A big thank you to author Marthe Jocelyn for sending me her book!
TITLE: Would You
AUTHOR: Marthe Jocelyn
RATING: 4 stars
First I have to say that I love the cover of this book. Once you have read the storyline, you will understand about the cover - which, in my opinion, has two meanings.
This YA book starts off with the "Would you" game. Natalie and some of her friends get together and play this game of "would you". I have to say that I had never heard of this before (I guess it was a little after my time as a YA) and that some of the questions (and answers) were pretty disgusting. Yet, I thought it was an interesting way to start a book - throughout the various answers to varied questions sprinkled in the book, you also get some insight into the minds of these teenagers.
The other interesting thing these kids do is pool-hopping, which, frankly, I don't see the point in, but it is an integral part of the story. Basically, these YA are all just doing their thing (with a surprising minimal (read: none) amount of drunks, boozing, etc.).
Yet, you know somehow, behind the under-current of the words that there is a countdown of some type going on - and when it occurs - its a biggie. Natalie is called home one night to be told that her sister (and best friend) Claire, who was weeks away from leaving for college has been hit by a car and is in a coma.
From this point, Natalie's life takes a dramatic change - gone are the joys of being young and free. Natalie is brought to her sister's bed and after some time, her family is told that there is nothing they can do for Claire - that she is brain dead and being kept alive by machines.
Natalie feels lost and cannot turn to anybody. Her mother is hysterical and her dad is being stoic "for the family". The most revealing parts of Natalie are spent when she is alone or when is alone talking to her sister.
I loved the way the author wrote about Natalie's fears (for herself, for her family and for Claire). She managed to honnestly express many feelings that needed to be surfaced - without making Natalie sound whiny or annoying. I also loved the way the author brought all of Natalie's friends in, in various ways, as a support system for Natalie.
Finally, there is the love that Natalie (and the resentment) feels for her sister. How could Claire let this happen?
Finally, a decision must be made and this was one of the saddest chapters I have ever read. I had a clear vision, in my mind, of what Claire looked like lying in that bed - it was all very, very sad.
At the same time, Natalie finds strength in the end.
This is not a "light,witty read" be warned - but it is a story that needed to be told.