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5 out of 5 stars

First and foremost – you can check this book out for completely free here. I ended up getting this via Apple Podcasts and listened to it.  If you don’t want to go this route for some reason Pulizzi plans to release this to traditional stores March 4th (and remove the free version).

The Will To Die was an absolute thrill-ride from beginning to end. Pulizzi is a master author able to mix technologies in to make old tropes feel new again.  He was able to take themes that felt like they’d been done a million times feel brand new and that’s not easy to do. The main premise of The Will To Die would sadly give away the story too much – but know that you’ll be in for an absolute thrill-ride of a story.

The opening of the book shows us that the main character Will pitching a marketing plan to a customer.  You can tell that Pulizzi cut his teeth in the marketing world because the scenes here were real and felt insanely accurate. I went to school for marketing and I enjoyed the different business aspects that were thrown in. This instantly made me like Will as a character even when we were shown his flaws and issues early on. Will is a flawed character with real issues – but you can’t help but root for him throughout the entire story.  The desperation shown by different characters felt real. The premise of the story feels like it could happen and that scares the hell out of me.

The ending of the book was a roller coaster of emotions (hint hint, Cedar Point reference). I wasn’t sure what was going to happen or how it was going to turn out – but I didn’t expect almost any of it.  The Will to Live was surprise after surprise, especially in the last hour or so.

The setting of the story (mentioned earlier) of Sandusky, Ohio made the story feel even more real to me. I’m familiar with both the area and the rust belt life. I grew up 3ish hours from there and visited numerous times to go to Cedar Point. I don’t know if I’ve read too many other books set in this area – and I definitely don’t think I’ve read any other books where someone in the main story line works for a funeral home. These elements along with great storytelling made for a super interesting book and one unlike any other I’ve read before.

I devoured this book finishing it in basically two sitting.  Pulizzi’s writing had me glued to my seat long after I was supposed to get up. The performance by Kyle Tait took this book to another level. I’m glad I listened to this and I’ll be recommending it to my friends and family.  I find myself liking the “unexpected” investigator aspect of this book and I hope that there will be more from this author in the future.

Book Description:

Will Pollitt just successfully delivered the business pitch of his life — a win he desperately needs. At the same moment 50 miles away, Will’s father is found dead.

Coming home gives Will a chance to reconnect with his father’s life and work. Yet digging into the past, Will makes a shocking discovery: His hometown neighbors are turning up dead at alarming rates. His father seems not only involved but could he be… one of the lead operatives? Is that why his father is now dead, too?

The hunt for the truth jeopardizes Will and everything he loves. And it makes him question not just his father’s death, but what it means to truly live.

by Joe Pulizzi
Narrator: Kyle Tait
Published by Self Published Genres: Suspense
Format: Audiobook


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