________________ CM . . . . Volume XIV Number 20 . . . . May 30, 2008

cover Would You.

Marthe Jocelyn.
Toronto, ON: Tundra Books, 2008.
165 pp., hardcover,  $19.99.
ISBN 978-0-88776-816-3.

Subject Headings:
Sisters-Fiction.
Medical care-Fiction.
Coma-Fiction.
Traffic accidents-Fiction.
Family life-Fiction.

Grades 7 and up / Ages 12 and up.

Review by Michelle Superle.

*** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reader’s Copy.

excerpt:

I’m looking at the diner as if I’m wearing my dad’s glasses. It’s all hypersharp and familiar, but I’m thinking, How can it be the same? The back of my neck goes hot. I shouldn’t be here. . . . . Am I imagining that the place goes dead silent? Except the ching-grr, ching-grr of Belly’s spatula.

Zack leaps to his feet and comes running over, lifts me up off the ground, like he’s congratulating me instead of condoling. Is that a word, condoling?

“Oh Nat,” he says. “Oh, Nat.”

I can see he’s heartbroken, the way Audrey is, nearly the way I am. I have this flash of, Is he upset about Claire or is he sad for me? But then I know it’s the same thing.

 

Marthe Jocelyn’s new young adult novel, Would You, is impossible to put down. I would also challenge any reader to get through it without crying. This novel will speak particularly to readers aged twelve and older who have coped with grief and loss, but Jocelyn’s tight, witty prose and compelling pacing make it a worthwhile reading experience for anyone.

     In only some 160 pages, Jocelyn tells the story of the toughest summer in 15-year-old Natalie’s life. It starts out looking like a lot of fun, and the descriptions of the antics Nat and her zany group of friends undertake to alleviate their boredom ring absolutely true of adolescence. But in small chunks of text headed by Natalie’s thoughtful take on the changing realities of her life, we see that ever-so-typical summer blasted apart by disaster: her older sister Claire is hit by a car, rushed to hospital in a coma, and then.... Well, you should really read the book.

     Simultaneously commenting with profound depth on the fragility of life while offering an entertaining reading experience, Would You is that rare gem: a truly well-written YA novel.

Recommended.

Michelle Superle teaches Children’s Literature, Composition, and Creative Writing at the University of the Fraser Valley.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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