Review – “The Measure”

Erlick creates thought-provoking novel for readers

Freshman Delaney Shield poses with the book, “The Measure.” This book was a group read in Modern Literature.

Would we want to know how long we would live, if we had the chance to know? That’s the premise behind Nikki Erlick’s bestselling book “The Measure.” One night, boxes suddenly appear out of nowhere to every single person in the world over age 22.  Each box contains a string, and people don’t know what the string means at first. As time passes, they find out that the string length is how long their lives are. The book then follows eight main characters and alternates between their points of view so we can see how the strings affect them. Some characters decide to open their box, and others decide not to open it and keep living as normal.

Through the alternating perspectives of the characters, I understood the book plot more completely. Because the book is written in the third person, I always knew which characters they were referring to. Alternating perspectives were also interesting as a reader because I knew something one character knows but another character will find out later. This gave me an interesting, inside perspective into the connections between the characters.

My favorite character was Hank because he always cares about others more than himself. He is a good person and helps others all the time. Other characters had unique personalities and behaviors. For example, one character makes it seem as if he cares about others, but that is just an act, and he only cares about himself. 

As a whole, this book kept me wanting to read more. For example, when two of the characters in the military switch strings because the military is making it so only “long stringers” can serve. This kept me reading because the storyline is very interesting and suspenseful. Another example is when the first main character short stringer dies. This was a big shock and kept me wondering how that would affect the rest of the book. Erlick’s style shines through the book in a way where consecutive exciting events and plot twists make you want to keep turning the pages. 

This book also made me think about how the themes in the book could relate to real life. For example, the people with short strings don’t get treated the same as the people with long strings as the book continues. I think this can relate to the inequality happening today and how this affects people all over the world. Erlick makes the reader think about how short life can be and the changes and adjustments you would have to make in your life if you knew you would have a short amount of time to live. 

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I liked the theme it conveyed. I felt like it showed people living as if it was their last day. It also showed readers the benefits of working together and supporting each other. So, if you’re looking for a book with good life lessons and a meaningful theme, then “The Measure” is for you.