Both Sides Now (Readers Circle (Prebound))

Ruth Pennebaker

Published by Topeka Bindery
ISBN 10: 0613723295 / ISBN 13: 9780613723299
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Very Good: Cover and pages show some wear from reading and storage. May have light creases on the cover and binding. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: Liza thinks she and her mother, Rebecca, are as different as a mother and daughter can be. Liza, a successful high school junior, works hard at keeping her life under control while maintaining a positive outlook.

Rebecca, who gave up writing after her book was rejected, recently completed grueling treatment for breast cancer. When tests reveal that more painful treatments are needed, it seems to Liza that Rebecca has given up.

As the control of Liza’s once predictable life unravels, she sees her mother’s courage and strength in a whole new light. Perhaps they can share the pain of the unknown together.

Review: Fifteen-year-old Liza is the antithesis of the stereotypical teenager. Buttoned-down and straight-laced, Liza thinks carefully before she speaks, jogs regularly, and doesn't waste her valuable time on tantrums or tears. "If you don't plan, you'll get taken by surprise, and I don't want that to happen to me. I want to plan for everything so that I can have a good, successful life." But the one thing that Liza could never have planned on was her mother Rebecca getting breast cancer. With her mom's diagnosis, Liza is abruptly launched into a world without rules or meaning. Her characteristic sense of responsibility shot, Liza flunks driver's ed, forgets to fact check an important school newspaper article, and gets drunk for the first time. Suddenly, she begins to understand how her mother must feel, having to take life as it comes, and not being able to control every outcome. "Maybe I never understood anything.... Everything I knew--about Mom and Dad, about myself... has been wrong. It makes me feel stupid for the first time in my life. I'm not as smart as I thought I was. That's clear."

Young-adult author Ruth Pennebaker has penned her best book to date. Writing in a way that is wholly accessible to teens, her characterization of Liza is complex and solid. Though this is mainly Liza's story, a smattering of paragraphs are written in Rebecca's voice, giving the novel an added bittersweet quality--especially when the reader discovers that Pennebaker herself is a cancer survivor. Both Sides Now is a commendable addition to a small group of titles recently published about mothers, daughters, and cancer that includes Joan Abelove's Saying It Out Loud and Karin Cook's What Girls Learn. (Ages 12 to 18) --Jennifer Hubert

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Both Sides Now (Readers Circle (Prebound))
Publisher: Topeka Bindery
Binding: School & Library Binding
Book Condition: VERY GOOD

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