My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The premise of this book is slightly bizarre, yet that’s what drew me towards it in the first place. Ren is a teenage girl who has died prematurely, and now her consciousness inhabits a memorial bench beside the River Thames in London. We find out more about her life, and how she died, through conversations she has with the consciousness of the neighbouring bench, Lionel.
I enjoyed reading this book. The murder-mystery element keeps it interesting, although the reveal is far from shocking and it’s easily guessed. The ending isn’t as neatly resolved as I expected it to be, but I liked it, and it left me feeling satisfied. I really grew to love Ren and found myself getting very angry on her behalf. I love books that make you feel something so strongly, and this is exactly what My Life as a Bench did.
Overall, it’s a strange, beautiful, sad book, and the chances are that you won’t have read anything like it before.
(Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)