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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Review: All These Lives by Sarah Wylie

All These Lives by Sarah Wylie
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Stand Alone Novel
Young Adult
Pages: 245
Genre: Contemporary
Sixteen-year-old Dani is convinced she has nine lives. As a child she twice walked away from situations where she should have died. But Dani’s twin, Jena, isn’t so lucky.  She has cancer and might not even be able to keep her one life. Dani’s father is in denial. Her mother is trying to hold it together and prove everything’s normal.  And Jena is wasting away.  To cope, Dani sets out to rid herself of all her extra lives.  Maybe they’ll be released into the universe and someone who wants to live more than she does will get one.  Someone like Jena.  But just when Dani finds herself at the breaking point, she’s faced with a startling realization.  Maybe she doesn’t have nine lives after all.  Maybe she really only ever had one.
*Digital galley provided by publisher for an honest review*

All These Lives I had a bit of controversy over with whether I liked it or not. The writing and the nine lives quirk the story revolved around I enjoyed, but Dani herself that left me wanting to put the book down and walk away. 

Dani was a character that made me hate reading her story. She's a stuck-up, rude, sarcastic bitch that I really couldn't stand putting up with, but did anyway to read more into the "nine lives" portion of her story. That's the only finite reason I put up with her constant bullshit. She's immature, reckless, and just plain mean. How she was treating herself towards her sisters sickness just made me shake my head at her angrily. 

The nine lives portion of the story did take me through a loop for a little bit. Dani goes on and on about how her sister is only given one life and dying, while she's got nine, living, and wasting them. Her actions failed to invite me into her character and her world and just left me watching in the distance going "Girl, your F'ing stupid!!!" I lost respect for her reckless and an unstable character. 

If it weren't for the writing, an involving and enjoyable flow, and the idea of her having this strange sensation of nine lives, I would have dropped the book in a heartbeat because Dani really is that bad in my eyes. She is a troubled character who is trying to deal with her sister dying and there's nothing she can do about it. I understand the hurt and torment building within her and I do feel sorry. But when I read her story, I find a teenager who is kinda-sorta seeking her parents attention and pulling Bella Swan moves all over the place.

Final Summation: If only writing style and a captivating plot were enough to make me really like this book. Sadly, when the main character is too much for me to handle or take seriously, then I know that the book will not work for me, even when reading All These Lives all the way though.

First Line: This is how it feels to die: It starts from outside and works its way in.

Two targets slayed