Author: Sarah Wylie
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux (June 5, 2012)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
My Rating: 4 Stars
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.
I seldom quote passages from books I read in my reviews but I just had to with this book.
Few people know this about me but I love Ralph Waldo Emerson, I just think he has some of the best literary quotes out there. He was so wise.
So when this book started off with one of his quotes, I admit, I squeed a little inside.
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
His writing is just beautiful and that one quote set my hopes even higher for how great this book was going to be. Okay, maybe that wasn't fair to do to the book(or author for that matter) but I couldn't help it.
Then I got to the prologue, one of the best prologues ever!
I would quote all of that here too but honestly, I want you to experience it for yourself, with the book in hand so I am going to restrain myself and leave it alone, but know this, it was pretty good.
So yes, by now I am getting kind of excited to read this book but then I start over analyzing it and thinking maybe I am getting too excited. Maybe that was the best it was going to get? Maybe after the prologue now I am going to disappointed with the rest of the book?
Yikes. Now I am slightly nervous to start it. What if it doesn't live up to my expectations?
What if I made too big of a deal of a single quote and a paragraph of a prologue? What now?
Do I keep reading or set it aside for awhile until the excitement wears off? Will the excitement wear off?
Might as well go for it I think. I was never one to wait around and let the world pass me by so why not?
So I dive in.
Was I wrong in thinking this would be a fantastic read? Absolutely not. In fact, it was just as good if not better than I thought it would be.
This book covers some very serious, very real issues yet the sense of humor of Dani helps to keep it in check and even make it bearable.
I really felt this read. It is one of those emotional reads that really gets under your skin and makes you think. The writing was just beautiful and I didn't want it to end. I wanted more of the story, more of their lives. More questions answered (but in a good way).
This was an amazing debut novel for Wylie and I truly hope I will be able to read another one of her books in the future.