In this emotionally candid contemporary YA, author Jen Malone delves into the world of a teen whose life is brought to an abrupt halt when she learns she’s in dire need of an organ transplant. Hard-charging and irrepressible, eighteen-year-old Amelia Linehan could see a roller derby opponent a mile away—and that’s while crouched down, bent over skates, and zooming around a track at the speed of light.
What she couldn’t see coming, however, was the flare-up of the rare liver disorder she was born with. But now it’s the only thing she—and everyone around her—can think about.
With no guarantee of a viable organ transplant, everything Amelia’s been sure of—like college plans or the possibility of one day falling in love—has become a huge question mark, threatening to drag her down into a sea of what-ifs she’s desperate to avoid.
Then a friend from the past shows up. With Will, it’s easy to forget about what’s lurking between the lightness of their time together. She feels alive when all signs point elsewhere.
But with the odds decidedly not in her favor, Amelia knows this feeling can’t last forever. After all, what can?
Eighteen-year-old Amelia (Lia) is fierce and full of bravado. She rules the rink at roller derby, rallies for causes, and has won a contest to paint a mural in nearby Harvard Square. But after she vomits blood in the middle of a derby bout, she learns that the rare disease she was born with, biliary atresia, is no longer under control, and she needs a liver transplant. Her best friend, Sibby, has started a campaign to find donors, and Lia's distraught parents also try to better her chances of receiving a new organ. But it's Will, her brother's childhood friend, who offers Lia the most immediate help, distracting her from her worries until she's forced to take a hard look at herself and what the future may hold. Malone (The Art of the Swap) frankly traces the changes in Lia's physical and psychological states in this meticulously researched, grimly realistic portrait of a teen living with terminal illness. With its cast of convincing, empathic characters and touches of humor and hope, this heart-wrenching novel underscores the need for more organ donors. Ages 13 up.