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While most seniors at her high school are worrying about prom and final exams, seventeen-year-old Sam is desperately trying to save her best friend Jesse's life. He has a rare, treatment-resistant form of cancer, and his odds of survival aren't good, and he may have only ten months left to live. Through every bit of his pain and anguish, Sam has been by his side--through the grueling, aggressive treatments and their awful aftermath, to sleeping in his room at night when he's afraid to be alone. Best friends and neighbors since preschool, Jesse and Sam's friendship is changing--now they're falling in love, and the bond between them grows stronger even as Jesse is weakens. Will they have a happy ending...or will their story end in heartbreak?
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Selene Castrovilla is the award-winning author of Saved by the Music, a young adult novel published by WestSide Books. She is also the author of By the Sword and Upon Secrecy, both historical children's books. She always knew she was a writer, but some of her subjects have come as a surprise. Selene holds an MFA in creative writing from New School University and a BA in English from New York University. She lives on Long Island with her two sons.From School Library Journal:
Gr 9 Up–Jess should be enjoying his senior year of high school as class president, baseball star, and newspaper editor. Instead, he faces grim survival odds in his battle with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Narrator Sam, the girl next door in their Manhattan building, is his best friend and constant companion. She seduces him so that he won't die a virgin, and they fall in love and cling to each moment together. Sam's devotion to Jess wreaks havoc on the rest of her life. She isolates herself from other friends, ditches school to accompany him to the hospital, and lets her grades plummet. When she talks Jess into trying an experimental treatment, his health briefly improves and he begins spending more time with his buddies and with an ex-girlfriend, which sparks Sam's intense jealousy. As if to prove his love, Jess proposes to Sam and, after bringing his mother around to the idea, the teens marry. Though there is never much hope for a happy ending, they learn some poignant lessons about faith, acceptance, and love. A subplot about Sam's grief for her father, who died on 9/11, adds depth to her character, but Jess's cold mother is much less believable and their wise housekeeper seems stereotypical. Gayle Forman's If I Stay (Dutton, 2009) and Lurlene McDaniel's Breathless (Delacorte, 2009) offer more nuanced depictions of both grief and illness, but this novel will hook reluctant readers with its emotional intensity and quick pacing.–Amy Pickett, Ridley High School, Folsom, PA. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Book Description Westside Books June 2010, 2010. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. Brand new copy. Signed by author on Title Page. Signed By Author. Seller Inventory # 5200
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