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Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite
The Dan Diaries is the first book in The Beyond series written by D.D. Marx. Daniel Sullivan is driving while talking on the phone with his best friend, Olivia Henry (Hank), when it happens. On impact, Dan screams out Olivia’s name before being torn away from his life, now just an observer. Watching helplessly as Olivia tries desperately to cope with her grief over his loss, Dan wishes he could send her a sign that he is okay, but his new future awaits... as Olivia’s guardian angel. As he is given an overview of Olivia’s future and views her life with new eyes, Dan realizes that heartbreak and sorrow is a two-way street, as he diarizes his every thought, feeling and desire.
It is not often that I read a book which completely takes me out of my comfort zone. D.D. Marx’s tale of two soul mates, who are torn apart through death and yet stay connected, tore open some old wounds, yet took me to a place in which I experienced grief in a new light. Watching Dan oversee Olivia’s life without him drew many tears to my eyes, but the realistic feel of the story and the tiny doses of humor injected in just the right amounts throughout lightened the load substantially. I was able to view my own grief through Olivia’s eyes as she lost her best friend and had to try to find a way to live again, without hiding her most vulnerable aspects from every new person she meets.
The Dan Diaries is written in such a way that I was able to see it play out in my head, the same way a Deaf person views a subtitled film inside the cinema. I am not only grateful to have read through such a fine piece of literature, but I also recommend The Dan Diaries to readers over the age of 15 years who wish to tackle their grief, loss and pain in a different light. I cannot wait to read the remaining books in The Beyond series.