A heartrending but ultimately uplifting debut novel about learning to accept life’s uncertainties; a perfect fit for the current trend in contemporary realistic novels that confront issues about life, death, and love.
Seventeen-year-old Rose Levenson has a decision to make: Does she want to know how she’s going to die? Because when Rose turns eighteen, she can take the test that tells her if she carries the genetic mutation for Huntington’s disease, the degenerative condition that is slowly killing her mother.
With a fifty-fifty shot at inheriting her family’s genetic curse, Rose is skeptical about pursuing anything that presumes she’ll live to be a healthy adult-including her dream career in ballet and the possibility of falling in love. But when she meets a boy from a similarly flawed genetic pool and gets an audition for a dance scholarship across the country, Rose begins to question her carefully laid rules.
Description taken from Goodreads.
WARNING. Spoilers below, but there’s no way I would recommend this book anyway.
Up until I actually held the book in my hand, I thought there was a cake on the cover.
I know it makes no sense, but putting an upside-down skull on the cover doesn’t make much sense either. It was just something that subconsciously thought and came as a surprise when I actually held the book.
That being said, here’s the entire book summed up in one snippet:
“So go get your stupid test results! You’ve been talking about ‘taking control’ for months now.” He does the air quotes around
“taking control” like it’s a joke to him.
Rose spends a good amount of the book thinking about her test results and how ooooh Huntington’s and oooooh I could have it and oooooooh test results.
And here’s the kicker: after 335 pages of pining over the test results, Rose decides not to get them.
How does she explain this?
“I need to try to be normal for a little while.”
Which is exactly what her doctors, her dad and pretty much every single person opposed to her getting her test results has been telling her since the day she found out she could get her results.
All I can say is, Rose Levenson is one of the single dumbest, most annoying characters I have ever read. She wasted time, money, effort and stress. She went through all this trouble only to not get her test results.
I’ll admit, there were elements to this book that I enjoyed. Despite the rambling, I liked the narrative and Rose’s relationships with her family. I thought the whole Huntington’s plot with her mom was pretty neglected throughout the book and it was more the Rose show, so that fell flat, but the diversity didn’t fall flat. I hate books that have characters that are diverse in name only, but McGovern approached many issues about prejudice and conflicting points of view well. I disliked the way Rose reacted to these situations, but it could’ve been a lot worse.
Then the ending came along and voided every single thing that I enjoyed about this story. Would not recommend to anyone. 1 star.