Mid-teens through the eyes of Mid-teens
This is a beautifully written book about a book, about times of transition, and about how literature can at times be as real and influential as ‘real life’
The central character of this book, Daniel, has acute myeloid leukaemia. And he is 15. With all the confusion, excitement, intensity and change of being 15 anyway, even without a terminal illness. So, there are the relationships with parents, siblings, a best friend going through changes, and of course, girls. There’s school. There’s the future – except, what if you don’t have one, but everyone needs to pretend that you do? And there’s this wonderfully cool, confused other boy of your age, a character in a novel, Holden Caulfield in Salinger’s Catcher In The Rye, who seems not only to understand so much more than the people around him, but also often understands so much more about you, because in reading about him, you can understand yourself as well as him.
Although this book will I’m sure have an immediate appeal for a reflective mid-teens reader, its also insightful for adults. There are wisdoms and maturities in youth as well as wisdoms and maturities in age.
Sarah Collins Honenberger deftly weaves Daniel and Holden Caulfield together. You don’t have to have read Catcher, or be a fan of Catcher, to enjoy this book, though inevitably you are bound to enjoy it more if you do, as it becomes more resonant.
I initially received this as a review copy from the Amazon Vine UK programme