I was searching for romance novels to review in a themed month on my blog, and it led me to this book by Sally Nicholls, which has more awards and has more recognition than I could ever wish to have in the next 10 years, including the Waterstone’s Childrens Books Prize. I read it and decided it wasn’t really the romance stuff I was after for my own blog, but I thought it would make a pretty good review for here!
Sam is 11 and has leukemia. He knows he doesn’t have much longer left, and he knows that there is little hope left for him, or his friend Felix. He loves facts and before he goes he wants answers to the questions no one answers. He also wants to know what it’s like to kiss a girl.
I left this book feeling more emotionally wrecked than I’d ever felt after reading a book, as Sally’s way of storytelling sways you from wanting one thing to happen to believing something else is going to happen, and then leaving you in the dumps and laughing at you because you realise how foolish you were. And it’s honestly one of the best ways of reading a book.
Recently I’ve picked up on the fact that you can read certain books and connect with their characters, even though you have no link with them in any way shape or form, and Sam is another one of those characters. His emotions become your emotions. His thoughts and feelings become your thoughts and feelings. It’s actually pretty surreal, and the book is definitely worthy of all it’s awards.
However, I always find some negative with books and I think that there is one glaring us all in the face: it had to be leukemia didn’t it? Granted, this book isn’t the newest one on the market, but we’ve seen a lot of books with leukemia suffering teens on the market. Me And Earl is another example and now we have this one. Not every teen has an illness, and I feel that we don’t see enough of any other illness. It’s not fairly representing people, something which fiction needs to do.
Sally, your book was incredible. I look forward to reading more from you soon.