Francis is determined to forge his own way in school and life despite his loony, awkward, broken family...and noticeable lack of friends. Then he is diagnosed with leukemia. It wasn't part of his strategy, but there are moments when he can see the upside. After all, people are nice to you when you're sick.
While in the hospital, Francis meets Amber. She's outspoken and sarcastic, and Francis falls for her almost immediately. Together, they take on the other cancer ward patients, overbearing mothers, and treatments with a positive attitude and lively wit.
But Francis's recovery is taking a different path from Amber's. He's actually getting better. And although he knew who he was before cancer, before Amber, now he has no idea how to live--or how to let go...
- ISBN-13: 9781481418737
- ISBN-10: 1481418734
- Publisher: Simon Pulse
- Publish Date: March 2015
- Page Count: 304
- Reading Level: Ages 14-UP
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-03-02
- Reviewer: Staff
In a satisfying, if somewhat derivative romance, British author Crow chronicles the relationship between two cancer patients in northern England. When witty 15-year-old narrator Francis is diagnosed with leukemia, his tenacious, hard-drinking mother and gay older brother rally with humor as he enters a teen care facility for treatment. There he meets a sharp-tongued girl named Amber, whose glib sense of humor results in conflicts with some of the other patients. For a loner like Francis, however, Amber proves to be not only his first love, but also his first real friend. As Francis and Amber fall in love amid their cancer treatments, their narrative is infused with tenderness, pain, and many moments of levity (including an incident in which Francis vomits on a cop's shoes). Tragedy looms as—in a setup familiar to star-crossed YA romances built around illness—one of the characters enters remission, and the other does not. Nevertheless, Crow, in his first book for teens, creates vivid characters who fortify and uplift Francis, and serve as assets to the central love story. Ages 14–up. (Mar.)