In 27 Days is heart wrenching the entire way through, as any book dealing with a subject like teen suicide should be. Alison Gervais creates characters that are extremely relatable, from Hadley’s strained relationship with her parents and struggle to balance her increasingly chaotic life to Archer’s loneliness and darkest secrets. I couldn’t help but root for them throughout the novel, and by the end, I was on the edge of my seat, eyes straining to know how it would end.
Hadley’s deal and encounters with Death, the supernatural element Gervais adds to the story, creates a great deal of interest to the book, and it left me with many questions. When Archie, a classmate Hadley barely knew, commits suicide, a man called Death approaches her with a deal: to go back 27 days in time to save Archer. She accepts Death’s offer, but we never really learn Death’s motive for letting Hadley go back in time to save her classmate, and this adds a level of intrigue. Although I’m a little disappointed there wasn’t more explanation about the supernatural elements, it left me with the hope that Gervais might visit the world again in future books and give us a better sense of how it operates.
The message Gervais relays to her readers is incredibly relevant and valuable in today’s world. Teen suicide is an issue that affects countless people in the U.S. and around the world, and this story does a great job of addressing how we can help those that struggle with suicidal thoughts and actions. As Gervais points out, it’s often the little things that make a difference. I realize that this is something that is easy to say but difficult to remember; however, I think Gervais frames this story in such a way that it will stay on your mind long after you have finished the book. I highly recommend not only reading In 27 Days for its exciting plot, but also with this issue in mind.
All in all, Gervais wove a great story that is not only a thrilling read, but a meaningful one as well.