Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books (2 Feb 2012)
How can you face your future when your past it a lie? When Rosie Kenning's mother, Trudie, dies from Huntingdon's disease, her whole world falls apart. Not only does Rosie desperately miss her mum, but now she has to face the fact that she could have inherited the fatal illness herself. Until she discovers that Trudie wasn't her biological mother at all ...Rosie is stunned. Can this be true? Is she grieving for a mother who wasn't even hers to lose? And if Trudie wasn't her mother, who is? But as Rosie delves into her past to discover who she really is, she is faced with a heart-breaking dilemma - to continue living a lie, or to reveal a truth that will shatter the lives of everyone around her...
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Dale brings to the book a realistic and inspiring story that takes you on a journey with the easy to love and totally relate-able character of Rosie - who fate dealt an unfair blow. Left to pick up the pieces, she does what any tragic-struck teen would do - she picks her self up and moves on with a energy that inspires you. Though this may be rooted in fiction, there are strands and tentacles from the story, the emotions Dale whips up, that allows her to reach out from within the book with the help of Dale's characters and emotions, in order to touch you, right in your heart.
With flawless writing that makes every word count, Dale draws you in from the very first line and keeps you hanging till the last and weaves in messages throughout that leave you drawing in deep breaths that you didn't realise you were holding. It's powerful. It's moving. It's everything you could want in a book full of life, tragedy, survival, romance and action. A careful blend of each without adding too much in, it'll keep you occupied throughout the night.
What I admired about Dale's writing, as I do with other novels which help me set them apart, is that her characters aren't perfect - nowhere near. But they contain a quality which I love; they're flawed. No, Andrew isn't just your typical good looking hero that you scout for in novels to swoon over, instead he's painted as someone who has flaws, who makes mistakes, a typical teen who tried to be there for someone he cares about. It makes the characters more relate-able and more realistic in a world where everyone is attempting to find perfection in places it can't be found.
Dealing with such issues that may cause others to reach for the tissue box is what keeps me hanging on - it's something that needs to be read and allows you to appreciate the smaller things in life. Dale has hit the jackpot with a story that'll choke you up yet make you smile; she's been likened with authors such as Jodi Picoult (a favourite of mine) and I can see why - through her writing and strength in bringing to the page issues that others shy away from. Yet she presents them beautifully in a book that reaches out to you, and for that, I'll love it.
I'll be looking forward to reading more from Dale and hope you do to (: