Evie is living on borrowed time. She was diagnosed with terminal cancer several months ago and told that by now she’d be dead. Evie is grateful for every extra day she gets, but she knows that soon this disease will kill her. Until, miraculously, she may have a second chance to live.
All Evie had wanted was her life back, but now that she has it, she feels like there’s no place for her in it—at least, not for the girl she is now. Her friends and her parents still see her as Cancer Girl, and her boyfriend’s constant, doting attention is suddenly nothing short of suffocating.
Then Evie meets Marcus. She knows that he’s trouble, but she can’t help falling for him. Being near him makes her feel truly, fully alive. It’s better than a drug. His kiss makes her feel invincible—but she may be at the beginning of the biggest free fall of her life.
First of all, that cover is a thing of beauty. I love it. And I know you’re not supposed to judge books by their covers but, yeah, I do. The beauty drew me in.
And then I started reading it and it was a book about cancer. Teenagers with terminal cancer. Honestly I wasn’t all that interested in reading another book about dying kids, after The Fault In Our Stars covered that topic so beautifully. And since the writing here wasn’t exactly on par with John Green I wasn’t exactly drawn in all that quickly.
In the first part of the book we have Cancer Girl Evie, who is kind and defeated. She basically gives up on herself and allows the people around her to coddle her. She’s expected to die and everyone around her pretty much says goodbye while still being supportive and helpful and sweet. Evie has the most perfect boyfriend in the world who stays with her for the whole year she has cancer. Evie’s best friend is the same way. Honestly, I couldn’t get over the fact that the boyfriend and best friend were so loyal. I don’t know why it didn’t feel right but it didn’t. Evie’s cancer friends were more fun and more believable, bonding over shared misery.
After Evie miraculously heals she goes home and immediately begins to alienate herself, gets herself addicted to painkillers and starts using recreational drugs. I get that Cancer Girl gave up on herself a long time ago and doesn’t know how to turn that around. I get that a version of the scenario played out in this book does happen in real life; Survivors self-destruct and push everyone away. I get that Evie’s grieving for her friend, the life she knew, and the life she would have had without cancer. But I just couldn’t get myself to like post-cancer Evie.
Her go-to solution was to take drugs. Her method of escape was to have sex. She complains about people caring about her too much, about her parents being too naive to realize what she was doing, about her friends being too nice to her. There are worse problems out there, Evie!! Get over yourself. A few times Evie laments the fact that she didn’t just die and I couldn’t help but agree with her. “Jeez, you’re annoying,” I would think. “Why couldn’t you have just died halfway through the book?”
That said, I will say that the way Evie’s addiction came about was very realistic. If I wanted to share a cautionary tale with someone about addiction and self-destruction, this book would be a good jumping-off point for a discussion.
But then it ended with a cliffhanger. Wha– Why would there be a cliffhanger ending on a book that’s only 230 pages long?? If the sequel is about the same length you should just mash them together into one friggin’ book. Irritating.
So, did I like this book? Not really. Will I remember this book? Most likely. Would this book make an interesting discussion? Absolutely.
Sexual Content: Heavy (nothing graphic but a few sex scenes)
Violence: Mild, if any