WOULD YOU RATHER know what’s going to happen or not know?
A summer night. A Saturday. For Natalie’s amazing older sister, Claire, this summer is fantastic, because she’s zooming off to college in the fall. For Natalie, it’s a fun summer with her friends; nothing special. When Claire is hit by a car, the world changes in a heartbeat. Over the next four days, moment by moment, Natalie, her parents, and their friends wait to learn if Claire will ever recover.
The opening chapters give little hint of the intensity of Jocelyn's (How It Happened in Peach Hill) exquisitely honed novel. Soon-to-be-high school junior Natalie and her friends like to play Would you... a game exemplified by the book's first lines: Would you rather know what's going to happen? Or not know? Abruptly everything changes: Natalie's older sister, Claire, is struck by a car and rendered comatose. Jocelyn maintains a measured pace as the next few days unfold: Natalie watches her mother numb herself with tranquilizers, her father grow angry and look for someone to blame. Although the plot line sounds like that of a standard weeper, the author resists the urge to magnify emotions. Natalie reacts honestly, neither beautifully nor nobly she is initially repulsed when a nurse asks her to massage Claire's grossly swollen feet; she lashes out at a boy who already (and needlessly) feels guilty. The light touch with which Jocelyn handles her difficult material is best seen when Claire is declared brain-dead and taken off life support: the humanity in the author's treatment affords the reader a sense both of grief and of peace. Ages 14 up.
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My new favorite book read it In one sitting could not put it down loved it