A YA Novel About Dealing with the Horrors of Cancer
“People would think that living with a sibling with cancer ... would be tough. Drama at every corner, never getting a break from the constant trauma and stress and overall ‘my-life-sucksitude.’ But if anyone could believe it, it wasn’t like that at all.”Having a loved one suffer from a terminal illness isn’t as dramatic as you would think, says 14-year-old Katelyn Emerson. At least, not on a day-to-day basis. Based on the author’s own heartbreaking story, Slipping Reality chronicles the struggles of Katelyn Emerson, a 14-year-old girl whose brother is dying from cancer. She sees her life as a “purgatory”. Nothing ever changes. For the last three years, her brother’s condition has been unpleasant but endurable, so she invents two imaginary friends to keep her company: Tristan, a sage father-figure, and Cedric, his adopted son who serves as her love interest. As the weeks pass, she shrinks away from her life and deeper into the shelter of her inner world. But when Matthew’s condition takes a sudden turn for the worse, she learns the consequences of living in denial. While many readers can relate to Katelyn’s frustrations about the “boredom” of suburban living, the subject is a bit sophomoric compared to terminal illness. Once we reach the half-way mark, however, our heroine is forced to realize the true horror of her situation, and that’s when the story gets really, really good. Recommended for Ages 13-15.