FEELS: NOTED || The Last Night of Her Wake by Chrissie Peria

Disclaimer: Everything you will read after this will be spoiler-free. This is not an actual review. These are just feelings, put into slightly incoherent words that hopefully make sense enough for you to understand how a certain book affected me. There will be no technical comments, no nitpicking. Just feelings, all the feelings.

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This story in the #StrangeLit Killer Seasons bundle is one of those stories where… you think you know, but you really have no idea. I mean, the title itself should be self explanatory, right? Someone died. A girl died. It was the last night of her wake and she’s probably not dead. You’re probably going to read a story about how she’s watching over her coffin, spitting out ironic commentary about the people coming to visit.

It’s probably going to be this hilarious story about how the afterlife sucks, told in the point of view of a girl who died.

Well, simply put… NO.

It’s a story about how life sucks, told in the point of view of those who got left behind.

That was my state in the emotional department after reading The Last Night of Her Wake. I was a mess of feelings that ranged from being uplifted, to being utterly heartbroken. It was weird because that story should’ve just made me feel so sad… but it didn’t. Not completely, at least.

Come in, come in, the house seemed to say. Share in our grief. Behold our tears and our silent cries for the child we have sheltered since the moment she first took breath.

I came into this thinking it was going to be pretty straightforward. Like I said above, there were a lot of possibilities going through my head already even before I turned the first page. But slowly, I realized it wasn’t going to come close to any of my assumptions.

First of all, the cause of death. Bits and pieces of it were revealed through out the beginning of the story. It was done in a way where you get through one, and then you just want to keep reading so you can get that next breadcrumb.

Second, the life she lived–especially the last few months before her death. I mean, the author hinted at something. It was done in bits and pieces too, throwing a breadcrumb here, flinging another one there.

Crumbled pieces of bark and plant fibers clung to her back. Grass stained her skirt. Her clothes were wrinkled, the buttons fastening her blouse misaligned.

But I couldn’t have prepared myself for that-other-big-thing-that-happened. Maybe it’s bad  of me not to have expected that other thing in the context of that first thing that got hinted at, but I really didn’t expect it.

Safe to say the feelings really began to overflow after that.

The flashbacks were sweet and heartwarming, then it went back to the present to rip my heart out of my chest so the author can stomp on it. Guys you don’t understand and I can’t explain it any further at the risk of spoilers but… it really, really hurt. 😦

But I loved it. It hurt me, but I loved it. #parangpagibig

Both men sat silent, lost in their own thoughts, one’s regrets beginning where the other’s ended.

I don’t… hay. Just thinking about it again is making my heart heavy.

The Last Night of Her Wake was one of the shortest #StrangeLit stories I read. But the feels!punch it packed was like having a 500-page hardbound book thrown at your face, then the hot love interest from inside stepping out of the pages to soothe your pain.

And then you get another 500-page book thrown at your face, only paperback this time.

Still hurt like bitch but–

OKAY HOLD ON. I can’t properly express how much I love this story! The fact that it made me kinda sad makes everything I say seem like I hated it. But just, okay.

Let me put it this way: It was one of the most beautifully poignant stories I’ve ever read. And it was written with words that crawl through your chest to give your heart a hug–a heart hug hurts okay, as well meaning as it is. But it’s still a hug. And it’s still a good story.

And you should read it. Right now. GO.

Chrissie PeriaAbout the Author
When not obsessing over fictional people doing fictional things, Chrissie obsesses about food: the eating, the cooking, and the procuring of it.

An advertising copywriter in her past life, she now spends most of her time writing, taking photos, cooking, and babysitting a tiny human and a curly-haired dog.

She still plays with dolls and she thinks that bacon is the answer. Her first book, All’s Fair in Blog and War, was awarded Best Romance in English at the 2014 Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards.

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