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.Publishes in US: 6/5/12
This is such a neat premise for a contemporary book. It has the elements that I love of strong family ties, nerdy boys, a lead I can connect with, and the sadness that tugs my heart of a character will an illness. Sarah Wylie really knows how to write emotions, and she also knows how to break the tension with the sarcastic and quirky main character and her picking on said nerdy boy.
The idea about the nine lives, and being able to release a life and have it save someone else is something that I have never heard of. It is interesting how much that Dani, the main character is willing to give up for her sister, pieces of herself with trying to release the lives, emotionally through the relationship they have.
My review wouldn't be complete without talking about Jack Penner. He really made my day. Those nerdy guys really make me as hot as a bad guy with the soft heart towards the love interest when done right, and Ms. Wylie definitely did Jack right. I love how Dani teases him, and his responses, and how he eventually grows into it, and how their relationship goes. I appreciate how he stayed a friend when Dani needed one, even when she tried to push people away.
Although I must say that Spencer and Candy really made me scratch my head. I am not sure exactly their purpose, although I guess I am okay with them being there as plot advancers. Or maybe in my baby and preschooler fried brain I am just not connecting all the right dots.
I also wanted more conclusion from the ending, it felt really open, and I really wanted to know how Ms. Wylie wanted the characters stories to end. I guess, though there is a certain poetic justice to leaving the interpretation of what happens to the reader and basing those conclusions from what we've read so far.