Twelve-year-old Abby North's first hint that something is really wrong with her dad is how long it's taking him to recover from what she thought was routine surgery. Soon, the thing she calls "It" has a real name: cancer. Before, her biggest concerns were her annoying brother, the crush unaware of her existence, and her changing feelings for her best friend, Spence, the boy across the street. Now, her mother cries in the shower, her father is exhausted, and nothing is normal anymore. Amy Ackley's impressive debut is wrenching, heartbreaking, and utterly true.
This sprawling story, the first YA winner of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, begins with Abby at age 11 when her father's cancer is first discovered and moves through his decline, death, and its aftermath, continuing into Abby's sophomore year of high school. Abby's friends Spence and Leise are her primary sources of support, though both characters are thinly drawn, existing solely to be there for Abby. As for Abby, her defining qualities are na vet (regarding both the gravity of her father's condition and Spence's growing feelings for her), denial of the lingering anger her father's death has left her with, and self-absorption, as she pushes away nearly everyone who reaches out to her. Ackley taps into the loneliness of the grieving process, as well as the pain that comes with such a primary loss; while the story suffers from unnecessary length, a ponderous pace, and a third-person narrative that swings between an off-the-cuff, teenage voice and some quirky, stodgy phrasings, readers who stick with it will appreciate Abby's steady journey to acceptance. Ages 12 up.
Amazing and inspirational
This is an exceptional book about the life of a teenage girl who is trying to deal with her father's death and many other situations. I highly recommend this book to all teens.
A truly moving story
This is a story about a girl (Abby) dealing with her fathers illness. This story has nothing to do with 'sign language' and if that's what your looking for then look further.
If you are looking for a moving story about the life of a young girl as she goes through the life struggles of young adulthood and love then look no further.
There are many lessons to this story that any young adult female could relate to and learn from.