Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Review: Radiate by Marley Gibson

Marley Gibson
Release date: April 3rd, 2012
by Graphia

Goodreads / Purchase
Hayley Matthews is determined to be the best cheerleader she can. She works hard and pushes herself 110% all the time.

Then Hayley finds a lump on her leg. The diagnosis is cancer. The prognosis is unclear. She could lose her leg. Or maybe her life.

At first Haley is scared, terrified. In an instant, everything she’s worked for seems out of reach. But Haley is strong. She’s going to fight this disease. She will not let it take her life or her dreams.
*A copy was provided by Thomas Allen & Son for review purposes*

"This is a story of how cheerleading saved my life"

Some may be thinking "Aww poor her she was a loser and being a popular cheerleader "saved her"". Nope: We're talking cancer. We're talking honest to goodness heartfelt emotions. Although this is not about the cancer itself more than it's about the power of positive attitude. After reading this, I truly believe that we have the power to make our own miracles. It's an inspiration to all who are going through a rough patch. Don't ever believe you can't come out of it!

If you're now thinking "Oh another of those mind over matter stories that I'll never believe really happen". Guess what, this is a based on a TRUE STORY. It's still a classed as a work of fiction, but at its core, this is the author's experience with cancer. I only found this out at the end, and it made me love the book even more. To know someone - even moreso: a teenager - was this strong, this inspiring, it's truly something to look up to.

In this book though, it's Hayley Matthews. Hayley has just gotten her dream of making the varsity cheerleading squad when she starts to get pains in her leg. For a book about cancer, it's surprising more enlivening than depressing. She never develops a desolate - the world is ending - attitude. She stays remarkably positive with a determined perseverance that makes it a really fantastic read. I would even say uplifting. She made me realize that we are stronger than we make ourselves out to be. She takes what's been given to her, and she gives it the finger - this is who Hayley is. I adored her. I loved that she doesn't succumb to the staring and whispering. She goes in front of a crowd to cheer because she loves it; with a limp, with a bald head, with scars, and with a smile. This, to me, is plain a simply admirable.

Besides the cancer, we've got family, friends, football, romance - all the things that make a good book even better. The family dynamics, especially, is great. We have siblings, parent, even friends' families that feel like her own. We also have a reappearing long lost childhood friends. But most of all, we have love. The love that Hayley shares for her friends and family is unequivocal. I wasn't only feeling for her, I was feeling for everyone around her. Full of shocks and secrets - the side stories give off as much heart as the central one. I really enjoyed how it was all interjected seamlessly into this already loaded story.

It's undeniably emotional, but also positively encouraging; I'm actually quite surprised that I haven't seen this book around more, so please, give it a chance because it will surprise you!

5 Hot Espressos