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Dancing at the Pity Party

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Part poignant cancer memoir and part humorous reflection on a motherless life, this debut graphic novel is extraordinarily comforting and engaging. From before her mother's first oncology appointment through the stages of her cancer to the funeral, sitting shiva, and afterward, when she must try to make sense of her life as a motherless daughter, Tyler Feder tells her story Part poignant cancer memoir and part humorous reflection on a motherless life, this debut graphic novel is extraordinarily comforting and engaging. From before her mother's first oncology appointment through the stages of her cancer to the funeral, sitting shiva, and afterward, when she must try to make sense of her life as a motherless daughter, Tyler Feder tells her story in this graphic novel that is full of piercing--but also often funny--details. She shares the important post-death firsts, such as celebrating holidays without her mom, the utter despair of cleaning out her mom's closet, ending old traditions and starting new ones, and the sting of having the "I've got to tell Mom about this" instinct and not being able to act on it. This memoir, bracingly candid and sweetly humorous, is for anyone struggling with loss who just wants someone to get it.


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Part poignant cancer memoir and part humorous reflection on a motherless life, this debut graphic novel is extraordinarily comforting and engaging. From before her mother's first oncology appointment through the stages of her cancer to the funeral, sitting shiva, and afterward, when she must try to make sense of her life as a motherless daughter, Tyler Feder tells her story Part poignant cancer memoir and part humorous reflection on a motherless life, this debut graphic novel is extraordinarily comforting and engaging. From before her mother's first oncology appointment through the stages of her cancer to the funeral, sitting shiva, and afterward, when she must try to make sense of her life as a motherless daughter, Tyler Feder tells her story in this graphic novel that is full of piercing--but also often funny--details. She shares the important post-death firsts, such as celebrating holidays without her mom, the utter despair of cleaning out her mom's closet, ending old traditions and starting new ones, and the sting of having the "I've got to tell Mom about this" instinct and not being able to act on it. This memoir, bracingly candid and sweetly humorous, is for anyone struggling with loss who just wants someone to get it.

30 review for Dancing at the Pity Party

  1. 4 out of 5

    Steven Feder

    My late wife (and Tyler's mother), Rhonda, was a bright, beautiful, sensitive, loving and very kind woman, unlike anyone I had ever known. She was a wonderful wife of 21 years and an adoring mother. She epitomized the meaning of the word "mother" and was totally devoted to her children. Rhonda "walked softly but carried a big stick". She was respected and admired by all who knew her and her loss was and continues to be seismic. In reading my daughter Tyler's memoir, "Dancing at the Pity Party", My late wife (and Tyler's mother), Rhonda, was a bright, beautiful, sensitive, loving and very kind woman, unlike anyone I had ever known. She was a wonderful wife of 21 years and an adoring mother. She epitomized the meaning of the word "mother" and was totally devoted to her children. Rhonda "walked softly but carried a big stick". She was respected and admired by all who knew her and her loss was and continues to be seismic. In reading my daughter Tyler's memoir, "Dancing at the Pity Party", I gained an even greater insight into the special relationship between them. Through my daughter's ever-lasting love for her mother, and her immense talent, I am so glad the memory of this amazing woman can be honored in this special way. Thank you, Tyler. I love you.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Gabby

    This was really freaking beautiful. I cried a lot over this book. Losing my mom is something my brain can't even fathom and it's one of my biggest fears, and my heart completely broke for this author's story of losing her mom to cancer during her freshman year of college. Cancer is so horrible and awful and unforgiving and I just feel so much for families who have to go through things like this. ): But the art in this book is absolutely gorgeous and bright and colorful, and the discussion about m This was really freaking beautiful. I cried a lot over this book. Losing my mom is something my brain can't even fathom and it's one of my biggest fears, and my heart completely broke for this author's story of losing her mom to cancer during her freshman year of college. Cancer is so horrible and awful and unforgiving and I just feel so much for families who have to go through things like this. ): But the art in this book is absolutely gorgeous and bright and colorful, and the discussion about mental health and grief and healing is so so so important. Thanks to Penguin Teen for the ARC!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Olivia | Liv's Library

    Okay but I wasn’t expecting to ACTUALLY CRY?! I loved this. You don’t need to have an experience with a family member being ill in order to relate to this story. The process of grief was described so well in this book and at times had me laughing out loud! It was such a wonderful variety of sadness, heart felt moments & things that made you laugh until you actually cry. I highly recommend picking this one up! Thank you to Penguin Teen for so kindly gifting me a copy! Okay but I wasn’t expecting to ACTUALLY CRY?! I loved this. You don’t need to have an experience with a family member being ill in order to relate to this story. The process of grief was described so well in this book and at times had me laughing out loud! It was such a wonderful variety of sadness, heart felt moments & things that made you laugh until you actually cry. I highly recommend picking this one up! Thank you to Penguin Teen for so kindly gifting me a copy!

  4. 4 out of 5

    CallMeAfterCoffee

    Oddly enough I finished this on my brother's birthday (who passed away in '97), so grief and nostalgia have really been in my mind the last few days. I found this memoir very endearing and easy to read. The talk of grief was very relateable, especially the part with "dead mom" written on the side of the elephant in the room. Even 20+ years later it's something that crosses my mind when I meet someone new... How long until I have to break the "dead brother ice" and break this poor person's heart, Oddly enough I finished this on my brother's birthday (who passed away in '97), so grief and nostalgia have really been in my mind the last few days. I found this memoir very endearing and easy to read. The talk of grief was very relateable, especially the part with "dead mom" written on the side of the elephant in the room. Even 20+ years later it's something that crosses my mind when I meet someone new... How long until I have to break the "dead brother ice" and break this poor person's heart, and then feel sad that I made them sad because they weren't expecting it. Like I said, suuuper relateable. Being that the author's mother passed from cancer I think it would strike a particular chord with that crowd, but even just loss in general is a very relateable topic with this memoir. Thank you so much to Penguin Teen for sending me an advanced copy to read, it showed up at the perfect time!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    Tyler Feder was a freshman at college when her mom died of cancer at 47. It was pretty easy for me to identify with this tale of loss and grief as my father died at 52 just before my sophomore year of college and my mother died a decade later of cancer at age 54. I am now on the verge of living a longer life than either of them. While there is nothing revelatory herein, it was comforting to recognize similar thoughts about mourning, and I welcomed the prompt to revisit the lives and deaths of my Tyler Feder was a freshman at college when her mom died of cancer at 47. It was pretty easy for me to identify with this tale of loss and grief as my father died at 52 just before my sophomore year of college and my mother died a decade later of cancer at age 54. I am now on the verge of living a longer life than either of them. While there is nothing revelatory herein, it was comforting to recognize similar thoughts about mourning, and I welcomed the prompt to revisit the lives and deaths of my own parents, to touch on the sadness of our time apart and dwell on the joy of our time together. If there is a fault in the book, it might be that it is so introspective I hardly got an impression of the impact of the death of Feder's mother on Feder's father and sisters.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Shoa Khan

    This graphic memoir by Tyler Feder who lost her mom nearly a decade ago was so beautiful, heartbreaking, endearing and honest, all at the same time. I was either smiling or sobbing uncontrollably all throughout. I'm sure anyone who has ever grieved the loss of a loved one will find a dear friend in this book. Please be sure to have a giant box of tissues handy though. This graphic memoir by Tyler Feder who lost her mom nearly a decade ago was so beautiful, heartbreaking, endearing and honest, all at the same time. I was either smiling or sobbing uncontrollably all throughout. I'm sure anyone who has ever grieved the loss of a loved one will find a dear friend in this book. Please be sure to have a giant box of tissues handy though.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I cannot say this enough times - YOU WILL CRY IN PUBLIC. Today while reading it I cried 1) waiting for an event in a bookstore, 2) on the subway, like a lot, and 3) walking home just talking about it. SO GOOD.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Candace Hernandez

    Thank you @penguinteen #PenguinTeenPartner for sending an ARC of #DancingatthePityParty my way! And an extra thank you for sending along the cutest little packages of tissues, because I certainly needed them. I didn’t even make it through the prologue without crying. 😭 When I was 13 years old, I lost my mom to stomach cancer. We all know those pesky teen years are rough, and losing a parent during that time (or any time, for that matter) added an extra layer of crap to it. I had a feeling this boo Thank you @penguinteen #PenguinTeenPartner for sending an ARC of #DancingatthePityParty my way! And an extra thank you for sending along the cutest little packages of tissues, because I certainly needed them. I didn’t even make it through the prologue without crying. 😭 When I was 13 years old, I lost my mom to stomach cancer. We all know those pesky teen years are rough, and losing a parent during that time (or any time, for that matter) added an extra layer of crap to it. I had a feeling this book was going to be an emotional rollercoaster, but somehow @tylerfeder managed to seamlessly blend grief with humor in just the right way. I laughed, I cried. I laughed so hard I cried. So much about this book resonated with me (my copy is COVERED in book darts). I have vivid memories of returning to school after my mom died and experiencing that awkward “reintroduction” to friends - not wanting to be the center of attention while also becoming the person that comforts others about your own grief. Tyler captured that feeling so well. While this book covers a sensitive topic, it still managed to bring me so much comfort. The illustrations are gorgeous and are often the source of humor throughout the narrative. I would highly recommend this book to everyone - not just those of us that are a part of The Dead Mom Club! I wish I had a book like this when I was 13, but I am so grateful to have it now. I’m hopeful this book falls into the hands of the sons and daughters that need it so they know they aren’t alone in their grief. DANCING AT THE PITY PARTY is out 4.14.20 (20 days from now!), so mark those calendars and get your pre-orders in now!

  9. 4 out of 5

    MaryJo

    After losing my own mother on Sept. 2019, I found this this deeply refreshing to read. I spent months after losing her searching for people my own age (28) that have lost their mother young like me. Tyler Feder's experience was much like my own. The feelings and writings of grief throughout this book are real, and truthful. From the feelings of jealousy of people who have mothers, to saving literally everything my mother ever touched or used, to dealing with first holiday's, birthdays, not being After losing my own mother on Sept. 2019, I found this this deeply refreshing to read. I spent months after losing her searching for people my own age (28) that have lost their mother young like me. Tyler Feder's experience was much like my own. The feelings and writings of grief throughout this book are real, and truthful. From the feelings of jealousy of people who have mothers, to saving literally everything my mother ever touched or used, to dealing with first holiday's, birthdays, not being able to call your mother, and the ever dreading holiday that is Mother's Day, Tyler Feder's graphic novel memoir of her own experience made me feel as if I was not alone. Grief is hard to process, but Dancing at the Pity Party is a wonderful and beautiful explanation of what it is like losing a loved one, and finding your "New Normal". As a new member of the Dead Moms Club, Tyler Feder made me feel welcomed, not crazy in my emotional rollercoaster of grief, and most importantly, that I was not alone.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Spencer Gibbons

    What a funny, heartfelt, and poignant graphic memoir! This book will bring you comfort and help you feel understood if you've suffered with grief, and will provide essential insight if you haven't. My favorite thing about this book is that it made me laugh out loud and cry out loud. In my experience, it is very rare that a book can delve into serious, painful topics while also incorporating the levity that I believe instinctively goes along with suffering as a method of coping. Well actually, my What a funny, heartfelt, and poignant graphic memoir! This book will bring you comfort and help you feel understood if you've suffered with grief, and will provide essential insight if you haven't. My favorite thing about this book is that it made me laugh out loud and cry out loud. In my experience, it is very rare that a book can delve into serious, painful topics while also incorporating the levity that I believe instinctively goes along with suffering as a method of coping. Well actually, my favorite thing about this book is that my sister wrote it! But all that other stuff is still true. I couldn't ask for a better, more thoughtful portrayal of this story that I actually lived through. So proud of you Tylie!!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    Fresh still in my own grief, Tyler's book about losing her mother to cancer at a young age really hit me hard. It's raw and visceral while also being quite funny. Everything she experienced in terms of grief is something I'm learning and understanding quite well, though our circumstances are obviously different. But the voice, the pain, and the ways that healing is non-linear are damn good here. I've always loved Tyler's work, and her marriage of art and storytelling are fantastic. This will bri Fresh still in my own grief, Tyler's book about losing her mother to cancer at a young age really hit me hard. It's raw and visceral while also being quite funny. Everything she experienced in terms of grief is something I'm learning and understanding quite well, though our circumstances are obviously different. But the voice, the pain, and the ways that healing is non-linear are damn good here. I've always loved Tyler's work, and her marriage of art and storytelling are fantastic. This will bring comfort to so, so many people. It is one that'll get you in your emotions. The art is beautifully full-color.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne thebookblondie

    Dancing at the Pity Party by Tyler Feder (#33 in 2020) Thank you to @penguinteen for my advanced review copy! Tyler Feder recounts her experience with learning of her mother's cancer diagnosis all the way through the grief she experiences after her mother's death.  Dancing at the Pity Party is YA, but it's more than just a book for teens. Dealing with grief is something that anyone can relate to, and, through most of the book, Tyler is in her college years. While it's told through a graphic novel fo Dancing at the Pity Party by Tyler Feder (#33 in 2020) Thank you to @penguinteen for my advanced review copy! Tyler Feder recounts her experience with learning of her mother's cancer diagnosis all the way through the grief she experiences after her mother's death.  Dancing at the Pity Party is YA, but it's more than just a book for teens. Dealing with grief is something that anyone can relate to, and, through most of the book, Tyler is in her college years. While it's told through a graphic novel format, this book's messages are much bigger than "just a comic book." Tyler offers advice on how to communicate with someone who is grieving. She explains what to say and do and how to be present for the people in our lives who need us most.  When Tyler discusses her shock at the physical and emotional changes in her mother as the cancer took over her brain, I couldn't help but have an immediate flashback to my grandmother's cancer battle. The range of emotions that Tyler expresses is vast and makes the reader realize that all of those feelings are completely normal.  I highly recommend that you add this book to your TBR. Dancing at the Pity Party is currently available for pre-order and will publish on 4/14/2020. I never thought I'd admit that I cried over a comic book, but I did... multiple times. Thank goodness @penguinteen included custom tissues in my bookmail package! 5 stars

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kirsti

    Sequential-art nonfiction about the author's mother, who died when the author was 19. Quirky and touching. My favorite part was when the author imagined a brick-and-mortar clubhouse for the dead mom club that she invented. She even illustrated its open fridge, filled with different kinds of comfort food. As a member of the dead mom club, I found this delightful.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    A perfect representation of the magnitude of loss and the unusual and otherness journey that is grief. ❤️❤️❤️

  15. 5 out of 5

    Soléna Magiccat

    Touching, funny, smart, inclusive... A wonderful book, not only for people who experienced grief. In summary a beautiful graphic novel by a great human for other humans. The drawing and the colors are fantastic as well.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kitty

    I am so grateful that the author wrote and shared this beautiful art. It makes me feel so much less alone after my mother died last year. Rhonda reminds me so much of my own mother, Harriet. Thank you, Tyler. Your art is an inspiration.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Brenda Kahn

    I grabbed this on my way to the airport and read it while I waited for my flight. I wept copiously. So much about this beautiful, important graphic novel resonates. It truly belongs in every possible library collection. I wouldn't necessarily hand it to someone newly grieving the loss of a loved one, but certainly to everyone who wants to help. While reading this, I couldn't help but remember the cancer journey my close friend had. We were friends because two of our sons were good buddies. She w I grabbed this on my way to the airport and read it while I waited for my flight. I wept copiously. So much about this beautiful, important graphic novel resonates. It truly belongs in every possible library collection. I wouldn't necessarily hand it to someone newly grieving the loss of a loved one, but certainly to everyone who wants to help. While reading this, I couldn't help but remember the cancer journey my close friend had. We were friends because two of our sons were good buddies. She was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer when her youngest son was in second grade. Early on she wept with me and said, "I just want him to be able to remember me." I think that desire kept her alive long enough to plan his bar mitzvah and the weekend after her oldest son graduated college, she passed. Not a day passes that I do not think of her.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    For all those who have lost mothers young, this is a perfect book to seek out for someone else has felt what you have felt. This book is also for those who have lost mothers at other ages. Although it isn't quite as hard, because we had them longer, death is still death, and the mourning is hard. It is a shock to be there when anyone dies, and her experience of how it felt is the same one I experience. It is so odd to feel someone die in front of you. And then, afterwards. You do and don't want sy For all those who have lost mothers young, this is a perfect book to seek out for someone else has felt what you have felt. This book is also for those who have lost mothers at other ages. Although it isn't quite as hard, because we had them longer, death is still death, and the mourning is hard. It is a shock to be there when anyone dies, and her experience of how it felt is the same one I experience. It is so odd to feel someone die in front of you. And then, afterwards. You do and don't want sympathy at the same time. You want things to go back to normal, and don't want to dwell on death, and yet you do. Well written story, which of course, pulls on all your emotions.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rec-It Rachel

    what a gut punch, and so beautifully captured

  20. 5 out of 5

    Areli Amaya

    ARC provided to me by Penguin Teen in exchange for my honest review. · Tyler Feder lost her smart, crafty, intelligent mother to cancer when she was a sophmore in college; the devastation of it all and having to lead a "normal" life, dreading the questions that would undoubtedly break her heart all over again and having to balance the newness of everyday grief led her to write this touching, relatable, humorous and poignant graphic novel. Through Feder's talent as an artist and writer, we are taken ARC provided to me by Penguin Teen in exchange for my honest review. · Tyler Feder lost her smart, crafty, intelligent mother to cancer when she was a sophmore in college; the devastation of it all and having to lead a "normal" life, dreading the questions that would undoubtedly break her heart all over again and having to balance the newness of everyday grief led her to write this touching, relatable, humorous and poignant graphic novel. Through Feder's talent as an artist and writer, we are taken to the moment her mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer, to her last days surrounded by family - we are given a glimpse into her funeral and the manner in which Tyler dealt with being a motherless daughter for years to come. This arresting memoir is for everyone who has ever walked the path of grief and needs to realize they have never been alone. · I would like to start my review by thanking Penguin Teen for sending this Advance Readers Copy my way - it is beautifully written and so very touching, I would not be surprised if it made my top ten books of 2020. When the publisher reached out to me wondering if I would be willing to receive a copy of this graphic novel, my first thought was "How is it even possible I didn't already know about this?". If you have been following me for a while, you will know I am death positive, which basically means I have accepted my mortality and that of my loved ones - it still hurts, but I'm not scared to talk about it or research the subject matter. One of the things we have become silently complacent with as a society, is to view death and therefore grief as a topic that should never be talked about, because it's just not polite and or right, or because we are led to believe we may hurt other people's sensibilities (even though it is the only thing we should take for granted). This has wrongly led to people swallowing their feelings, their memories and the very thoughtful conversations that would encourage the path to healing. Dancing at the Pity Party is an amalgamation of descriptive pain, anguish and SO much love, I cried repeatedly and I'm not ashamed to admit it. It's a beautiful novel that describes grief and its very prominent stages with great detail and care, while effortlessly making you laugh and cry with its sometimes humorous descriptions. The main thing that keeps coming to mind is just how relatable this graphic novel is: I am lucky to still have my mother around, but death is something I know very well and the number of times I found myself saying "Same" are too many to even remember. The artwork is beautiful, the writing style modern yet captivating and the story cathartic to read. This is one of those books I think everyone should read - I am giving it 5/5 stars.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Maddie Rojas Lynch

    Okay I literally want to SCREAM FROM THE ROOFTOP about how much I love this book and how thankful I am to Tyler Feder for creating it. As someone who does not like to lean into their negative emotions, I never fully resonated with other books I’ve read about grief or loss because the sadness is too overwhelming. BUT this book is truly magical because one minute I was laughing hysterically and the next minute I was sobbing. Sometimes grieving people want to do both. Not to mention that drawings ar Okay I literally want to SCREAM FROM THE ROOFTOP about how much I love this book and how thankful I am to Tyler Feder for creating it. As someone who does not like to lean into their negative emotions, I never fully resonated with other books I’ve read about grief or loss because the sadness is too overwhelming. BUT this book is truly magical because one minute I was laughing hysterically and the next minute I was sobbing. Sometimes grieving people want to do both. Not to mention that drawings are beautiful and the advice is SO insightful I’d recommend this book to anyone who has lost their mom or knows someone who has lost their mom. Thank you Tyler Feder, I feel SO seen and I’m so grateful that you put into words and images what I’ve been feeling for 3 years. “Dancing at the pity party” has become and instant favorite of mine 💕

  22. 5 out of 5

    J

    This was such a captivatingly sad sorry but such a gift to read. Feder's story pulls readers in so quickly that I could not put it down. I am so happy that Feder's mother was such a positive force in her life, we should all be so lucky, and that Feder has such beautiful moments to remember her. The artwork in this graphic novel is beautiful, the writing lyrical and the members of her family were so loving, special and beautiful, I wish I knew them. Highly recommended. I look forward to more of F This was such a captivatingly sad sorry but such a gift to read. Feder's story pulls readers in so quickly that I could not put it down. I am so happy that Feder's mother was such a positive force in her life, we should all be so lucky, and that Feder has such beautiful moments to remember her. The artwork in this graphic novel is beautiful, the writing lyrical and the members of her family were so loving, special and beautiful, I wish I knew them. Highly recommended. I look forward to more of Feder's work.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gretchen

    This was a tough one for Mother’s Day weekend, but I’m so glad I read it. I have (luckily) not lost either of my parents yet, and I can’t imagine what that will be like, and this book helped me feel like I’ll survive when that does happen. It’s a beautiful and funny and sad story of loss. I would certainly recommend it also to those who know someone that has lost a parent. I wish I’d had this when my partner’s father died a couple of years ago. It was the least of anyone’s concerns but I just fe This was a tough one for Mother’s Day weekend, but I’m so glad I read it. I have (luckily) not lost either of my parents yet, and I can’t imagine what that will be like, and this book helped me feel like I’ll survive when that does happen. It’s a beautiful and funny and sad story of loss. I would certainly recommend it also to those who know someone that has lost a parent. I wish I’d had this when my partner’s father died a couple of years ago. It was the least of anyone’s concerns but I just felt like I didn’t know how to comfort or be there for him. Not everyone is the same, of course, but Feder’s advice and insight in here would have been invaluable.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mandy

    I didn't cry while reading this, but this is kind of how my insides felt: Tyler, or "Tylie", as her mother would call her, expresses how she wanted to compose a graphic novel to show that some GETS IT and the girl naaaaaaaaaailed it. There were so many panels that I was like, "Whoa." because the way it resonated was just so REAL. Part of me wishes I would just rip out some pages and pin them to me so everyone knows what it feels like. I especially looooooooved the Mother's Day part, and her ideas I didn't cry while reading this, but this is kind of how my insides felt: Tyler, or "Tylie", as her mother would call her, expresses how she wanted to compose a graphic novel to show that some GETS IT and the girl naaaaaaaaaailed it. There were so many panels that I was like, "Whoa." because the way it resonated was just so REAL. Part of me wishes I would just rip out some pages and pin them to me so everyone knows what it feels like. I especially looooooooved the Mother's Day part, and her ideas for a club. Please please please read this.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Grace

    im sobbed like a baby I spent the first 30% of this book trying not to cry and then when i did start crying, it was bad. I was sobbing so much and I had to be quiet so that I wouldn’t wake my family

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ellie Ofiesh

    Ouch my heart hurts. This is one of the best descriptions of grief, how it affects everything and how strange it is when someone you love dies. I'll buy a copy of this and hug it and tuck it away for anyone who ever needs to read it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cassidy

    Heartbreaking and beautiful, this graphic memoir teaches you about grief and how different it can be for everyone. What a lovely way to commemorate her mother’s life.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kira

    I really wish there had been a book like this when I was 13 and my mom died after 5 years (really 8, but with 5 good years in the middle) of cancer. But now I can buy multiple copies to give out whenever this conversation happens: Them: do you parents still live in the area? Me: my dad lives in NC Them: what about your mom? Me: *stares* This book is so so good and honest and hilarious and beautiful and (obviously) sad. A+ highly recommended

  29. 4 out of 5

    Summer

    This is a really, really lovely tribute and a very honest portrayal of grief.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bianca Orellana

    My mother passed away almost 2 years ago now, July 7th, 2018. She, too, had cancer. I also watched her slowly waste away. I was 29 years old. She was 57. I felt this adorable, endearingly sad memoir on such a deep level, I could have written it myself -- if I were a talented illustrator (which I'm definitely not) and a funny writer (only the latter half applies). Tyler Feder is also the same age as me (she's only three months younger!), so she spoke in my language as well. If you've ever experien My mother passed away almost 2 years ago now, July 7th, 2018. She, too, had cancer. I also watched her slowly waste away. I was 29 years old. She was 57. I felt this adorable, endearingly sad memoir on such a deep level, I could have written it myself -- if I were a talented illustrator (which I'm definitely not) and a funny writer (only the latter half applies). Tyler Feder is also the same age as me (she's only three months younger!), so she spoke in my language as well. If you've ever experienced the loss of a parent in general, you'll relate to Dancing at the Pity Party. To lose a parent at a young age, however, is an entirely different experience, and Feder uses this YA format to really speak to young people and our struggles. The illustrations are adorable, eye-catching, and full of millennial speak; on the flip side, they're also little too busy, but I was so entertained that I didn't really care. "...my mom's health had deteriorated so much, she was like a 90-year-old and a baby at the same time." The memories these words brought back! The feels! I'm not a crier, and a teared up A LOT while reading this. Every depiction of Feder's cancer-stricken mother (complete with tiny lines on her head to signify hair loss and small, socked feet) brought tears to my eyes; it's these tiny details that somehow encapsulate the entire devastating real experience of seeing your loved one in that state. Because I can't adequately express how seen and understood I felt while reading this graphic memoir, I'm going to end this review by citing my favorite part (out of many) in this book -- minus the illustrations, of course: "If I had it my way, there would be a brick-and-mortar clubhouse where [The Dead Moms Club] could meet. It would be cozy and private with an extremely relaxed dress code. The couches would be squashy and stainproof. There would be tons of old photo albums for wallowing and plenty of cheesy and/or thrilling movies for distracting (depending on the member's taste). There would be a soundproof booth for screaming and a punching bag just in case. The fridge would be stocked with comfort foods at all times. It would be a wonderland, a place where the Kleenex never runs out! "On birthday and anniversaries (or deathiversaries) we would all gather to support each other. Mother's Day would be our Super Bowl! We would serve foods and drinks with ridiculous themed names. Maybe there would be some snuggly cats and dogs hanging out if no one was allergic. We would vent and swap stories about our cool moms. I'd probably insist we do some kind of craft project. And then we would dance until we were too tired to feel. (Through all of this, we would stay far, FAR away from social media, at least until everyone else's cute #tbt mom posts were gone from our timelines!!)" Yeah. I think all us members of The Dead Moms Club would agree that sounds like heaven.

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