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. :)
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.