Brooke Shirts's Reviews > Would You

Would You by Marthe Jocelyn
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Dec 03, 08

Read in November, 2008

The plot of this book is one I've seen many, many times in youth fiction: Natalie's beloved older sister is rendered comatose in a car accident; the rest of the family is left behind to cope. But Jocelyn handles this story with such deft characterization and with intense humanity that it's a significant cut above the rest. None of the characters are particularly noble or tragic; they are simply stumbling through the unbelievable, trying to come to terms with grief. Natalie is an incredibly believable teen -- the way she is rendered helpless in reaction to her parents' nearly all-encompassing grief, how she is initially sickened by the sight of her sister in the hospital, and the encroaching feeling of guilt when she realizes that, like it or not, her life is continuing without her sister.

I really enjoyed Jocelyn's other novel the oft-overlooked How It Happened in Peach Hill. I'm hoping that this book will find a greater readership, but with is so-so cover design and smarmy jacketflap copy ("the world can change in a heartbeat," bleh) I'm afraid it will be overlooked as well. Here's crossing my fingers . . .
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