Why did I even read this? For the quick read? Or for me to feel young again? Back in the day when I read to understand what it feels like to fall in love, what feels like to be rejected, what it feels like to live in a superficial world where everything I wanted was given?
None of what I thought was accurate. Except maybe for the quick read part. Or maybe because it was marketed as a book about cancer. I didn’t have one but I know many who does. I lost my mom to cancer.
Technicalities first: this is a story about a girl with cancer with unlikely treatable reassurances who meets the man who would make her believe in fate, that she somehow deserves a piece of happiness despite her circumstances, during one of the Cancer kids group. He, too, has cancer. Except he has been in remission longer than expected. He pretends he smoke just for the irony, but he explains this to her in the manner that would make all the kids reading this talk like they know what they’re talking about. They’re both cynical because cynicism is the only thing that can make them understand that they’re not like any other kids, that thinking about the future isn’t a fun science project, or philosophy assignment. After granting a Make A Wish wish they visit their common hero, a man whose book has inspired them both to understand that life has it’s questions, there is no definite ending to it because they seem to think that the writer understands what they must be going through. They visit the author who lives thousands of miles away via plane trip, in the land of daisies, the red light district, and of Anne Frank’s museum. Solemn, Risque, and Depressingly Hopeful. Plus you’ll find Several Upper Case Words in the book which don’t seem relevant but They’re Still Written That Way.
The trip was hopeful but it turned out to be blissful and disappointing. As soon as they head back to the states they come back to reality, and then we get to the sad parts. One of them dies and the way it was written, well, it was sad. I admit I cried as soon as that chapter began because it was all so sudden.
I usually read the last pages first as soon as I start a book, just so I get hooked on to it. I read this book’s last page thinking that it might end then. But we get to the parts of the aftermath, where one wants to expect that it will all turn out to be okay, but it doesn’t of course. The resolution is that everything wasn’t taken for granted. The ride was enough and I guess that makes it an Okay Kind of Young Adult Fiction. It’s not well written, but it can hang by and stay as a classic for future readers.