arc review: the extraordinary life of sam hell

the extraordinary life of sam hell ARC
4 stars!

a special thank you goes out to Netgalley and Lake Union publishing for allowing me to read this eARC early. all thoughts and opinions are my own.

tw: racial slurs, slurs towards those with intellectual disabilities, LGBTQIA+ slurs, child abuse, domestic abuse


Our skin, our hair and our eyes are simply the shell that surrounds are soul and our soul is who we are.

What an absolutely beautiful tale of an extraordinary man. I am seriously blown away and so shocked that this came from Robert Dugoni. I knew he wrote crime fiction well (The <i>Tracy Crosswhite</i> series proves that) but I never thought he could write with such depth and such feeling. I almost shed tears at the end of this book because I didn’t want it to end. That’s how much it touched me.

This isn’t a memoir but it sure is written like one, which makes all the more special. We follow the life of Sam Hill, who has red eyes due to ocular albinism. The book switches back and forth from his childhood to his adult life. We get a tongue in cheek story of how Sam grew up and how he became the man he is today.

I was completely sucked in. I wanted to know everything about this individual. Sam was incredibly likeable. He struggled with being “different” and my heart just bled for him. He was lucky to have such an amazing support system with super awesome friends that helped him navigate this rough road called life. He was thoughtful and brought up a lot of interesting points about religion and life.

If I could give this book a theme, I would give it the theme of forgiveness. Sam had to learn to forgive himself for having ocular ablisminm. He had to learn to forgive those that harmed him, especially his bully. He had to learn to forgive people that caused him harm. It took a lot for him to do that and he often struggled with it but it’s something we all have to learn in life. I liked that this book felt real. This book could be about anyone at any point in time.

The one tiny negative was that at time this book did drag a little. I found that I enjoyed the childhood aspect of the book than the adult life. Not a lot happened in the adult part until the last 30% or so. That is bound to happen with memoir type books. Hence the 4 (four) star rating.

Regardless. This was an incredible book. It really makes me think about how cruel people can be. Even those that are in the faith. We all need to be kind to one another and celebrate our differences. The are what makes us extraordinary. I really want everyone to read this book because it’s truly that amazing.

There comes a time in every man’s life where he stops looking forward and starts looking back.

please note: quotes used above came from an unpublished arc and are subject to change upon publication date.




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