The Measure – Nikki Erlick

Published By: HarperCollins
Pages: 400
Released On: 05/07/2022

It seems like any other day: You wake up, pour a cup of coffee, and head out. But today when you open your front door, waiting for you is a small wooden box. This box holds your fate inside: the answer to the exact number of years you will love.

From suburban doorsteps to desert tents, every person on every continent receives the same box. In an instant, the world is thrust into a collective frenzy. Where did these boxes come from? What do they mean? Is there truth to what they promise? As society comes together and pulls apart, everyone faces the same shocking choice: do they wish to know how long they’ll live? And, if so, what will they do with that knowledge?

The Measure charts the dawn of this new world through an unforgettable cast of characters whose decisions and fates interweave with one another: best friends whose dreams are forever entwined; pen pals finding refuge in the unknown; a couple who thought they didn’t have to rush; a doctor who cannot save himself; and a politician whose box becomes the powder keg that ultimate changes everything.


Thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins for the advanced copy of this title in return for an honest review.

It is completely impossible to believe that this is Nikki Erlick’s debut novel, it is absolutely spectacular. I cannot explain how beautiful the writing is; there are some lines (that I won’t repeat for fear of spoilers) that are so perfect that I hope they’re remembered and repeated in literary circles to come.

I can’t say there were any characters I disliked, and I didn’t like any more or less than any others. They are all wonderful separately, but the way they’re all interwoven is beautiful. The combining of their stories so that our actions and our lives can, and do, have repercussions on our friends, relatives and even strangers.

This is a really poignant book, and really leaves you thinking:

⁃ Would you, could you, open your box?

⁃ Could you resist the temptation?

⁃ If the string was short, would you be careful knowing it wouldn’t make any difference or would you go out with a bang?

⁃ If the string was long, would you be careful to make sure you get to the end, or would you live life to the full knowing you were safe?

⁃ Would your string affect your relationships?

It’s a very emotive book, I found myself laughing and smiling, gasping and sobbing. It is a tour de force on emotive writing, and it all seems so real. Personally, I think, morally, it’s a very important book.

Overall, it’s a story of love and hate, relationships with our friends, our family and the wider world. It had the potential to be a very sad and depressing book, but it is the complete opposite. It’s full of hope and joy and love and light and has touched me in ways I didn’t expect a book to do so.

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