Book Reviews of Choices

Author: Deborah Lynn Jacobs
ISBN-13: 9781596432178
ISBN-10: 1596432179
Publication Date: 9/4/2007
Pages: 208
Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.

5 stars, based on 1 rating
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Book Type: Hardcover
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Reviewed by Karin Perry for

If only she had her driver's license. If only she wasn't afraid to drive. If only Jen hadn't gotten too drunk to drive home. If only she hadn't called Nick to come and get her. If only... If only...

Kathleen's life is altered on the night she goes to a party where her best friend gets too drunk to drive her home. Kathleen calls her brother, Nick, to pick her up, and being the great brother he is, he doesn't hesitate to get out on a cold and slippery night to rescue his little sister.

When police knock on the door of the party everyone assumes they're busted. Kathleen is given the job of stalling since she is sober. Instead, the police are there for her - to take her to the hospital where Nick was taken after he was hit on the way to pick her up.

Kathleen's life drastically changes after Nick's death. Her father isolates himself in his office watching sports on television and her mother begins drinking a little more every day. Kathleen is left feeling alone until she meets someone new at Nick's memorial service. Luke offers kindness and concern when no one else is focusing on her needs.

The night after the funeral Kathleen, full of sadness, falls asleep in Nick's bed. When she wakes up she realizes she isn't in the same "reality" as she was the day before. Little things aren't right. Jen, who she's been fighting with since the night of the party, so much so that she didn't even come to the funeral, shows up to take her to school on this particular morning like nothing had ever happened. They are still amazingly close. Confusion plagues Kathleen's mind all day. Finally, she realizes what is going on.

Kathleen realizes there are certain moments everyday when she makes decisions, and depending on what decision she makes, her life takes a different path. The problem for Kathleen is that she retains the memories of the previous path while she also has to live in the new one. All of these paths run parallel and go on at the same time with different consequences. Kathleen ends up splintering into several paths, which she keeps track of by the different names she gives to herself. She becomes Kay, Kate, and Kathy, in addition to her original self. Her major problem is that she doesn't know who she'll be when she wakes up in the morning. Her one constant is Luke. He manages to find her no matter who she is.

Deborah Lynn Jacobs has created a thought-provoking novel about the importance of life choices. Kathleen learns a lot about herself as she navigates her way through her many lives, attempting to reconcile with family, friends, and her own feelings about loss and love.