This is quite possibly one of the most uplifting and sad books I've ever read. Quite possibly one of the only books to ever have made me cry. I'll be sad to pass it on, but glad to know that such a good book is going to another reader.
Young Adult novel told by 2 teenage girls who are best friends. Both are dancers. At the age 16 one is diagnosed with Cancer. This takes a big toll on their friendship. Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance all make an appearance. "What do you do whan your best friend is dying?" This book kept me reading for more.
From Publishers Weekly:
"Few YA dramas deal with the issue of terminal illness as intimately as this gripping first novel, which alternates between the points of view of Juliana, at 16 a gifted dancer, and her "one-and-only" best friend, Samantha. The girls' initial concerns about boyfriends and dance class seem trivial after Jules is diagnosed with histiocytic lymphoma, a deadly form of cancer. Through graphic depictions of what follows?endless sessions of chemotherapy, emergency runs to the hospital and Jules's periodic escapes into a dream state, readers will feel the young victim's weariness as she fights against the body which has betrayed her. They will also experience Sammie's complex responses as she watches her friend embark on a "solo journey" toward death. The dissipation of Jules's hopes, her growing acceptance of the inevitable, and the reactions of peers and family members are hauntingly true to life; they camouflage the less credible episodes (Jules's brilliant performance in a dance concert during the last weeks of her life). Although the subject matter may be too intense for some, others will come away from this book with a deeper respect for mortality. Ages 12-up."
From School Library Journal:
"Grade 7-10. A personal look at how terminal illness affects the lives of best friends and those around them. Juliana (Jules) and Samantha (Sam) have been dance partners since they were nine years old. The summer before their senior year holds promises of good times and hard work at the studio. Then Jules is diagnosed with diffuse histiocytic lymphoma and needs massive doses of chemotherapy immediately. Despite everyone trying to act "normal," Jules faces greater and more difficult choices each day. And Sam becomes increasingly confused as to how to live her own life and stay true to her dying best friend. Each girl, in turn, narrates a chapter, and family and friends' reactions to the crisis are genuinely portrayed. The impact of illness is accurately balanced with the rising crescendo of impending death..."