Review: Everything You and I Could Have Been If We Weren’t You and I by Albert Espinosa

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You know how sometimes you find a book that clings on to you, and you just cherish the memory of it, afraid that it can be taken from you? For me, that book was Albert Espinosa’s Everything You and I Could Have Been If We Weren’t You and I. This book was written five years ago, but its Kindle edition is now being published by Penguin Random House. I downloaded this book because I was intrigued by its title. I went in without any expectations, really, but then I found myself completely lost in the world of the beautifully written words and the amazingly life-changing thoughts.

The first thing you notice about this book is the writing. The words — the sentences — are just so amazingly beautiful and so poetic that I just wanted to highlight the whole book and never ever forget one word of it. Espinosa is a master: a beautiful magician who doesn’t just speak to your mind, but who plays on the strings of your heart.

The world Espinosa has built in this book is odd. I can’t find a better word to describe it. This book transfers you to the future, where people have given up sleeping, where people are giving up one of the most beautiful gifts ever given to humankind: dreams. They work more, they want to possess more, and they just need more. Sleep is seen as an obstacle — one which can be put out of the way.

Our main character, Marcos, loves sleeping. He loves the fact that dreaming is time traveling — that in your dreams you don’t have borders, in your dreams you can be whoever you want to be. This is key because Marco recently lost his mother, The Woman in his life — the one who taught him everything. He realizes that his eccentric, incredibly wise dancer mother will never walk this earth again, and he just doesn’t want to live in a world like that. But just as he prepares to take some pills to end the pain, something happens…which I won’t spoil for you.

What I will tell you is that this book has a lot in it. Mind reading, aliens, police, daydreaming, love, dancing, squares, death, suitcases. This book is just everything at once: dystopian fiction reflecting on our fears from the present. This honestly may be one of the best books I’ve ever read about grief — about what it means to lose someone, how hard it is to let go, and how hard it is to give up the last link to that person. It’s also one of the most incredible family stories, one of the most breathtaking mother-son/father-daughter relationships I’ve ever read. There are no secrets and no boundaries — just a family who sticks together no matter what.

This book showed me beauty. It showed me love. Most importantly, it showed me hope. I encourage you to read it, whether you are sad, happy, lost, or found. Read it, and feel the love.


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