Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho – Writers Quote Wednesday

During the A to Z challenge in April, I discussed how important inspiration is in maintaining our mindset. This is why I want to join in today’s #beWoW or Writers Quote Wednesday blog hop. This hop is all about writers quotes which inspire us. Instead of simply giving an inspirational quote, I would also like to discuss and review the book from which that inspirational quote comes. I have recently finished reading “Veronika Decides to Die” by Paulo Coelho.


“Be crazy! But learn how to be crazy without being the center of attention. Be brave enough to live different.”
― Paulo CoelhoVeronika Decides to Die

I picked up this book for two reasons.

  1. I thought reading up on how an internationally bestselling author handles the subject of suicide would be good for my own book research.
  2. I have read books of this author before and felt I needed something in his style of writing to get myself into a more positive thought pattern.

Set in Ljubljana, Slovenia – Veronika is a twenty-something with a steady job, no lack of admirers and loving parents. One day she decides to end her life, for what seems to be utter boredom with life.Her suicide fails and she wakes up in a Mental Health institution called Villete. There she finds out that the pills she took to end it all, have damaged her heart. She has mere days to live. In the week that comes, she goes on a journey of self-discovery.

In “Veronika Decides to Die,” Author Paulo Coelho questions the meaning of madness. Reading you find yourself pondering the mundane aspects of the every day. Is following your dream really so crazy? Or rather, is conforming to society’s norm not the death of your spirit?

“Haven’t you learned anything, not even with the approach of death? Stop thinking all the time that you’re in the way, that you’re bothering the person next to you. If people don’t like it, they can complain. And if they don’t have the courage to complain, that’s their problem”
― Paulo Coelho, Veronika Decides to Die

In true Paulo Coelho fashion, the writing is poetic and expressive. It tends to be somewhat verbose if you are not yet accustomed to his style. Sometimes it feels like the author is breaking out into a spiritual sermon, all in the disguise of fiction. This makes it a somewhat slow read.

The story is loosely based on events in the author’s own life. In the afterword, the author tells you how the book touched the life of his readers and fellow countrymen. Reading a passage from the book helped one senator pass a law, which was being held back the previous ten years. This law forbids “arbitrary admissions into mental institutions” in Brazil.

“Veronika Decides to Die” gets a 5 out of 5 Stars from me. Despite its wordiness, I found the book to be genuinely inspiring.
Just check out some of the readers favorite quotes in the YouTube video below.


About the Blogger

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:




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6 thoughts on “Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho – Writers Quote Wednesday

  1. Mental health. Now there’s an oxymoron. 🙂

    I loved your questions: “Is following your dream really so crazy? Or rather, is conforming to society’s norm not the death of your spirit?

    If you follow your dream, what you learn along the way might lead to a bigger and better one. Social norms change with the times and vary by culture. “Normal” is a fantasy. Once I embraced my inner weird, life became worth living.


  2. Sarina, this was so powerful! Thank you for sharing these inspirational quotes. Good luck on your book research. It was great seeing you again! ❤ I love the video too! 😀


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