Review by maggi3 -- Final Notice by Van Fleisher

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maggi3
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Review by maggi3 -- Final Notice by Van Fleisher

Post by maggi3 » 04 May 2019, 23:49

[Following is a volunteer review of "Final Notice" by Van Fleisher.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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If you had 30 days to live, what would you do? Maybe you would spend them with family, trying to enjoy the time you had left. Maybe you would go skydiving, starting to cross a few things off your bucket list. Or maybe you would search for purpose in that last month, thinking about the impact you’ve made on the world and deciding to go out with a bang.

This is the premise of the book Final Notice by Van Fleisher. A company called Vitaltech develops a watch that will give users a “Final Notice” of their impending death in a month or less. However, the larger issue throughout the book is about guns. Vince and Trudi, a married elderly couple, go through the decision of whether or not a gun is necessary for their protection, being plagued in the news constantly with shootings and rises in gun ownership. VitalTech and the FBI have to deal with the consequences of the Final Notice in a world where access to guns is all too easy. Mass shootings, suicide, and killing for self-defense are all addressed in this book, as well as how the government and other organizations, namely the NRA, react to these things.

I should preface this by saying that I did enjoy the story. The plot kept me entertained and engaged throughout. I loved Vince and Trudi’s characters. They are down to earth, normal people that have problems we can relate to. They frequently wonder if they are doing enough to combat racism and lack of gun control, and feel helpless that they cannot do more. They disagree with the NRA’s policies, but still want to have a gun to defend themselves if necessary. The concept of ageism isn’t discussed as much as it should be today, and I applaud Final Notice for bringing light to this topic.

If you haven’t guessed already, Final Notice deals with a wide variety of issues, including immigration, sexism, ageism, gun control, healthcare, racism, and climate change. Most of the issues are handled well and lead to a greater sense of realism. If you’re looking for an objective view of these issues, though, this is not the book for you. The author is very clear about his beliefs through the story and very direct in his portrayal of them. I didn’t mind this, but it could turn off readers who disagree with his opinions or prefer more subtle descriptions.

One instance of these issues that I disliked was with the characters of Ahmed and Alma Khan. These characters are friends of Vince and Trudi’s who are immigrants. They invite Vince and Trudi to their house, where they discuss discrimination and guns. This is an important discussion, of course, but it felt out of place. It seemed like those two characters were there more to send the message that most immigrants are good people rather than to add to the plot. An example of where the author uses this message in the right way is with Qasim and Rasha. It’s hard to describe these characters without spoilers. Suffice it to say that they are also immigrants who become friends with Vince, Trudi, and the Khans, but they contribute greatly to the plot.

I was excited to read this book due to the subjects it talked about and the praise it was receiving, but, unfortunately, it didn’t quite live up to my expectations. I was able to learn a lot about guns and the need for gun control, but it quickly got repetitive. There were a lot of conversations, especially between the FBI and VitalTech, that could have been cut down on without taking anything from the story. Some of the information about the shootings was repeated to the point where it got tedious as well. The dialogue in these conversations seemed stiff and unrealistic at times. Some of Vince’s dialogue, for example, sounded more like a politician than an everyday person. It also had a lot of errors that I noticed, mostly punctuation based. Just a forewarning: if you’re easily upset by lack of Oxford commas, this is not the story for you. For these reasons, I have to give this book 2 out of 4 stars. I would give it 2.5 stars if I could because I did enjoy the story, but the problems I mentioned kept me from being fully engaged. Final Notice would be a good read for someone who wants a direct understanding of issues related to guns. While I didn’t love this book, I still respect the author for talking about and bringing light to these controversial topics.

******
Final Notice
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Uinto
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Post by Uinto » 18 May 2019, 05:20

I like a good plotline and this about Vince and Trudy seems like it. I however hope gun control is introduced. Thanks for an excellent review.

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Post by maggi3 » 18 May 2019, 08:46

Uinto wrote: ↑
18 May 2019, 05:20
I like a good plotline and this about Vince and Trudy seems like it. I however hope gun control is introduced. Thanks for an excellent review.
Thanks for commenting!

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Post by allbooked+ » 18 May 2019, 08:50

It sounds like this book leans toward the lecturing and I don't enjoy that. Thank you for the very nice review!

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Post by diana lowery » 18 May 2019, 14:46

allbooked+ wrote: ↑
18 May 2019, 08:50
It sounds like this book leans toward the lecturing and I don't enjoy that. Thank you for the very nice review!
I think you have uncovered what I most disliked about the book. I did feel as if I was being lectured while reading it.
Thanks!

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Post by maggi3 » 18 May 2019, 18:41

allbooked+ wrote: ↑
18 May 2019, 08:50
It sounds like this book leans toward the lecturing and I don't enjoy that. Thank you for the very nice review!
I agree with Diana. The book is pretty one sided and it could come across as being a lecture. Thanks for commenting!

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Post by Bluebird03 » 18 May 2019, 23:24

I read this book also and absolutely agree with your comments. At times some of the conversations felt more like a political speech. That was a huge turn off for me. I thoroughly enjoyed your review- great job!

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Post by maggi3 » 18 May 2019, 23:32

Bluebird03 wrote: ↑
18 May 2019, 23:24
I read this book also and absolutely agree with your comments. At times some of the conversations felt more like a political speech. That was a huge turn off for me. I thoroughly enjoyed your review- great job!
Thanks for commenting!

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Post by Kelyn » 22 May 2019, 22:31

I don't know that I would want to own one of those watches if they did exist. There are some things that you are simply better off not knowing. I am pro-NRA and through your review and the comments I have gathered that the author gets rather preachy about this subject, so I'll pass on this one. Thanks for the informative review!
It's not hoarding if its books! :techie-studyingbrown:

maggi3
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Post by maggi3 » 23 May 2019, 03:53

Kelyn wrote: ↑
22 May 2019, 22:31
I don't know that I would want to own one of those watches if they did exist. There are some things that you are simply better off not knowing. I am pro-NRA and through your review and the comments I have gathered that the author gets rather preachy about this subject, so I'll pass on this one. Thanks for the informative review!
I wouldn’t want to own one either. Passing on this is probably a good decision. He definitely does not depict the NRA in a positive light, and I think his portrayal could be offensive to those who are pro-NRA. Thanks for commenting!

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Post by angiejack456 » 27 May 2019, 23:34

I'll have to pass on this one as well. Far too politically one-sided for my taste. Your review does a great job of making it clear who should avoid this book.

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Post by maggi3 » 28 May 2019, 03:46

angiejack456 wrote: ↑
27 May 2019, 23:34
I'll have to pass on this one as well. Far too politically one-sided for my taste. Your review does a great job of making it clear who should avoid this book.
Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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Post by unamilagra » 28 May 2019, 23:03

This is a great, objective review! I'm glad you enjoyed the story, but it's too bad that the errors and the forced message detracted from it.

maggi3
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Post by maggi3 » 28 May 2019, 23:09

unamilagra wrote: ↑
28 May 2019, 23:03
This is a great, objective review! I'm glad you enjoyed the story, but it's too bad that the errors and the forced message detracted from it.
Thanks for the comment!

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Post by Hiruni Bhagya 81 » 30 May 2019, 03:40

Plot sounds interesting and it seems to discuss many serious subjects. But repetition of certain things might be boring to readers. I'm too curious about the plot and this mysterious watch to not read it. So, thanks for the warning about the repetition and your thoughtful review.

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