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Howdy YAL!

I used to be the blogger called YAL Book Briefs, but I grew bored of the handle and changed my name to Howdy YAL. I also respond to MJ. I like to read, write, eat truffles, and watch bad Lifetime movies. 

Radiate - Marley Gibson Really deserves 3.5 stars See Full Review Here: http://yalbookbriefs.blogspot.com/2012/04/radiate-marley-gibson.htmlNote, I received a free copy via Net Galley. This did not affect my review or feelings of the book. I liked a lot of things about this book. I thought it had a great message. Having a positive attitude is probably the best and in some cases the only way to fight cancer (besides having a kick ass oncologist) and Haley definitely has it. Occasionally though Hayley come off a bit Pollyanna-ish and makes the reader want her to just let it all out. Even with the most positive of attitudes there are days you're just going to feel like shit with cancer and just need to have a pity party. Also I thought the subplots, particularly with Hayley's friend's uncle and her family's finances and sister stuck out like a sore thumb. Often plot points would be dropped for fifty or so pages before being picked up again. Best Feature: Cancer awareness. I love the fact that the book brings up the topic of cancer awareness. It doesn't try to sugar coat how much cancer sucks either. It gets into the nitty gritty of what sort of shit someone has to experience when fighting this awful disease. And I commend Marley for that. Anyone who has had or has had a love one or friend that has suffered through this disease knows it's not like it is on television. It's like running one awful never ending marathon through hell. And I think Marley did an excellent job showing Hayley's struggle with her disease and her recovery. Worse Feature: Fake: Sometimes the writing just came off fake. I hate to say this. I know this book was based on a true story, but parts of the book sound force. Take Hayley for instance. I loved her for the most part. But she should've been allowed to mope a little more than she did. A positive attitude is great, but she had cancer. She should be expected to yell a little bit without her mom instantly reprimanding her. If I was Haley's mom I would've bought her a giant tub of Snickers Ice Cream or whatever she could stuff down without getting sick and let her cry it out for as long as she wanted. Besides not allowing Hayley some much needed wallowing time, often the dialogue seemed like it was trying to hard to sound teen like which is a shame because there were parts of the book where the voice was so authentic. I just wanted that voice all the time. Appropriateness: This book is very tame. I actually would recommend teens to read it because of the issues it talks about. There are a few party scenes and some kissing, but that's about it.