Review: The Measure by Nikki Erlick

The Measure by Nikki ErlickAbout this book

(via Jonathan Ball Publishers)

Your fate arrives in a box on your doorstep. Do you open it?

It seems like just another morning.

You make a cup of tea. Check the news. Open the front door.

On your doorstep is a box.

Inside the box is the exact number of years you have left to live.

The same box appears on every doorstep across the world.

Do you open yours?




My thoughts

What an intriguing and fascinating question – if you could, would you open a box with the message “The measure of your life lies within”?  Do you really want to know, do you really NEED to know?

“The Measure” is easily one of my favourite books of the year.  I was obsessed with it, it was one of those books that I dreamed about at night, that I found myself sneaking chapters in to read at random times of the day, like during making that first mug of coffee in the morning.

The Measure by Nikki ErlickIn the book you will meet eight protagonists, and as the story goes along, it was wonderful to see and realise how their lives, relationships and love intertwine, how they give each other hope, and how they live through an extraordinary period.

It reminded me a bit about the COVID-pandemic we are still living through.  What happens if you wake up one day, realising that whatever you knew may not be the full picture?

“Once you know something, you forget what it was like to not know it.”

It was also a study of human behaviour.  What would you do if you know that you only have a few months to live?  Or to know that you will live a long life.  Will you take more chances, will you volunteer for less adventurous experiences in fear of compromising your safety – or will you just live your best life? And, as always, to see the human condition being politized as well – with an astounding measure of discrimination.  What effect will it have on families, on relationships, on “normal” life?  Will you be refused medical insurance, or even, a job? Do you have more peace of mind if you make the decision not to find out at all?  This had my head spinning!

“We humans have an impulse to mark our existence in some way that feels permanent. We scribble ‘I was here’ onto our desks at school. We spray paint it on walls. We carve it into bark. I was here. I wanted this sculpture to do to the same, to let it be known that these people lived. A testament to the fact that these humans — with their long strings and medium strings and short strings — they were here.”

This is not a heavy and depressing read though – I found it full of hope, emotion, powerful and thought-provoking.  The author created characters that I really cared about, and yes, also really cried about.

What a unique, meaningful, and unforgettable book this was.  If you consider that “The Measure” is Nikki Erlick’s debut novel, I simply can’t wait to see what’s next in store for her! And for us!

RRR (Roelia Reads Rating) 5/5

Thank you to Exclusive Books/Jonathan Ball Publishers for the opportunity to read and review this book.

About the author:  https://www.nikkierlick.com/