I had been looking forward to reading this since I saw it recommended on Goodreads by Courtney Summers. I love her books so anything she recommends sounds good to me!
I loved Mia and all her superstitions. The way she looks for signs all the time (to Gyver’s annoyance!) She's the kind of flawed character I love. She doesn't always do, or feel the right thing and that makes her much more believable and interesting to read about. I have the feeling some readers may not warm to her but I really did.
I didn’t completely understand why she wanted to keep her illness a secret – I know she was scared of peoples reactions (and I couldn’t help think her mother played a large part in igniting those fears) and I suppose the longer you go without telling the harder it becomes. I imagine it’s easier to pretend it’s not happening if you don’t say it out loud. But I felt she was just alienating herself – when really she needed people around her.
The way her parents dealt with her illness annoyed me slightly as well (especially her mother) but at the same time you know how much they love her – and it’s realistic in the sense that people are going to react and cope in their own ways – not everyone is going to know the best or right way to deal it. I did, however, love Gyver’s mum and how she was with Mia. Gentle, caring and trying to get Mia to see she doesn’t have to face this alone.
Gyver is seriously one of my favourite characters ever! I want one! I loved every scene he was in and missed him when he wasn't around. I was begging the two of them to realise how they felt about each other! Watching their relationship go from how close they were at the beginning of the story to how they were with each other later on was killing me!
I also really liked Ryan and I’m really please the author made him such a likeable character. He was also there for Mia and I think the fact that she lets him in, lets him see her at her worse shows that she does care for him – just not necessarily in the way he (or she) wants. I didn’t feel she was using him – I think she told him enough times how she felt – but at the same time I think perhaps she wanted to feel differently and he sensed that. Plus she really needed someone. Which sounds mean, but how do you let go of someone who’s there for you when you really need them?
I also really liked Meagan – and her storyline – which brings home to Mia what is happening to her. To be honest, I think I much preferred Meagan to Mia’s other friends. While I understand why they react in the way they do I kind of felt they turned it around to be about them when really it should have been about Mia.
I think I must still be having series withdrawal though because even after nearly 400 pages I wasn't ready for this to end. I did loved the ending though – but I could have easily spent another 400 pages with these characters and been happy!
Fabulous characters, a story that is more than just a ‘cancer’ book and one of my favourite male leads. A brilliant debut .