Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Sick Kids in Love

Sick Kids in Love 
by Hannah Moskowitz
Entangled Teen, 2019. 317 pages. Young Adult

Isabel is sick. But she’s not the kind of sick that is obvious. She still goes to school. She volunteers at her dad’s hospital. She also writes an advice column for her school. She also just happens to have Rheumatoid Arthritis. Then she meets Sasha, a totally cute, and totally sick boy. He also has an invisible chronic illness, Gaucher disease. He seems to understand her better than her healthy friends. He gets it when she has to cancel plans; he understands the feeling of being different. Isabel is totally into Sasha. The only problem is that she has this rule. This no dating rule. She made it before she met Sasha. She made it to protect people from herself. But now she has Sasha in her life and breaking her one rule seems more than possible, it seems inevitable.

This book has a cute love story, but it is so much more than that. It has great representation. Sasha and Isabel have invisible illnesses, but they are characterized as more than just their physical and mental states. Both have deep family issues to deal with while navigating a new relationship. They also have to deal with friends who don't understand, school, and all the pressures of trying to get into a good school for college, all while dealing with chronic pain and tiredness. The issues that teens go through are tenderly portrayed without being too Mary Sue. This book is recommended as part of a growing genre of Sick Kid Lit that includes John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything, and Jesse Andrews’s Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl.


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