338 Pages, Grades 9+
When David’s chronic illness takes a turn for the worse, he is admitted to the hospital where he meets Jamie during her rotation as a “Smile Awhile” volunteer. David is popular, outgoing, and lives with cystic fibrosis, which he downplays to his peers. Jamie is shy, lonely, and struggles with depression that was triggered by a tragic family event. Even though David and Jamie go to the same school, they’ve never spoken before, and Jamie’s not sure that David would even talk to her if he wasn’t in the hospital.
Despite their social differences, the two can’t help but bond. David likes that Jamie doesn’t seem to react the way others do about his illness, and appreciates that he can be honest about it without scaring her off. Jamie likes the feeling she gets from helping David at the hospital, and takes comfort in having a friend to visit and message with. Unfortunately, as pressures mount from parents, friends, and the desire for “normal”, the two find themselves taking unnecessary risks with dire consequences.
Told in alternating narrative between the two lead characters, David and Jamie question everything they thought they knew about life, relationships, and what it means to live with limited time. This is a light romance with a heavy insight into the world of cystic fibrosis and mental health issues.
Every month the SCCLD Teen Librarians choose one book as a great read from the library's Teen collection. This is the list of the latest picks of the month.