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All These Lives by Sarah Wylie

Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Sixteen-year-old Dani is convinced she has nine lives. As a child she twice walked away from situations where she should have died. But Dani’s twin, Jena, isn’t so lucky. She has cancer and might not even be able to keep her one life. Dani’s father is in denial. Her mother is trying to hold it together and prove everything’s normal. And Jena is wasting away.

To cope, Dani sets out to rid herself of all her extra lives. Maybe they’ll be released into the universe and someone who wants to live more than she does will get one. Someone like Jena. But just when Dani finds herself at the breaking point, she’s faced with a startling realization. Maybe she doesn’t have nine lives after all. Maybe she really only ever had one.

Goodreads Summary


Dani has always been the lucky one.  Her mother jokes that she and Dani have nine lives.  What happens when her twin sister, Jena, contracts cancer and may not have nine lives.  After all, she was never the lucky one.

Dani chooses to deal with her sister's cancer in an unusual way.  She goes out of her way to try to lose her lives, hoping that one of them might go to Jena.  She undergoes ridiculous trials and lands herself in trouble and in the hospital, but she does not seem to care.  The reader will follow this train wreck of a character throughout the book, an interesting plot of self-discovery and acceptance.  It is interesting that the author manages to keep the book more about Dani and less about cancer; rather, she focuses on Dani and her love for her sister.  The reader will likely love that this is not one of those cookie-cutter books where a family member loses a love one to cancer. 

Dani's character is the main draw to this novel.  She is careless with her  precious health, seeming to think herself invincible. The reader will get to know her quite well.  Ironically, the reader barely knows Jena.  Jena is viewed and thought of through the eyes of Dani.  Dani's perspective and thoughts guide the reader through this novel.  The other characters fit in perfectly.  Dani acquires a love interest she never thought she would have, Dani's parents react to Jena's cancer in their own ways, and Dani's destructive way of dealing with Jena's cancer is only noticed by a couple of characters. 

The plot is interesting.  We all would love to have nine lives, but not many of us would actually test that theory.  The ending might not be what the reader may have guessed, but satisfying nonetheless. This book is highly recommended to young adult/teen readers.

4 Stars

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This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

9 comments:

  1. Addie R. said...:

    This sounds really interesting. And I love the cover!
    Thanks for the review!

  1. Daniela said...:

    Sounds really cool. I'm adding it to my TBR pile. Love the review!

  1. What a lovely cover, and thanks for the review! :D

  1. Alyssa Susanna said...:

    Like the other commenters said, the cover is great! I love it. Sarah Wylie is an amazing author. I think this book is differemt from the rest of today's young adult paranormal craze (not that I'm not totally in love with the craze). Go contemp!!! This should be a great story :)

    Thanks for the post!

    Alyssa Susanna

  1. Oooh, a satisfying ending but one we couldn't guess? That definitely makes me want to know more! Great review! :)

  1. Lili said...:

    I've heard nothing but amazing things about this book, so I'm glad you enjoyed it. The whole 9 lives things made me cautious, but I think I'm going to check it out now! It made me convinced that 16 year old Dani thinks she's some sort of cat on a death wish... hah

  1. This book seems really interesting! Great review! :)

  1. Poor Dani. Having a twin sister with cancer must be difficult. I guess she decides to deal with it by acting reckless. I find it neat that it does follow the sister and her thoughts on her sister and not focusing on the person with cancer. Sounds like a sad and emotional story.

  1. I don't know how people can read books about cancer. I have read one, and I just couldn't finish it. My first love and best friend died from leukemia and it broke me into. I guess thats where my hesitation comes in. I want to try to read one, at least, because I have heard amazing things. We shall see. Thanks for the review!