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Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
In times like ours, when the spirit of consumerism is rank and rife, and when people tend to seek personal profit without caring about what happens to others or to the environment, An Extraordinary Year by Theresa Konwinski comes across as a powerful reminder of the salient values of humanity that we have forgotten, values that can save our world, and the traditions that define our being “human.” This is a book that everyone should read, a story that is filled with insightful lessons about life, suffering, and the importance of selfless love. Meet John Reed, a teenage boy who wakes up with an extraordinary realization — that life is beautiful, no matter how it unfolds. At just ten years old, he makes the decision to let life speak to him, to accept the tribulations it brings, to learn its lessons, and follow its inspirations, each month at a time.
John is a character that readers will love to follow as he explores the joys of life, deepens his connections, and learns to accept the newcomer in his family, and to experience the thrill and the pain of crushing on someone. The story is beautifully told from the perspective of the young boy. Theresa Konwinski’s writing is sweet, filled with emotionally insightful passages. She’s done an amazing job in creating John Reed, a character who will remind readers of the kid they once were and of the child they are called to become. An Extraordinary Year has a simple plot, but it is gripping because it features delightful and trying moments for the protagonist and a prose that is irresistible. I couldn’t stop reading this book and I believe it will change the way most readers look at life, the world, and reality. It’s a thoughtful and inspiring story about love and family, pain and personal growth, and the importance of human connections.