Reviewed by: Lynne Pearson
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. I was unaware that this is the fourth book in the “Maddie Chronicles” series; that being said, I think it reads quite well as a stand-alone novel.
Maddie is in her senior year of high school. That time when actions need to be taken, decisions need to be made, especially when it is expected that you will be accepted by the best colleges. But Maddie is frozen, she cannot take action, cannot make a decision. She is filled with longing for the one who broke her heart, and fear that her sister will relapse. When she learns that cancer has returned to her beloved Bubbie, she has a complete meltdown.
I liked the exploration of mental illness, the acknowledgement that anxiety attacks are common, the blend of medicines and holistic practices that are part of the healing process. Like most people, Maddie hides a lot, not wanting the world to know about her, a world that does not treat kindly those who deal with mental illness.
I liked the explanation of cancer, cancer treatments, and the side-effects of cancer. And I liked the helplessness that loved ones feel when someone goes through cancer.
There were a few things that I found issue with. I felt that the author was packing too many things into one book, and characters and plotlines fell by the wayside.
At the beginning of the novel, Maddie is writing a thinly disguised book, about her and Justin. It thoroughly engulfs her, yet seems to peter away in importance as the novel progresses.
Bubbie’s best friend Joyce seems to disappear completely when Tony arrives on the scene.
I feel that Hannah R. Goodman knows her audience. She treats them with respect, educating and entertaining at the same time. I would recommend this book to readers of young adult novels.