Woke Up in a Strange Place - Eric Arvin

WARNING: The review might be considered mildly spoilery, but I avoid mentioning specific facts, so it shouldn't really say much that you wouldn't discover yourself rather soon in the story.


This novel takes place in a sort of afterlife. When the MC, Joe, arrives there, he has no recollections of his life. The story follows his journey through slowly remembering the turning moments of his life - both tragic and happy. He also meets the most important people from his life in the afterlife, and those meetings are what bring on the memories.


The story is quite surreal - some parts of it reminded me of a children's book, one part is basically one big porn scene; of course, there's a fantasy element (the world-building in the afterlife is rather interesting - I especially liked the idea of hell, but didn't exactly love the author's picture of atheists), and the memories of Joe's real life are simply scenes from a contemporary coming-of-age novel. There were several moments that made me cry, but all the tragedies are offset by meeting the characters again in the afterlife, so the overall feeling is hopeful and positive. There are some pretty difficult topics touched upon in this book, so it's definitely not a light read, but I still recommend it - it's enjoyably written and gives a lot of food for thought.