**REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS**
I heard about this book via recommendation from a customer at work. It sounded like my kind of book so I decided to give it a go, Needless to say, I was not disappointed!
Our Story starts with Sam, An eleven year old with big dreams, and not a lot of time left to fulfil them. Sam has Leukaemia, a form of cancer which leaves him feeling very tired and weak. This however, does not falter his optimism. Sam’s best friend is Felix, a 13 year old also suffering with a form of cancer, leaving him wheelchair-bound. The two met in hospital when Sam was first diagnosed at the age of six and have been inseparable ever since. Sam and Felix are both no longer able to attend regular school, so are home schooled together 3 times a week at each others houses. Their teacher, Mrs Willis, encourages the boys to have fun and use their imaginations, rather than worrying too much about the academic side of things as she knows their illnesses are terminal. Sam and Felix try to make light of their situation, they openly talk about the inevitability of dying and enjoy making up stories of how great it would be if they could find a cure. This, along with encouragement from Mrs Willis, inspires Sam to write a book about himself, his illness and his ever sincere questions in which even the reader will want the answers to. The book acts as a journal for Sam and eventually a bucket list. He and Felix set out to tick off Sam’s bucket list one by one, including:
Going up the down escalator, kissing a girl, being a teenager and flying an airship (blimp).
Over time, both Sam and Felix’s health begins to deteriorate. Sam, who continues to write his book, starts to feel more and more tired, and things change drastically for both of them when Felix takes a turn for the worst.
The loss of his best and only friend knocks Sam’s optimism and he slowly begins to lose hope. His drugs are no longer working and he has lost the one person who understood what it feels like to have cancer. Sam makes the difficult decision to stop his medication as he embraces the inevitability of dying. The doctors give him between two weeks and two months to live, which encourages Sam to tick off the last few things on his bucket list. including something Sam never thought was really possible.
I found this story uplifting and heartbreaking at the same time and finished the book with a new appreciation for the little things in life, and enjoying each and every moment. I was quite emotional upon reaching the last page and I know this book will stay with me for a lifetime. Sam was such a lovely character whose sincere honesty grabbed hold of my heart. I really didn’t want to stop reading until I had finished, but work and sleep got in the way! I will definitely re-read this book in the future and would recommend that you read it too.
A beautifully written novel with loveable characters and a painfully honest view of a harsh and unfortunate reality of life.
Thank-you Sally Nicholls, you have written a gem of a book!
Buy It Here