Friday, May 08, 2009

REVIEW: Pay It Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde

I had no idea that there was a book before the movie. And I loved the movie (doesn't everyone love the movie?), so when I saw Pay It Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde in the library I grabbed it straight away, came home, made lunch, took my kid to pre-school and in my head I was counting down the minutes until I'd be free to start to reading this book.

I feel like the plot of this book is pretty well-known by now, but here it is anyway. Trevor McKinney, spurred on by an assignment in class, thinks of a way in which he might be able to change the world by helping three people in a big way. If each of those three help three more people who each help another three people than eventually the world may change for the better by paying it forward.

I hated to put this book down, and I read it in little snatches here and there until it was finished. And while the movie isn't 100% faithful to the book, the book was very similar to the movie in terms of the way it made me feel, especially when I read of the acts of kindness that people were doing for complete strangers. I thought the cast of characters were fully-developed and interesting, and the book definately felt more gritty and real than the movie. But without fail, just like with the movie, I sobbed like a little baby at the end. This book could have gone completely over the top in feel-good oversentimentality, but it didn't. I think there was just the right amount of emotion.

And the entire time I was reading this book I was feeling guilty. The lovely JJ over at tea stains had been the subject of a Pay It Forward awhile back and offered three readers of her blog to be the recipients of her own Pay It Forward, for which I was lucky enough to be included. It was wonderful to recieve that package in the post, see the lovely items that she chose for me. And of course I'll pay it forward in my own way, I've just been agonising over it, overthinking it possibly and putting off blogging about it.

Well, here we are. I won't put it off any longer. I offer the first three people that would like to take part in this a gift. I have no idea yet what the gift will contain or when I will be able to send it to you, but three of you will recieve something. All I ask is that you offer the same to three other people, preferably something uplifting, or hopeful. This is open worldwide and please state clearly in the comments if you'd like to be chosen for this and leave an email address so I am able to contact you. I'm feeling nervous now.

IMDb listing for Pay It Forward
Catherine Ryan Hyde's website including videos of her answering the three big questions concerning the book: how did she come up with the idea? does she think PIF can really change the world? and why did the book end the way it did?

And if you somehow missed seeing the film when it came out, here is a movie trailer:


  1. I didn't know there was a book!! I'll have to check that out. :)

  2. sleepyjane - you didn't mention being part of the pay it forward? You should look out for the book, it was great!

    Everyone - please specifically state whether you'd like to be included in this. First three only, thank you.

  3. I also didn't know there was a book.. I too will have to go check it out.

    I would love to be a part of your Pay it Forward. Count me in!

  4. Michelle, I would love to be part of this. I think it is a fabulous idea. I really loved the film and wanted to do something then. So I will join you if there is room, in paying it forward.

  5. I would love to take part in your pay it forward...but ONLY if sleepyjane doesn't want to as she was here first!


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