Book Review: Alive, Chandler Baker (2015)

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

The heart wants what the heart wants…

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through NetGalley.)

I don’t know about my old heart, but this one is anything but gold.

Doesn’t high school come with enough rejection that I shouldn’t need to worry about my immune system rejecting my organs, too?

Stella Cross was just fifteen years old when her life – or life as she knew it – ended. Poised on the board during a swim meet, Stella took a tumble instead of a dive. After the fainting spell, she was rushed to the hospital, subjected to a battery of tests, and handed down a diagnosis: cardiomyopathy. No matter how long she survived, Stella would never swim again.

Bye bye, Stanford scholarship. Hello, Replacement Child.

After two years of languishing on the transplant list, Stella finally has a second chance at life. Unfortunately, this new heart comes with its own world of hurt: it aches and throbs and cries its lament at all hours of the day and night – with the crescendo arriving every evening at 5:08 on the dot. (No word on whether the time shifts to 4:08 P.M. with the end of Daylight Savings Time.) At five-oh-eight Stella is wracked with a pain so acute that it’s temporarily crippling, and often leaves her spent and traumatized. The pain proves such a constant that sometimes she only notices it in its absence.

(More below the fold…)