Reviewed by Jenn L.

Determined to stick to her rigorous diet in hopes of losing weight for her best friend’s wedding, Rhiannon Taylor flees her parent’s house on Christmas to avoid eating. Despite the insistence of her mother, she attempts the four hour drive in the snow. Realizing the weather conditions are worse than she anticipated, Rhiannon turns around to head back to her parent’s house, only to skid off the road, lodging her car in a tree. With a foot painfully lodged in the front of the crumpled vehicle, Rhiannon is unable to get out of the car or reach her cell phone.

When life flashes before your eyes, it doesn’t always happen in mere seconds. As Rhiannon’s rescue ideas continue to fail, she reflects on her life – and how the combination of traumatic loss, extreme perfectionism, and the hope of new love has brought her to her current situation. As her night alone in the stranded vehicle continues, Rhiannon turns to her laptop, the only thing she can strain to reach, to write letters to her loved ones, just in case she doesn’t make it . . .

Hidden behind the cover art of a typical diet book lies the inspiring story of a young woman who has spent her life planning and undermining herself. True to her typical self-analysis habits, Rhiannon is left to reevaluate the life she has and the demons of her past.

An incredible look at what’s really important in life, Planning to Live combines a powerful message into a negative series of events without coming off as melodramatic or unrealistic. The book is filled with realistic dialog, fluid transitions between flashbacks and present day, and is very well written. Wardell’s novel is one to keep nearby at all times, for the moments when we all feel our lives have become stagnant.

Rating: 4/5

Learn more at www.heatherwardell.com

Since graduating from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Professional Writing, Jenn works as a freelance writer, poet, and blogger at south of sheridan. She resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, and loves baking, crafting, and anything that requires a hot glue gun.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Heather Wardell. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.