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A meaning beyond the moments

Reviewing “I Fell in Love with Hope” by Lancali

“I Fell in Love with Hope” was nothing that I had thought it would be. With it being Lancali’s first novel and having a dainty, beautiful cover, I was expecting it to be a love story with a classic happy ending. Instead I read a tragedy filled with so much sustenance. I thought it was going to be about four friends finding love and loss and healing together. And it is, but it also is nowhere close to being the actual message. 

The book starts off by us learning bits and pieces of Sam’s past and the reasons behind why she refuses to love. We only get bits and pieces of confusing information on who she is and routinely hear that she is a part of the hospital in which the entire book takes place. Throughout the entire book we continue to be served sadness among the group’s determination to “kill their enemies,” who are time, disease, and death. As they finally get their day of escape, reality crashes down and the story comes to a halt.

The characters explore what it’s like to feel the pain of grief and try to hold on to hope. There are five main characters in this story: Sam, Neo, Coeur, Sony, and Hikari. There’s also Sam’s lost love who makes many appearances, but saying his name would ruin the story. Sam is quiet, shy, ‘stupid’, and uninteresting. Neo is small, frail, and sharp-worded. Coeur is large, aloof, and struggles to find the right words. Sony is a spitfire, loves races, and is energetic. Hikari is the sun. You’ll learn what that means if you read the book. All of these details are not that important to the message. Who they are as individuals adds up to the bigger picture, but if you change certain aspects, the story is still the same. They are all diseased. Everyone is always destined to reach the end. Theirs just seems to loom a bit more.

I have fallen in love with this book and this is even after I continued to feel dread over and over as details were unveiled. I could feel death creeping up from the very beginning. The fear is palpable and I commend Lancali for being able to express all of the difficult emotions so fully throughout this novel. My favorite character was Coeur. He was quiet but one of the most resilient. While also silently giving up on hope. My favorite lines, however, come from Neo. 


**Possible Spoilers**

The first line of Neo’s that caught my attention was “Destruction is addictive. The more I am, the less I want to be. The less I am, the lesser I want to become.” It was devastating. It was his truth. People had a hard time seeing that he wasn’t in control, but it was also self inflicted. 

Early on we are also introduced to Hamlet, a very popular Shakespeare tragedy. It is crazy how the parallel of the stories aligned and conflicted. Sam and Hikairi read the classic together, and acted it out to Hikairi’s content. She claimed Hamlet was her worst influence. 

Another common theme is not to fly too close to the sun. Therefore, when an allusion to the story of Icarus, it caught my attention immediately. “For how monumental death can be, the sea doesn’t stop to notice. Too many of her sailors met their end in her arms.” This idea was often explored around Sony’s desire for wings and Sam’s infatuation with her sun. 

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About the Contributor
Amber Straub
Amber Straub, Reporter
Amber Straub is a senior and first year Beaver Tales staff member. She enjoys writing small works, reading, art, and music. She has three older dogs and five cats total (two of those being rescue kittens). She is also a current member of the Corry Key Club and enjoys helping with volunteer work in her free time.