5/5!, Fiction, Music

[Book Review] Checking Out by Nick Spalding


Checking out by Nick Spalding
Series: N/A
Genres: Fiction, Humor
Publication: March 22nd, 2018 by Lake Union Publishing
Length: 313 pages
Format: E-Book
Source: Purchase


Synopsis: Nathan James is young, successful and has the world at his feet. Unfortunately, he’s also about to die—which ruins things somewhat. And now he’s staring imminent death in the face, Nathan is having to rethink some of his life choices very hard.

This means embarking on a hectic journey of self-discovery that includes, amongst other things, losing his dignity to an inescapable bean bag, suffering screaming nightmares about a monstrous potato, and getting up close and very personal with a bipolar donkey.

All of which is fine, but then Nathan falls in love with a charming girl called Alison, which is a really stupid thing to do. Because how can you give your heart to someone when it might be about to stop?

From Nick Spalding, the bestselling author of Fat ChanceBricking It and Mad Love, comes a comedy about dying—which is easy—and living, which is most certainly not.


Review: I read this book in just a few days and it was such a good break from reality. Checking Out is a light and funny book about serious stuff. Nathan is, after all, going to die, but somehow this doesn’t make reading the book a miserable experience.

Somehow, contrary to many recent releases, Nick Spalding made me switch gears and think differently. And let me tell you, this is what I like about a book!


When I was reading Checking Out it made me think about the slice of life books that I used to read as a teenager. I remember quite well, that there was a nationally known author that wrote about different adventures of a young girl, and the book series spawned for about 20 books. Similarly to Checking Out they talked about difficult things but is a way that caused the reader to think it’s going to be ok.

Don’t get me wrong, Nathan is not going to be ok, as we know from the very beginning of a book, he is dying! But it’s not the whole story. Checking Out talks about facing death, but also about how different people react to it. It shows us that there is a way of facing these things without feeling miserable all the way and maybe that if you are not the one who is dying, and you are too miserable to show love and affection, then maybe you’re being just a little bit selfish.


I liked that Checking Out made me laugh and still wasn’t ingenuine. Living in England, I enjoyed the little flavours that linked to being British, but I also liked that the characters were more-or-less imaginable. Maybe not all characters could exist (but then, who am I to judge), but certainly the personalities of the main characters made me think about some actual people and felt real.

Overall, Checking Out is a fun and light read, definitely worth picking up!

Rating: 5 / 5

Have you read it? What did you think?


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