karen's Reviews > Six Months to Live

Six Months to Live by Lurlene McDaniel
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Mar 23, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: teen-faves, favorites

well, she got seven months, at least.

my beloved maggie succumbed to her cancer last night. going dark for a bit to mourn the best cat i ever knew.

 photo IMG_7221_zpsvuauuhln.jpg

so, it turns out my baby has the cancer. and, like the girl in this book, she's been given six months. but what i learned from this book (no spoiler warning needed since the fact that this thing has sequels spoils it for you already), is that six months can easily turn into years if you drink enough watermelon milkshakes and have a plucky attitude.

i mean, look at her - does this look like a cat with six months to live? it does NOT.

april may be the cruelest month, but i'm not letting it take my cat.



dear this article,


yes, yes a million times yes! !

how many times did i read this book?? seven thousand is my best guess.

from it, i learned that cancer can be cured with a watermelon milkshake and a positive attitude, which i think is still medically accurate. and i also learned that i will never be one who cries at books. (nor at FIOS movies) but that i still love this kind of grief porn like crazy.

lurlene mcdaniel, you still rock my heart
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Comments (showing 1-50 of 192) (192 new)

Karly *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)* I don't think I ever read it to be honest....
the primary reason for that probably being that my mother got cancer for the first time when I was 12 so it was an art mimicking real life thing that I didn't want...

message 2: by Erica (new)

Erica That article had me crying. Bawling.
Because I read three or four Lurlene McDaniel books in middle school/early high school (this one was the first, of course) and realized, "HEY! The story never changes! This is Babysitter's Club for Goths! Damnation, I've been hornswoggled"
I went back to books where someone loses their pet because that was far more traumatic for me.
Best human friends dying of a terrible disease have NOTHING on having to shoot your dog because it got rabies.

message 3: by Carolina (new) - added it

Carolina Suniaga Hola Karen, cómo estás? Sabrás si este libro ha sido traducido al español? Un besote

karen oh, jeez, now i feel crappy for loving them. i think, when i was 12, i was just like "maybe i will get sick and everyone will feel bad for me and pay attention to me and give me milkshakes that will magically cure me and i can read in my hospital bed all day long. also - maybe i can have a pet unicorn."

message 5: by perla bautista (new)

perla bautista i think he is really od cute

message 6: by Erica (new)

Erica karen wrote: "oh, jeez, now i feel crappy for loving them. i think, when i was 12, i was just like "maybe i will get sick and everyone will feel bad for me and pay attention to me and give me milkshakes that wil..."

NO! Do not feel crappy! You were the correct demographic and I think that is one of the two reactions she'd hoped to inspire...the other probably being compassion or something equally dumb and useless. YOU were right! I was clueless. I also hated Stephen King...oddly the same people who highly recommended McDaniels are also the ones who made me read King.
I sense an association...

Regardless, don't get sick because then we'd all have to scour the world for yooooonikorns.

karen compassion.... is that like passionfruit? can you make a milkshake out of it?

message 8: by Erica (new)

Erica Dunno. I mean, I've heard of it but I've never bothered to figure it out. I doubt you can make a milkshake out of it because then, obviously, I'd know what it is...so I'll go with "No" on that part of the question.
I think it's probably more like paperwork, or something, that you have to turn into HR. Who has time for that?

message 9: by Erica (new)

Erica You know OH NO, DEATH book that freaked me out? Bridge to Terabithia Because no one was sick, no one went anywhere, and then BAM! Dead. I freaked out because that was the kind of stuff I did - running around in the woods, building forts, crossing streams, swinging on ropes - and I did NOT know you could die from playing! OMG, that was AWFUL. I think it ruined 6th grade for me.

§unny A.  ··· ) cancer should be cured by a watermelon milkshake.

§unny A.  ··· ) i would go with no on the is compassion like passionfruit but i wouldnt now

Karly *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)* Angela's Ashes was the first book that ever made me cry.... I think I was in grade 7 or 8 when I read it, and I was all oh my god brother's can't just die because they are little and don't eat enough?! Oh my god, that poor boy ahhhh why wasn't it my brother?! Just kidding, sort of.... I kinda hated my brother at that age...

karen i never read that bridge book. but telling kids they can die from playing sounds like one of those "don't eat too much candy or the tooth fairy will steal all your teeth in the night" kind of horrifying faux-lessons.

also, karly = monster

message 14: by Clarissa (new)

Clarissa Oh man this just brought up memories. I remember getting a whole box of books from my much older cousin when I was about 10 and having several of her books in it... the one I remember most vividly is called "Last Dance" and is about a girl with diabetes. I remember she pigs out on surf n' turf and goes into a coma or something and diabetes just seemed like the WORST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN to a person. Now, as a nurse I kind of scratch my head at that because that's a pretty low-carb meal... but anyway, boy did Lurlene McDaniel ever strike upon an interesting niche...

karen ooh, i never read that one! while iiii learned about diabetes from the baby-sitter's club and was very sad because stacey couldn't eat pizza and then one night we were at my grandmother's house and we ordered pizza and i was like "nooooooo grandma!!! you have diabetes - you can't eat pizza or you'll die!"

turns out she totally could eat pizza without dying. thanks a lot, bsc.

message 16: by ॐ Pixie (new)

ॐ Pixie i was initially going to say that i didn't understand this cancer book obsession (cathartic or otherwise), but then i remembered that i still have a battered copy of 'The Notebook' somewhere in case, you know, i need a good bawl. this does not make me a bad person (the book, not the bawling). my innermost thoughts do that.

message 18: by Jubilation Lee (new)

Jubilation Lee Oh shit, karen, my younger sister was *obsessed* with these books when we were growing up, and I sort of got caught up in the madness because they were all over our shared bedroom. Baby Alicia is Dying? Angels Watching Over Me? If I Should Die Before I Wake? Solid gold.

(Lurlene McDaniel signed my copy of Don't Die, My Love, and I thought I was seriously going to have a heart attack right there in the store. Which, you know, would have been very much in keeping with the theme of her novels.)

karen oh my god - i am so jealous of you right now.

message 20: by Erica (new)

Erica I'm not jealous, I'm disappointed because WHY DIDN'T YOU HAVE THE HEART ATTACK? Way to NOT give her further fodder for her next book. You were a terrible fangirl. TERRIBLE.

message 21: by Jubilation Lee (new)

Jubilation Lee I seriously should have. That was a major error on my part. Can you even imagine? "I'm A Fan And I'm Dying." Or maybe "Sign My Book And I'll Die Happy."

message 22: by Erica (new)

Erica Angel light and chorus would have shone down upon you in that moment.

message 23: by Reagan (new)

Reagan Anderson you know, im 11 and nobody i know my age even believes in unicorns. ME: oh look its a baby unicorn! lets go play with it! NOT!

message 24: by Clarissa (new)

Clarissa What would a watermelon milkshake even taste like? Sounds kind of gross and intriguing at the same time.

karen man, there are like 100 recipes for them online.

here is one:


it does not mention its medicinal qualities, but that's probably out of respect for the pharmaceutical fairies.

i think we should all get some watermelon, make some shakes, and report back here.



message 26: by Erica (new)

Erica It seems it would call for coconut milk because, you know...it just seems coconut milk would go better with watermelon.
In my mind.

message 27: by Clarissa (new)

Clarissa It would seem that way... But coconut milk seems high-fa-luten for 1980's Lurlene McDaniels world

message 28: by Erica (new)

Erica You have an excellent point, there.
Although, we're missing the opportunity to inadvertently kill off an unsuspecting teen with a heretofore unknown fatal coconut allergy.

karen if i remember correctly, the watermelon milkshake in the book had some kind of protein powder in it, but i am not going to put that in my milkshake, because - gross.

message 30: by Miriam (new)

Miriam I've never read any Lurlene McD and never had any interest in this genre. Basically, the more realism a book had the less I liked it. Should I read one now, or would that be pointless?

Karly *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)* Miriam wrote: "I've never read any Lurlene McD and never had any interest in this genre. Basically, the more realism a book had the less I liked it. Should I read one now, or would that be pointless?"

I was wondering this same thing.... *awaits response*

karen you should totally read one now!!! and report back!!!

Karly *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)* karen wrote: "you should totally read one now!!! and report back!!!"

I'll add it to the list :)

karen oh, i remembered to order that buddy-book, and it should be mine soon

karen !!!!!

message 37: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Shit, my library has 64 books by LmcD! What should I try? Something old, something new...?

karen wow, she's been busier than i thought!

message 39: by Jubilation Lee (new)

Jubilation Lee Something old! You have to read one of the old ones to get the full effect!! Her new ones are... slicker, I guess is the best way to describe them.

message 40: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Ok... got a fave?

karen this one here was my favorite...

message 42: by Miriam (new)

Miriam This one the library doesn't have!

karen worst!

message 44: by Erica (new)

Erica Miriam wrote: "This one the library doesn't have!"

That's because it keeps getting stolen.
Probably by people in my age-range trying to force it upon the new generations.

message 45: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Or the paperback disintegrated after being reread too many times.

karen and all the tearstains....

message 47: by Ginger (new)

Ginger :'( *I has a big sad*
Good! Don't let them put a date on her! Still Team Maggie!

message 48: by Lena (new)

Lena My cat they gave my cat two months. Well, we are in month two and he has not acknowledged this fact whatsoever. It's taken steroids and chemo but watermelons are out of season. Your girl looks ready to sniff at those odds.

message 49: by Kelsey (new)

Kelsey Hudson I'm so sorry, Karen! Maggie is such a special kitty, and I'm so glad you've shared her with us.

message 50: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra oh my goodness:( well, doctors don't know everything. so it's just an estimate and by no means an absolute. but it's shitty news to hear nonetheless. i know it'll be hard but try not to focus on that time frame because it will only drive you crazy. enjoy every single day with her. ♥

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