I have to say that, in the beginning, I stalled reading this book because I knew how it ended – and that’s usually quite the spoiler of the whole reading journey for most of us readers. But, as an aspiring oncologist, the mention of the very word “cancer” had me hooked, and the slow realization that Dr. Paul Kalanithi and I both believed in similar things [the hands-on need to understand the purpose of life] comforted my reading needs immensely.
When Breath Becomes Air is a heart-breaking, true story of a life ascending into the process of settling down until it is faced by difficulties, to put it in a euphemistic way. It is Dr. Paul Kalanithi’s very own story of battling death as he faces the question of finding what exactly it is that makes life worth living until the end. The book beautifully pulls the reader into the narrator’s own shoes, giving us a glimpse of how it is to face it in real life, until the last second arrives.
The best impact of When Breath Becomes Air is how it makes you mourn a legend’s death you didn’t even know in real life. That’s its irrevocable beauty. As The New York Times remarked, finishing this book and then forgetting about is really not something you can do at all.
And, like every impactful work, this book is a must read. Perhaps there may be a lot of heavy and difficult words you find yourself noting down to google later, and perhaps it leaves you extremely sad, but the story has a life of its own.
It feels quite unfair to rate or review a book like this that holds within itself what may have been the last days of a human life. It’s definitely a 5/5, though.
Frankie & Shar
P.S. Leave a comment below if or when you’ve read it! We always love to know what other readers think.