Sunday, 20 November 2016

My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry [Book Review]

Hello there!

Title: My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry
Author: Fredrik Brackman (Translated by Henning Koch)
Publisher: Atria Books
Published Date: 4th September 2013
Rating: 5 Stars

*Thank you to Booktube Tours for the review copy*


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Synopsis: From the author of the internationally bestselling A Man Called Ove, a novel about a young girl whose grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters, sending her on a journey that brings to life the world of her grandmother's fairy tales.

Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy, standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-men-who-want-to-talk-about-Jesus-crazy. She is also Elsa's best, and only, friend. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother's stories, in the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal.

When Elsa's grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa's greatest adventure begins. Her grandmother's letters lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and totally ordinary old crones, but also to the truth about fairytales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.


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Review: My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry was a book I fell in love with as soon as I read the title. And when it only took me two days to consume the book in its entirety, I knew I hadn’t made a bad choice. This book was wonderful, meaningful and also a really good character driven read. With beautiful descriptions to make a bookworm swoon, I was impressed that I could enjoy this book. I’m someone who doesn’t usually get along with translated books. But this book didn’t even read like one at all. In fact, I didn’t notice it was one until I actually started writing this review. So kudos to the translator who I mentioned up next to the author’s name. It was a brilliant translation.


This book expertly deals with the ideals of when you think you know everything about your role model or best friend when it turns out you don’t. That’s simply because there is never enough time to tell them everything, or you don’t want them to get a bad impression of them. No matter what people say about your best friend never judging you, you have to admit that is something you worry about a little bit. Elsa realises, as she apologises to all these people on a treasure hunt, that her grandmother was not the person she believed her to be. Her role model was imperfect. But at the same times as not being who she said, she was exactly who she said she was as well. If it seems like what I’m saying doesn’t make any sense, then you should definitely try this novel to learn about what I mean!

The novel also crosses a lot of themes. Elsa’s parents are divorced, and you can see her trying to handle that, as well as the fact that she is going to be having another sibling with her mother and step dad. She also has a bit of a distance with her father as he is very formal, so she tries to overcome this as well. At the same time, this novel is really about love and acceptance. Elsa’s bullied at school, so we really get to see how this has shaped who she is and affected her confidence. And lastly, I have to mention the most important theme – death. She’s doing this for her grandmother because she’s passed away. Which is so, so heartbreaking. It makes Elsa sad. It makes Elsa angry. She thinks it’s not fair, and then hates her grandmother for leaving her. It touches her emotions in so many ways that was real to me when I was a ten year old (okay, a bit older than her seven years) and my grandfather also passed away from cancer. Because it spoke to me so much and represented those twisted emotions so well, it was hard to do anything but love this book.


Elsa was a brilliant character and I just loved her so much. She was a genius kid, but she was still a kid, and that was executed so well. She would spin out the most clever and intelligent things, but she doesn’t have the filter that most adults have, so it got her into trouble that way. And while she knows all these facts and common sense, she still leans heavily on her imagination and getting captured into non-existent worlds. She praises Harry Potter and superhero comics, and thinks you’re incredibly dumb if you haven’t read ‘great literature’ such as those. She’s still a child. But a genius too.

The secondary characters were so amazing, and so detailed that I could write a full paragraph or maybe even essay on each of them as well. The important thing about the characters is their own stories and how this ties into who her grandmother was. As she apologises to each one, they come into the story and we learn more about them! And the best part…


Is that all of their stories tie together. Even though they all seem distant, it really explains why the characters are the way they are. It all came together so clearly and perfectly by the end of the novel, that I was actually surprised. It’s like a gentle plot twist for more character driven readers.

It made me laugh. It made me sad. It made me smile. This book is definitely worth your time.

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Gif Summary: 


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Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

Olivia’s Question: Do you have any pets? If you don’t but you had to get one, what would you want as a pet?

Olivia-Savannah x

27 comments:

  1. Sounds very intriguing!
    And no, no more pets, we just lost our cat :(

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    1. I'm so sorry to hear that :( I hope you're doing okay...

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  2. Sounds like a great book, Olivia!

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  3. OMG. Is this the same author who wrote A Man Called Ove? If so, then say no more!

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    1. Yes it is! This was my first novel of his but I want to try that one too now. Joy, go for it <3

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  4. I liked your review and going to get this book. Sounds so good :)

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    1. Glad you liked it! And yes, I highly recommend it :3

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  5. A great sounding book - will have to check this out :)

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  6. This sounds like such a good booookkk! I especially love the title! <3

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    1. The title gets my heart every time :D It's what originally drew me in!

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  7. Sounds really cool. And good quality translation is always a plus :)

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    1. Yes, the translation was done wonderfully!

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  8. I loved this book too. I just finished it recently and was surprised how well done it was. Backman has a way of telling stories that I admire. I read A Man Called Ove first and now I have Brit Marie Was Here on my TBR list.
    Great review Olivia!

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    1. I was just going to poke you (virtually, of course) and let you know about this book. I see you've already beat me to it by reading it. =)

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    2. I am glad you could love this one too! I can't wait to read the other two of his books as well. :)

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  9. I don't currently have any pets. I used to have 2 cats. =) I figure, when my sons are old enough, they'll ask for something.

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    1. Ah. But you must have loved your cats. Maybe they will ^.^

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  10. Sounds like a great read :)

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  11. Great review, Olivia. Sounds like a great book. I'll have to put it on my TBR list. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. This is one you really don't want to miss! Glad you did, Denise. :)

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  12. I’m glad you liked this one. It’s on my TBR list.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. I hope you'll enjoy it whenever you read it too :D

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