Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Book Review: All These Lives, by Sarah Wylie @sarah_why

In a book market that seems to be inundated with books about cancer, All These Lives holds it own.

Dani and Jena are twins. Jena is battling cancer, and is very sick. Deni has always been told by her mother that she has nine lives. As a way of coping with Jena's desperate situation, Dani tries to give some of her lives to Jena. She believes that if she gives up some lives, someone in the universe (hopefully Jena) will grab on to one of them. So Dani puts herself in some dangerous situations.

It's really heartbreaking. Dani feels guilty because she's healthy. There's nothing she can do; she doesn't know how to handle this situation and her parents aren't helping very much.

Don't get me wrong, the parents in All These Lives are THERE. They are doing everything they can for Jena and trying not to neglect Dani, but it's not easy. I felt the desperation. The chaos. The not knowing which way to turn. The heartbreak when Jena turns worse, the joy when she has a good day. All the while not understanding why Dani is behaving the way she is. Wylie writes these emotions with expertise.

Jack is the main secondary character, and adds a little romantic tension. This isn't the main focus of All These Lives, but Jack helps Dani realize that she isn't the only one with problems. All These Lives is a pretty short book, but I still felt it lagged a bit in the middle. There was some down time where not much happened. But, it quickly picks up and it was never so bad that I wanted to give up.

Dani does grow and learn. The ending isn't all tied up neatly, but there's some adjustments by everyone and things are more hopeful.

This is an interesting contemporary about a topic pretty much everyone can relate to. Many teens will be interested in All These Lives and I won't hesitate to recommend it.

Published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, June 5, 2012
eBook obtained from NetGalley
256 pages (qualifies for my Books You Can Read in a Day Challenge!)

Rating: 3.5/5

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  1. Sounds like a good read! I like books that deal with tough issues in a good, realistic way. That's great the ending isn't all nice and rosy, because that's not real and I hate when books do that.


  2. This does sound like a worthwhile book to read. It can be hard to keep interest up in books like this when action-style speed isn't appropriate. As long as it's not tooo draggy, I can stick with the novel. Thanks for the review!


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