I selected this book off of my “to read” list because it was about running. I’ve recently started an exercise routine, and I thought it might help motivate me to run if I was listening to a book about an amputee while I was running. I’m not really sure it worked, but I did really enjoy the book.
Van Draanen did a great job of putting the reader inside the head of a teenage in tragedy. Jessica’s voice was terrific, and her reaction to her situation seemed realistic. She is completely down on life, wishing she’d died because she thinks she’ll never run again. But when she’s given hope by seeing amputees running in videos her coach shows her, she turns around quickly.
Jessica’s best friend, Fiona, is amazing. It was refreshing to read a book about a teen becoming disabled where the best friend rallies behind her instead of deserting her. Fiona and Jessica’s coach get the whole track team on board to raise money for a running leg for Jessica. It’s an entirely positive view of teenagers that is rarely seen in realistic fiction.
The whole story is very inspirational. And when Jessica befriends Rosa and takes on another cause, it becomes even more uplifting. That Jessica is already concerned about helping someone else after her accident is such a fantastic element of the book.
Rating: 4 Stars
This review was originally published on Mom’s Radius.