Blurb from Goodreads
Isabel has one rule: no dating.
–for the other person.
She’s got issues. She’s got secrets. She’s got rheumatoid arthritis.
But then she meets another sick kid.
He’s got a chronic illness Isabel’s never heard of, something she can’t even pronounce. He understands what it means to be sick. He understands her more than her healthy friends. He understands her more than her own father who’s a doctor.
He’s gorgeous, fun, and foul-mouthed. And totally into her.
Isabel has one rule: no dating.
It’s never felt better–
–to consider breaking that rule for him.
I feel seen.
And in the best possible sense.
This is own voices for chronic illness rep and it is seriously brilliant.
Not only is this story utterly adorable and will fulfil any need you have in your life for a cute and fluffy story…
But it’s also authentic. I didn’t even know that was truly possible before this book.
- Sick kids in love.
- Sick kids being cute and adorable while being real and honest.
- Sick kids taking ownership of their identity.
- Sick kids being allowed to be sick kids and not always having to be seen to be brave or be battling.
- Sick kids just living their best lives while being sick.
- Sick kids being funny.
- Sick kids being sad.
- Sick kids not having all the answers.
- Sick kids being friends with other sick kids.
- Sick kids being friends with healthy kids.
- Sick kids choosing to go out and use up all their energy and thusly pay for it with more pain and fatigue the next day…and/or days after.
- Sick kids who don’t have to die to inspire the able bodied.
- Sick kids who doubt their sicknesses.
- Sick kids who question their pain tolerance.
- Sick kids who know their bodies and illnesses better than anyone else.
- Sick kids who fight for the right to be seen in a world full of invisible illnesses.
- Sick kids who dare to question if it’s better to look sick or look like everyone else.
- Sick kids who get to fall in love.
- Sick kids who get to prove that everyone is deserving of love and that loving someone sick is not a good deed. It is not one person caring for the other in the manner of one tending to the other’s health. It is simply just love.
I am sick. Have been for the majority of my life. My life is about management and not cure.
- I am sick and that is okay. You don’t have to pity me or be inspired by me. I am just sick. That is my normal. I still live a good life.
- I live with pain, with fatigue, with weakened immunity…
- But I also live with humour, with passions, with interests, with hopes, with dreams.
- I live with medications, medical aids, frequent trips to hospital.
- I require assistance for simple tasks but also have a firm grip on my independence.
- I am sick and I am okay with being sick. I have made my peace with it.
- I am sick and some days I am not okay with being sick. Some days there is no peace and that is okay too.
- I am sick; it defines who I am and how I have to live.
- I am sick but it does not completely define me.
- I am a glorious medley of emotions and feelings, of hopes and dreams and am no different to anyone else.
This book is mostly about society making its peace with those of us who are sick. This book shows how ableist well-intentioned, able-bodied people can be and how those of us who are sick come up against ableism at every corner.
The book uses humour and romance to explore what it means to be sick through the eyes of Ibby (Isabel) who has rheumatoid arthritis. She meets a fellow sick kid, Sasha, who has Gaucher’s disease.
And they hit it off…
And what follows is the sweetest love story ever.
It’s sensitive. It’s soft. It happens gently but in the most majestic of ways.
And because of her relationship with Sasha and their kinship in knowing what it means to be sick, Ibby’s eyes are opened to another way of thinking.
Or not really that she thinks differently.
She just gains more courage and takes a stronger foothold into her own personhood. She begins to speak out about ableist attitudes that her friends and family have…they don’t mean to be ableist but best intentions don’t ultimately excuse the ignorant.
I think I highlighted about fifty percent of this novel on my kindle. I just kept going yes!! I think this way. I have felt like that. Friends have said this to me etc etc.
But what’s truly great is this book doesn’t paint all chronic illnesses with the one brush. It creates this sick person narrative that lets the reader know that those of us with chronic illness each experience life differently. That we are affected in a variety of ways.
The book explores familial relationships between healthy and sick. It references the experiences of sick people with doctors, with not being taken seriously…a HUGE issue if you’re a teen girl with an invisible illness as I can attest to.
If you want a sugary sweet romance with a hefty dollop of wit and a realistic view of how it feels to have a long term chronic illness then look no further than this brilliant book.