A New Life For Free (Ett nytt liv på köpet)

Technically”på köpet” is used in buy one and get one for free, but it would be hard to translate that into a sensible book title translation. So I just loosely translated it to A New Life For Free. The book is written by Emma Granholm and so far it only exists in Swedish and Danish.

The protagonist in the book is Sanna. She is just starting her senior years in high school, which means that she will go to a new school in a completely new city where she does not know anyone. Sounds like normal story? The problem for Sanna is that she has only had one friend in her entire life and that friendship was over years ago. The only numbers she has in her cell is the ones to her family and the phone operator number. No one had ever talked to Sanna and since the last three years all she has been is alone. If no teacher talked to her Sanna never opened her mouth in school as no one would talk to her.

As she starts her new school she fears that the same thing will happen to her. Luckily she is wrong. She becomes friends with everyone from her class. But is being friends with everyone a good thing, especially when you never had a friend before? Everything seems to be fine until her life takes a dramatic turn and she learns a valuable lesson about friends.

This book never had the typical bulling story. Instead she is completely ignored and no one has ever said a harmful thing to her. Even her brother won’t really speak to her and her parents are powerless. It’s interesting to see how Sanna copes with her new life and being considered as a normal person again. She is so scared of being alone so she is willing to say any lie to make her friends happy and always be there for everyone even if that means that she gets no time for herself. The sharp plot twist towards the end was done stunningly. I don’t recall seeing anything like it before and even though I would hate a book with a similar ending it is fitted perfectly into the book.

What is more surprising is that it’s written in a third person point of view and you get five chapters from Rebecca’s (one of Sanna’s classmates) point of view in third person perspective. The extra point of view is done in a good way and even though it is from an outer perspective you get to see all thoughts and emotions very clear and overall it’s one of the most beautifully written Swedish books I have read.

If you can understand the language than you should not pass on the opportunity to read it. I loved every part of the book and I would not have wished for anything else. 10 / 10

Swedish cover

Dannish cover


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