'My name is Ruben, I'm 16 years old, and I'm going to die soon.' Thus begins Levi Henriksen's new novel for young people, a bittersweet and moving picture of a young man who has only a short time left to live but who wants to live life to the full.
Ruben wants to travel, make his mark on the world, experience a whole phase of youth in a few weeks. But most of all he wants to be with Alona, the finest girl in the class.
'Så lenge himmelen er over jorda might remind some people of John Green’s Paper Towns’ spice, with elements from The Fault in Our Stars. In spite of these at times strong similarities, Henriksen still delivers a compelling story. He manages to portray emotional life from a 16-year-old boy’s perspective in a credible way, and the reader can almost feel the fragile feelings about being terminally ill themselves. Henriksen has created main characters that elevate the story to another level, in which the reader must dig deeply to see the connection in the strong emotions that rule in this book.'
'The first, all-consuming crush is especially well-described. The novel is actually free of awkward descriptions, something that is not a given when you’re writing about hormonal 16-year-olds.'
'‘To pull a John Green’ is to write a worthwhile novel about young death. Film and literary history is full of young people who run away, object to things, and drive themselves to death. It’s been done so many times before, but never like this. ... 'Så lenge himmelen er over jorda is a well-written and philosophically grounded narrative. Adults should challenge themselves and their inner creatures of habit to read it. To live the spring. To live the love.'
'The plot in this story is so rock-solid that it could hardly fail. (…) This is good literature on several levels. Henriksen is able to hold the reader from start to finish. A painful solemnity stirs beneath the surface throughout the book, but it is more bittersweet than sad. This book is in a rare genre: a love-story about life and death. It is not only beautiful, but also humorous and perceptive, without any hint of banality.'
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