The story behind this book is that the author was chatting with a young girl who had cancer and was really upset because she wanted to read books with cancer rep, but all the ones she could find in her age bracket had sad endings (I'm looking at you, THE FAULT IN OUR STARS). Cognizant of the fact that there was a real desire for stories that had cancer rep that also gave their readers hope, India Desjardins set out to write a book about a girl who had cancer, whose story ended, yes, happily.
I was surprised that the heroine in this book is a teenager because it feels very young, more like a children's book than a graphic novel. I think it's better suited for preteens and older children than actual teens. That said, it definitely deals very frankly with cancer, how physically and emotionally taxing it is, the guilt, the despair, the wanting everything to be normal while also knowing that it isn't, and the toll it takes on the family of someone who is sick, and how seeing all that makes the sick person feel, and just the all-encompassing suck of it all.
The heroine talks about trying to remain positive and learning to appreciate the small things, and about being in love for the first time and also seeing her parents' vulnerability in a new and touching way, and understanding how people sometimes create roles for themselves to cope in grief. Even though the language is very simple, this book tackles some very mature topics in an easy-to-read way (which is why I think it might be a better read for preteens, who will appreciate not being talked down to). And yes, the author definitely delivers on her promise-- this book has a happy ending.
Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!
3 to 3.5 out of 5 stars