Invincible by Amy Reed
Published by Katherine Tegan Books – April 28, 2015
In Amy Reed’s latest heart-wrenching contemporary novel, we meet Evie, who dreams of the cheerleading moves she used to do, dates the school’s hottest jock, and is loved by her family. Now Evie is Cancer Girl, and her best friends Stella and Caleb are also fighting cancer. The contrast between Evie and Stella is spectacular, and reader’s will love being in on their powerful friendship. But then Stella gets sicker, and Evie, miraculously and mere weeks from potential death, gets better.
While her family and friends are overjoyed that Evie mysteriously recovers from cancer, she is still coping with loss and the dramatic changes that she has undergone during her time in the hospital. Evie isn’t the same girl she was a year ago. That girl doesn’t exist anymore, except in other people’s memories. And the people around her are taking it just as hard as she is.
That’s when Evie discovers that recovery can be the hardest part of an illness.
“Every since I got sick, all I’ve done is think about how everyone else is feeling.”
Having to face her family’s expectations and those of her classmates and teachers quickly becomes too much for Evie. How can they expect her to just become exactly who she was before the cancer? With everyone expecting the impossible, Evie finds it harder and harder to keep up with everyday life.
She meets a new friend, Marcus, and they start dating, which becomes the highlight of Evie’s days. Evie’s highs become very high, while her lows are depressingly low.
“I’m not the girl they remember. I’m not anyone they know.”
What I loved: This is not THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. There is no bright side to things, despite Evie’s fantastic recovery. Evie finds it impossible to cope with her new life – the life that she never expected to have. The expectations of everyone around her – that life should just go right back to “normal” and Evie should go back to being the good little cheerleader she always was – are enough to send her off the deep edge and into some serious trouble. This is not a feel-good chick lit contemporary romance. This is a serious, intense, painful story about the power of addiction and the changes that severe illness can have on an entire family.
What I wanted more of: Evie’s parents seemed surprisingly neglectful. I understand that they are representative of some parents, especially those who aren’t used to their good girl going bad, but they really dropped the ball. Things escalate quickly with Evie once she starts getting into trouble, and I just expected her parents to enforce some consequences and punishments sooner.
“Is this what nice is? Letting people think things that aren’t true just to avoid hurting their feelings? Being nice is dishonest.”
For fans of Ellen Hopkins and Laurie Halse Anderson, INVINCIBLE is a powerful story about a girl who makes the wrong choices and suffers for her mistakes.