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June 09, 2012

Review: All These Lives by Sarah Wylie - Juhina

All These Lives

Title: All These Lives
Author: Sarah Wylie
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: June 5th, 2012
Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary)
Challenges: Contemporary, Debut
Source: NetGalley
Format: Digital ARC
Pages: 245
Sixteen-year-old Dani is convinced she has nine lives. As a child she twice walked away from situations where she should have died. But Dani’s twin, Jena, isn’t so lucky.  She has cancer and might not even be able to keep her one life. Dani’s father is in denial. Her mother is trying to hold it together and prove everything’s normal.  And Jena is wasting away.  To cope, Dani sets out to rid herself of all her extra lives.  Maybe they’ll be released into the universe and someone who wants to live more than she does will get one.  Someone like Jena.  But just when Dani finds herself at the breaking point, she’s faced with a startling realization.  Maybe she doesn’t have nine lives after all.  Maybe she really only ever had one.
All These Lives has a very emotional story wrapped up in a hard shell that is known as Dani. Dani's twin sister Jena has leukemia, and Dani doesn't know how to deal with it, so she avoids Jena. However, since Dani has been young, she has gotten into many near death experiences and escaped unscathed. Her mom kept on saying that she has 9 lives, nothing bad can happen to her Dani because she's apparently got lives to spare. Somehow Dani gets the idea that if she gets rid of some of these lives, at least one of them will get transferred to Jena and saves her life. While this aspect might seem paranormal, but the emotional turmoil Dani goes through, how fragile her family is. It was all so raw and real and just heart wrenching. 
I thoroughly enjoyed the family relationship. The mother that would do anything to save her sick child. The father who is trying to keep the glue that holds the family together but also sneaks outside for a cigarette or two. Dani, and finally Jena, the leukemia patient, but also a girl with a strong will to survive and to stay as Jena. I loved how nothing dramatic happened in the family, they are a typical family with a sick child. I really enjoyed how realistic it was. While Dani might have seemed like the tough one, she harbors deep feelings of guilt, sadness, and just being scared of how will she go on without Jena. I loved Sarah Wylie's writing. It was simple, honest, and just had that realistic feel to it. I thoroughly enjoyed the plot, the characters, and the overall story of All These Lives. I would recommend it to realistic YA lovers, and anyone looking for a story that speaks from the heart to your heart, because All These Lives did just that.
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  1. I really enjoyed this one too and super glad to see others who did as well! I loved the family relationship too it was very realistic and emotional! Wonderful review Juhina!

  2. I love that there's a good family dynamic in this book. I've heard great things about this one and can't wait to read it. Amazing review! :)

  3. I tend to avoid contemporary YA directed towards "drama", but I'm glad to read that this isn't one of them. Definitely keeping an eye out for this one.

    Great review.

  4. This sounds really good. Great review! :)

  5. It sounds really really sad. Like My Sister's Keeper. Acutally, it kinda sounds like that. But anyway, as sad as it sounds, it also sounds like a nice story. :)