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Friday, September 9, 2016

#Audiobook #Review: 3 out of 5 stars for The Yellow World by Albert Espinosa @espinosa_albert @PRHAudio

TITLE: The Yellow World: How Fighting for My Life Taught Me How to Live
AUTHOR: Albert Espinosa 
NARRATOR: Todd Haberkorn
PUBLISHER: Random House Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: September 16, 2014
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 3 hrs and 25 mins
GENRE: Non-fiction, Memoir
A sensational memoir with all the emotional power of The Fault in Our Stars, The Yellow World is the story of cancer and survival that has moved and inspired readers around the world.

My heroes don’t wear red capes. They wear red bands.

Albert Espinosa never wanted to write a book about cancer - so he didn’t. Instead, he shares his most touching, funny, tragic, and happy memories in the hopes that others, healthy and sick alike, can draw the same strength and vitality from them.

At 13, Espinosa was diagnosed with cancer, and he spent the next 10 years in and out of hospitals, undergoing one daunting procedure after another, starting with the amputation of his left leg. After going on to lose a lung and half of his liver, he was finally declared cancer-free. Only then did he realize that the one thing sadder than dying is not knowing how to live. In this rich and rewarding book, Espinosa takes us into what he calls "the yellow world", a place where fear loses its meaning; where strangers become, for a moment, your greatest allies; and where the lessons you learn will nourish you for the rest of your life.

MY REVIEW:

I received this audiobook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation for my review, and the views expressed herein are my own.

How many people can say that their battle with cancer was a happy time? Albert Espinosa can! He battled four different types of cancer over a span of ten years from age 14 to age 24. He lost part of his liver, a lung, and his leg but he feels that he has gained so much more than what he has lost. Instead of feeling sorry for himself and devastated at the loss of his leg, his view is that he has gained a stump! I do love Espinosa’s positive outlook on life. His battle with cancer taught him a lot about life, himself, and others. He refers to “the yellow world” as the embodiment of all the lessons that you have learned from both the positives and the negatives in your life that have shaped you into who you are. He then talks about the life lessons that he has learned, and how to find your “yellows” or the people that bring something special into your life whether that may be for a few hours or years. The “yellows” are the ones that you have a special connection with that don't require daily communication. Months or even years can pass by and, when you bump into your “yellow” again, that feeling of closeness is still there.

Espinosa also wrote a Spanish television series called Polseres vermelles, or Red Band Society, which is about a group of kids who are patients in a hospital. Steven Spielberg bought the rights to the series in the United States, which aired on the Fox network during the 2014-15 season. It has, since, been cancelled.

I really enjoyed the first part of the book, learning about Espinosa’s cancer and what he went through. I enjoyed the stories that he shared about the other patients whom he had befriended, and I wish the focus of the book had been more on that but it made up only a small portion of it. Then Espinosa went into his list of 23 discoveries that he has made about life through his cancer, and I thought we were off to an excellent start with the first discovery, which is that “losses are positive.” Again, I was touched by his ability to put a positive spin on things. However, by the fifteenth discovery, he is talking about "positive wanking" (yes, those are his exact words!). It was hard to take him seriously after that, and maybe he doesn’t want to be. The third portion of the book contained suggestions on how to find your “yellows,” and that was the part of the book that interested me the least. The last part of the book is where Espinosa encourages us to think about our deaths and not in the way that you think. He doesn’t want the reader to focus on what happens after our deaths such as whether we want to be cremated or buried, but to think about the time of year or day of the week when we would like to die. This book started off as more of an auto-biography or memoir but then turned into a “how-to” self-help guide. I liked it, but I think the book could have been so much more. Espinosa writes in such an uplifting way and sees the positive in everything, and that's the part of the book that I loved. I would have enjoyed hearing more about his journey through cancer and recovery.

Todd Haberkorn is a new-to-me narrator, and I enjoyed listening to him. I thought he did a great job at conveying the humor of the book.

MY RATING:

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