Top critical review
Too much tell, not enough show
Reviewed in the United States on February 2, 2020
After Finn’s death in an accident that left family and friends in a blizzard, she observes how her loved ones cope with the loss and their grief.
The description of IN AN INSTANT reminded me of Gale Forman’s IF I STAY and Amy Zhang’s FALLING INTO PLACE, though in both stories teenage young women are caught between life and death, not dead and also LOVELY BONES by Alice Sebold.
Unlike the books I mention, Finn sounds nothing like a teenager. Suzanne Redfearn chose to give Finn an adult voice with the insight of a PhD psychologist, which didn’t work for me. Additionally, Finn was not only an observer of action, she seemed to know how each character thought and felt, like an omniscient third person telling rather than showing.
Redfearn also shows every side of every character, often with more empathy than characters deserved, spoon-feeding to readers how we ought to view people’s motivations. I felt like she was trying too hard to manipulate readers rather than trusting us to have our own opinions.
I chose IN AN INSTANT for my Prime First Reads freebie, so I wasn’t too disappointed that I didn’t fall in love with the story. I’ve come to expect average and subpar books based on many months of one star and DNF books.
A lot of readers enjoyed IN AN INSTANT so check out other reviews or better yet, read one of great other, better books I mentioned.