Title: All These LivesAuthor: Sarah Wylie
Publication date: June 5th 2012
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Age group: Young Adult
Cover rating: 5/5
Content rating: 4/5
Description via Goodreads:
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.My thoughts:
I've been really looking forward to reading All These Lives for a long time now and I was so excited when I finally got the chance sit down and dive into it. However, after just a few pages, I began to get a bit wary of it and started to fear I would have some issues with the protagonist, Dani. I just got this feeling that she would irritate me for the rest of the book. Thankfully though, I was wrong! I quickly warmed up to her and actually really began to appreciate her personality after just a few more pages and was able to sit back and enjoy the rest of the book.
Dani certainly stands out as a character and is really well developed. She's sarcastic and cynical and it really suits her! While the premise of this book is about Dani's twin sister having cancer, the core of the novel is really about Dani and where her life is headed... both in relation to her sister and many other things. She is of course going through a lot and not surprisingly, isn't handling it very well. I loved how raw and honest this book was. Dani doesn't sugar coat her thoughts or the situations she ends up in. She doesn't pretend that everything's okay or that she's okay.
Dani's road to self destruction is both fascinating and scary to watch. She's really very confused and trying her best to make sense of the bad things that have happened to her family. I really loved all the minor characters in the book! I especially enjoyed getting to know the ''geeky'' guy from school, Jack. Dani and Jack share a rather interesting friendship and I liked their interactions with each other and how they change as the book goes on. Wylie's writing is lovely and very easy to follow and get lost in. All These Lives was a pretty quick read and one I was finished with in just a few hours.
This is definitely a novel I will remember for a long time to come. Dani's view of the world is brilliant to read about and leaves you with a lot to think about when you're finished! There are a lot of YA cancer books out at the moment (I've read two others so far this year) but All These Lives absolutely has something new to offer and I would recommend it to any contemporary fans looking for something that is real and honest and doesn't spend the whole time deliberately trying to mess with your emotions.