gut it out

Wednesday, January 2

Jacquelyn Mitchard is another one of those authors whose name i'm familiar with, and whose works i've sold often, but whom i've never read. until now, that is!

All We Know of Heaven, her second young adult novel, is a doozy. no fluff here, folks! it's pitched as "based on a true story of mistaken identity ripped from the headlines." now i don't know about you all, but i'm a sucker for "based on a true story," whether it's a book or a movie or whatever. even though it always means that the characters are prettier and the plot is neater and has been edited for your enjoyment, there's something about knowing that somewhere out there, someone has gone through this (more or less).

All We Know follows a girl who is mistaken for her identical best friend, after the two get in a car accident resulting in one death and one coma. the heroine (i don't want to give anything away, so i won't use her name) wakes up to find herself traumatized, physically and mentally injured, and on top of all that thought to be someone else. her efforts to not only get over the tragedy, but to regain her physical and mental abilities, are, for lack of a better phrase, insanely well done. the heroine rides an emotional rollercoaster in her attempts to remaster things as diverse as walking, math, and sentence structure. nothing is treated lightly here, and Mitchard gives full attention and props to the difficulties inherent in the aftermath of brain trauma and to those who "gut it out." she also nails the teenage mind and emotional state, already turbulent enough, and provides moments of sweetness and fun to break up the drama.

the book also gave me a lot more respect for cheerleaders, which i can pretty much guarantee i've never had before. to all of you wronged cheerleaders out there, i apologize on behalf of non-cheerleaders. you might get more respect if so many of you weren't evil to the rest of us in highschool. just a thought.


Anonymous said...

This sounds like a wonderful book, but I hadn't heard of it before. Thanks for posting the review; now I know to look for it!