Saturday, February 16, 2008
Ahhhh...summer when you're a teenager. I don't care if you lived in city or in country, chances are you were wandering the streets with a group of your friends getting into various amounts of trouble. You were free of adult constraints answering your parent's question of "Where are you going?" with the simple word "Out!"
This is the summer scene for sisters Claire and Natalie. Claire is soon heading off to university. She's ready to dump her boyfriend for an unknown future full of promise, and she cannot really wait to go off on her own. Natalie, on the other hand, is a bit anxious. She's never been without Claire, and cannot imagine going from sharing a room to seeing Claire occasionally. But Natalie is spending her summer like she always does. She's hanging out at the Ding-Dong where Audrey works with the rest of her friends. She's playing hideous games of "Would you rather..." with them, waiting for everyone to show. You know...how gross can it get? The rest of the night is spent pool hopping when the owners aren't around.
And then everything changes.
After the accident, Natalie doesn't know what to do. Is it wrong to go to work while your sister lays comotose in the hospital? Is it wrong to kiss a boy when your parents are so distraught that they can't even talk to you? Would you rather see your sister die, or be hooked to machines for the rest of her "life"?
Written in sparse prose, Marthe Jocelyn brings the reader into a family tragedy, and introduces some amazing teenage characters. Natalie's feelings are so raw, and her life with her friends is incredibly realistic. They are smart, and sharp, and genuinely care for one another. While this is a sad story, readers will find themselves hoping that Natalie can find her way and hoping that her family can keep it together. Would You is a perfect choice for the teens who have recently enjoyed Before I Die, by Jenny Downham
Again, in the interest of full disclosure, I do know Marthe Jocelyn, but rest assured, this book would not appear on my blog if I didn't think it was great!