This book made me cry. It made me cry a couple of times, actually, but only once was I on the bus. Try being the only commuter crying on the 3A, see what kind of rep that gets you! I’m hoping people will start pegging me as emotionally imbalanced and I’ll get 2 seats to myself from now on, but it’s unlikely.
I think just about everyone in the world knows the storyline to this book, but just in case…
13 year old Anna has known for years that she wasn’t conceived like other children. She was grown in a petri dish, so that she would be a perfect genetic match for her older sister and leukaemia sufferer Kate. After over a decade of donating various bodily fluids and bone marrow to Kate, an even bigger sacrifice is needed. Kate desperately needs a kidney. But Anna decides enough is enough, and begins a legal battle to sure her parents for the right to her own body.
This book does raise a real moral dilemma. To what extent should you sacrifice one of your children to save the other? We get to see the whole family’s point of view, and there are some extremely interesting insights into this question. If you’ve seen the film, you’ll have some idea what goes on but I’d urge you to read the book anyway as there is an extremely different ending.
It might not be the best written book in the world, and maybe some of the characters inner thoughts are a bit trite and a bit forced, and perhaps the ending is just a bit toooooo convenient. But if you can put all that to one side, then this is a book that will really make you feel something. The main thrust of the story is to do with Anna and the lawsuit, but it was the budding romance between Kate and fellow cancer patient Taylor that got the tears flowing for me. Just… have some tissues to hand!