A Beginner's Guide to Paradise: 9 Steps to Giving Up Everything

A Beginner's Guide to Paradise: 9 Steps to Giving Up Everything - Alex Sheshunoff

He’d done it, something so many individuals wish they could do but never attempt. It’s such a drastic step to take.   Alex had stepped off the grid, he’d quit his job, leased out his apartment and was now going to live on a small island in the Pacific. A health issue caused Alex to take a hold of his life, he was feeling burned out and was now planning on relaxing and enjoying life. Besides rekindling his spirit, Alex was also going to read 100 of the greatest books on his trip, books he had never read. Alex soon discovers that this list of book is no small task, for everyone has their own opinion of what a great book really is. There are so many islands to choose from and after pouring over maps, consulting with friends, he finally buys a one-way ticket to Yap. Yap, Alex’s new paradise.  

I really have to give my hat to Alex for committing himself to this task. I love the idea of just quitting my job and taking some time off to enjoy life somewhere different. Imagine no time constraint where you could just enjoy the culture, the scenery and the people but I really, really could not do it the way that Alex did. I would have to research and plan for months before going. Reading this novel, I was laughing and enjoying his spontaneity, sometimes wondering how it was all going to play out in the end. Arriving in Yap, the dusty, stifling, slow life of Yap got to him after a while. I was picturing in my mind, a dust bowl western town only with swampy smelly land. Alex walks through town, the whole 1.5 minutes looking for excitement only to find the locals sitting outside watching the sun move across the sky. That’s my image, Alex gives you more in his writing but that is my picture. Poor Alex, not a great start for renewing your spirit. Alex couldn’t sit still though, he wants to but yet, he just can’t. I enjoyed each local he met and the stories that he shared in his novel, I found myself thinking that there were times that he could have found peace and relaxation, had he taken the time and slowed himself down to the pace of the region that he was in. It seemed that he was searching for something, a perfect something and his determination, kept him going, moving him forward and that kept the pages turning for me. I do believe the funniest part was the house that he attempted to build. I will not elaborate on this but, I have told his part of the story countless times and it still gets me laughing even now. I am a planner, a detailed planner and when I think about this, I laugh, oh, I laugh!! Alex, hats off to you for taking your trip and cheers to making me laugh throughout your novel! It was an interesting novel and journey and I am glad I was able to go along for the ride.

I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley and NAL in exchange for an honest review