genre: young adult fiction
This is a book about two girls - two girls who know pain and who end up being in the same hospital room - a flimsy curtain their only way to get privacy. During the time that they share in that sterile, horrible room, they slowly find a way to give each other some comfort.
The format of the book is unique - it's a read as a conversation, with a curtain in between. When the line down the text disappears, that means the curtain has been withdrawn. It's a novel in verse, so between the layout and the sparse text, it reads very fast. It took me longer than I'd thought to get into - it was hard to figure out who people were and what was really happening. I couldn't bring myself to put it down, though, as Chess, the main character, is slowly given her diagnosis. Shannon, who is far more angry and prickly than Chess, has been dealing with Disease and in a brash way starts a dialogue to help Chess sort though the emotions of being told the word Chronic applies to you.
THE FOLLOWING COULD BE CONSIDERED A SPOILER
Something I did like about this book is the fact that it isn't a cancer book or an anorexia book - it brings to light other illnesses that aren't as discussed in the cannon. To be sick with gastrointestinal issues, to deal with the embarrassments of being sick to your stomach all the time - that's so different than having other problems. I think that teens who are struggling with this could really see this book as a hug hug, reminding them that they are not alone and that there is hope.
I can't say I loved it but I'm not sorry I read it either.
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