanted to reach through the book and hug him. All the secondary characters are fleshed out, real people that make the hospital feel like a real place.

The intermixing of the story of Drew and the graphic novel of Patient F tie together beautifully, and made the story even more interesting. I read this on the Kindle and was thrilled that the graphic sections were just as easy to read as the text. it never pulled me out of the story and they connected in a subtle but clear way.

This is my favorite book of 2015 so far, and it’s one of the best books I’ve read in the past few years. A beautiful tale about tragedy, and finding your way through to the other side of grief.

You can find The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley here.

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