Published: February 18th 2014
Critically acclaimed author Melissa Kantor masterfully captures the joy of friendship, the agony of loss, and the unique experience of being a teenager in this poignant new novel about a girl grappling with her best friend’s life-threatening illness.
Zoe and her best friend, Olivia, have always had big plans for the future, none of which included Olivia getting sick. Still, Zoe is determined to put on a brave face and be positive for her friend.
Even when she isn’t sure what to say.
Even when Olivia misses months of school.
Even when Zoe starts falling for Calvin, Olivia’s crush.
The one thing that keeps Zoe moving forward is knowing that Olivia will beat this, and everything will go back to the way it was before. It has to. Because the alternative is too terrifying for her to even imagine.
In this incandescent page-turner, which follows in the tradition of The Fault in Our Stars, Melissa Kantor artfully explores the idea that the worst thing to happen to you might not be something that is actually happening to you. Raw, irreverent, and honest, Zoe’s unforgettable voice and story will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.
Normally I am not one to review books when all my thoughts concerning them are negative. For this, I felt the need to make an exception. I don’t understand why YA stories centred around cancer are a sudden trend. This is not a ‘must-read’ book, this is not ‘compelling’ this is not ‘beautiful’.
If anything, it is outrageous and should NOT have been published. This book does NOT benefit the reader; it does not inform about this evil disease, nor does it even ring true of what the experience of dealing with this disease is actually like.
The details are beyond the point of unrealistic. Olivia feels ill over the weekend and is diagnosed and receiving chemotherapy on a Tuesday afternoon? Her doctor has diagnosed her that fast with Leukemia and already set up a treatment schedule? Is she some famous and the author forget to mention that part?
Best-friend Zoe learns that Olivia is in the hospital because she is sick with Leukemia so she frolics over, even dancing along the way. She doesn’t know it is cancer until she sees the word oncology…Really? A high school girl couldn’t have figured that out before?
The book focuses on Zoe being the victim because she has a friend with cancer. Boohoo for her, things are just so hard. She even has the audacity to state that her friends cancer is a pain in the ass…
Yes, this is a work of fiction. I firmly believe when writing about something as huge as cancer it is only respectful to do the research and make sure that part of the book is actually factual. Remember, the target audience is YA…reading things like this ‘book’ give a false presentation of what this disease actually is. There is no ‘instant treatment’ everything takes time. There are tests galore to be done…things don’t happen in one day—which this story is suggesting it does to readers.