My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Woo! First review in a looong time.
“For the first time in my life, I didn’t feel envy…”For some reason, I was under the impression that this book was about how Tess dealt with the aftermath of her sister's death, but instead it's what happens once her sister is diagnosed. So the beginning wasn't what I expected it to be, but that's my fault. :P
Tess is the exact opposite of her beautiful, athletic sister. And that’s okay. Kristina is the sporty one, Tess is the smart one, and they each have their place. Until Kristina is diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly Tess is the center of the popular crowd, everyone eager for updates. There are senior boys flirting with her. Yet the smiles of her picture-perfect family are cracking and her sister could be dying. Now Tess has to fill a new role: the strong one. Because if she doesn’t hold it together, who will?
I'm a sucker for a contemporary because even when characters drive me mad, that's normal-ish, right? Real people can annoy the heck out of me, so I cut characters a little slack. Still, some things stuck out to me.
How whiny can she get? And so convinced that everyone is talking about her all the time.
I feel eyes inspecting me. I'm different to them now. I'm the girl whose sister has cancer.While everyone probably is talking about her, it all was told instead of shown, so I rarely actually heard people talking about her, just Tess thinking they were. Which gave me the impression they probably weren't.
She's also super mean, yet endearing. How can you not feel bad for her? She's always been shoved to the back burner in favor of her older sister, but even more so now that Kristina has cancer. Still, she's so, so mean all the time.
I lean forward so we're almost nose to nose. "You're fat and mean and no one likes you," I hiss. I know what to say to hurt her the most.She said that to her supposed best friend, who, tbh, was also super mean.
Oh my gosh. It was so, so awkward, especially because I couldn't keep track of the four main boys, even though she only has a crush on two or three of them. What happened at the end was adorkable, but before that there was this:
His fingers brush against my cheek and he wipes away a tear I didn't even know was there. And then he does the strangest thing. He lifts his finger to his mouth and licks my tear. It should be gross, but it's so sweet another tear drops from my eye.Then he kisses her on the lips.
"You taste sad," he says and then groans. "Man, Tess. You're just a kid."
What bugged me the most is how much older he is than her. Yeah, my parents are three years apart, but it's a big deal in high school. She's a freshman. He's a senior. She's not even old enough to give consent to sex! (In Michigan, at least. Tess is 15 and you have to be 16). Yeah, it never went that far, but I couldn't stop thinking about how if it did, the 18 year old could go to jail.
Tess's narration is super straight forward, which I love. She says exactly what she's thinking, everyone else be darned! I couldn't put it down. I haven't been reading in a while, but this helped pull me back in. :)
Given how much Tess was into art, I'm surprised there wasn't more about it. She keeps saying it's such a big deal, but she only mentioned it every once in a while. Also, she saw one add for a competition and suddenly it became super important? I don't know how the art industry works, but for writing, there are hundreds of competitions all the time. You have to write the right genre, go through rounds of judging, get your soul crushed a few times, ect. I wanted to know the details about this contest! How does it work for artists? Tell me!
Kristina's struggle with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) felt very real. She had cancer and she hated it. Yeah, she "battled bravely", but what else can you do? I'd love to read this book from her perspective.
I absolutely loved the ending. Spoilers, but no names: (view spoiler)[someone dies, but not who you think! (hide spoiler)] The last twenty pages really made the book for me. OHMYGOSH SUPERMAN IS SO CUTE. Clark Trent (yes, that's his real name) was exactly the bright spot Tess needs in her life.
I have so much more to say (like how Tess's parents are THE WORST), but I've gone on long enough. ;) More reviews to come though. I am officially back!
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