Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bookanista Review: ALL THESE LIVES, by Sarah Wylie


I am SO excited for this weeks Bookanista Review, because it's for a book I've been waiting to gush about for months--YEARS even. ALL THESE LIVES, by the incredibly talented Sarah Wylie.


Here's how the publisher describes the story:

Sixteen-year-old Dani is convinced she has nine lives. As a child she twice walked away from situations where she should have died. But Dani’s twin, Jena, isn’t so lucky. She has cancer and might not even be able to keep her one life. Dani’s father is in denial. Her mother is trying to hold it together and prove everything’s normal. And Jena is wasting away. To cope, Dani sets out to rid herself of all her extra lives. Maybe they’ll be released into the universe and someone who wants to live more than she does will get one. Someone like Jena. But just when Dani finds herself at the breaking point, she’s faced with a startling realization. Maybe she doesn’t have nine lives after all. Maybe she really only ever had one.


Now, those of you who've been following my blog for a while probably know that Sarah is actually one of my Critique Partners--and therefore might suspect this feature will be a wee bit biased. BUT, I can assure you, it's not.

Not only is this a cancer book (which... those of you who know me know I have a hard time with those, having lost a few friends to cancer) but Dani's voice--to anyone who *knows* Sarah--is kind of unexpected. In real life Sarah is all candy and adorableness. Dani, on the other hand, is all angst and attitude. So my love and adoration of one has nothing to do with my love and adoration of the other.

I love this book because it's freaking amazing. Plain and simple. 

The writing. Sarah's uncanny ability to infuse each page with just the right amount of emotions. Watching Dani--clearly so sad and broken--struggle to save her sister and battle with her own guilt and anger it's just... well, the word brilliant comes to mind. 

I KNEW I would cry reading this book--and of course I did. But Sarah tempers the sadness with Dani's strength and sarcasm/wit, making the book just heartbreaking enough without making you want to throw yourself off the nearest bridge. It's beautiful, powerful, and an absolute must read and I highly recommend it to all of you.

Which is why I'm giving away a hardcover to one lucky winner! (And the rest of you are lucky too, because ALL THESE LIVES is finally in stores--you can go buy your own copy any time!)

To enter: leave a comment on this post by 11:59pm on Saturday, June 16th. I'll draw one random winner and post their name on Sunday, June 17th. International entries welcome.

That's it--that's all there is to it. Though I do also *hope* that whoever wins will end up posting a review for the book somewhere--or blogging/tweeting/FB-ing about it--to help spread the love and get some more mileage out of the prize. I can't require that for entry. But I'm hoping the winner will feel inspired to. :) 

Ready? 

GO!

For more fabulous book recommendations, check out what my fellow Bookanistas are talking about:

Stasia Ward Kehoe is blown away by DINOSOARING
Jessica Love celebrates SECOND CHANCE SUMMER
Nikki Katz is crazy about Holly Black’s Curse Workers series
Shelli Johannes-Wells shares a guest post by SURRENDER author Elana Johnson
Gennifer Albin swoons for A MIDSUMMER'S NIGHTMARE.

29 comments:

  1. Sounds like a wonderful book. Thanks for the tip :)

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  2. This sounds like it's handled very sensitively

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  3. Okay. I will get this one. And tell my friends about it too!!!

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  4. I also have a hard time with Cancer books, but this sounds good. Heartbreaking, but good.

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  5. I have to agree with Jasmine, I have a hard time reading through books about a person with cancer or some terminal or life-threatening disease. Like The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. But, Sarah is a genius, and I trust her and her writing. I'll take a crack at this book :D
    Thanks for the giveaway!

    Alyssa Susanna

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  6. All These Lives sounds amazing and unique!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  7. I'm almost drawn to these kind of books. Sometimes, I just need a good cry. These books are just perfect for that!! Sounds brilliant.

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  8. This looks like a really great summer read. Thanks for running the giveaway. Hoping for good luck here!

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  9. Ooh, I've been wanting to read this one. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  10. beautiful cover art and the story does sound brilliant! Thanks for the review and giveaway!

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  11. Love the cover, and I've seen Sarah's name around the blogosphere for a while. So glad to have the chance to finally read her book! :)

    Thanks for the giveaway! Also, welcome back from BEA! It looks like it was a fabulous time!

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  12. This seems like a good book and this post just got me more excited to read it. Thanks for the chance to win.

    Erin D.
    www.twitter.com/erindubrock

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  13. It does sound like a great book! I sometimes have a hard time reading books about cancer too but I want to give this one a try. The main character sells it for me.

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  14. Sounds like an awesome story :O I'm getting excited, I wanna get this book >:D

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  15. I'd love to win this book, Shannon. I lost my twin sister a few days after birth and have felt a survivor's guilt since then. Sometimes I think I could never read this book because I could understand in a way how Dani was feeling, but other times I just want to see what this book is really like.

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  16. I'll get the tissues ready.
    Thanks for doing this, Shannon!

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  17. What a great story premise, and an amazing book cover. Thanks for the fun giveaway, Shannon!

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  18. I love this cover & I share a name with the MC, so I'm definitely interested ;)

    Thanks for the chance to win!

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  19. This sounds like a great book to read and recommend to my students this fall! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

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  20. The cover reminds me of Imaginary Girls (a book I loved). This book sounds really good! Thank you for the giveaway!

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  21. Awww *tear*. Thank you so much, Shannon! You are THE BEST.

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  22. Thank you so much for this giveaway. ALL THESE LIVES sounds so incredibly beautiful; cancer books are painful, but when they're done well, it's really, really worth it.

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  23. Oh my heavens, this sounds like an amazing book. Thank you for doing such a beautiful review!

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  24. I've been dying to read this!! Thanks for the contest!!

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  25. I am looking forward to reading this!

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  26. I'd love to be entered! I really want to read this. :) Thanks for the giveaway!

    ~Kristin
    sewtechnicolor (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  27. I've wanted to read this book since I read the description in Publishers Marketplace. Thanks for the giveaway! :)

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  28. I've been dying to ready this for months now! Cancer books are tough, but sometimes I think they're the most beautiful because of what can be learned and earned from a story. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  29. Ooooo, great review-ish! My sister is always gushing over some new book, and I can barely keep up, but this is one of them. Thanks for the chance to win!!! You and Sarah are amazing.

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Yay-I love comments! Thank you so much! (But please remember to keep your comments spoiler-free. Also, I try to keep this a happy, positive place. Friendly debate is fine, but always be kind to each other). <3