Published by ASD Publishing on May 24th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Illness, Realistic Fiction, YA Romance, Young Adult
Two teens are forced to make some very grown-up decisions when one of them is diagnosed with terminal cancer, twisting them into an unpredictable nightmare. Best friends since toddlerhood, Samantha and Jesse grapple with the realization that they are actually in love. What now? Beautifully written while handling a very heavy topic, Castrovilla addresses the universal question: In a world where the worst can strike at any time, how can we ever feel safe?Amazon •
Mature-Content Rating: Language, Heavy Topics, Sexual Content
“Is it better to be numb, to feel none of the pain we’re in? Would I want to live like that, if I could? Would that be living? Or is it better to just stop walking?”
Honestly, this book fell completely flat and broke its own spine, the poor dear. The story starts with Samantha already sleeping over at Jesse’s house as his cancer progresses. Samantha is Jesse’s neighbor and friend since they were toddlers (really, apparently Samantha remembers meeting Jesse in his stroller *eyeroll*). Her personality isn’t bad at first, but as the story progresses she just completely falls flat. The author tried to create a distraught character, but Samantha was all over the place and never developed.
Jesse was a conundrum. He wanted nothing to do with anyone except Samantha (even though they were only friends at the time), hated his mother, and then suddenly *gasp* “I had sex with Sam OMG I love her sooooo much!!!!”
Then somewhere out of the blue he has a religious revelation, but it still doesn’t stop them from shagging behind his mom’s back every chance they get.
Speaking of dear old mom, the parents in this book are ridiculous. Okay, so, most YA book parents are basically place holders anyway, but these parents are way out there. Jesse’s mother is somehow smothering and absent at the same time, while Samantha’s parents are mildly condemning one minute and fully on her side the next. It’s enough to give the reader whiplash with how they pull 180s!
There are a few sweet moments, and moments that are really serious pertaining to Jesse’s condition, but it’s not enough to make up for the lack of character depth and development for my taste.