Friday, January 6, 2012

Review: The Running Dream

The Running Dream

Author: Wendelin Van Draanen
Pages: 332
Publisher: Knopf
Source: Library
Synopsis: Jessica thinks her life is over when she loses a leg in a car accident. She's not comforted by the news that she'll be able to walk with the help of a prosthetic leg. Who cares about walking when you live to run? 

 As she struggles to cope with crutches and a first cyborg-like prosthetic, Jessica feels oddly both in the spotlight and invisible. People who don't know what to say, act like she's not there. Which she could handle better if she weren't now keenly aware that she'd done the same thing herself to a girl with CP named Rosa. A girl who is going to tutor her through all the math she's missed. A girl who sees right into the heart of her. 

 With the support of family, friends, a coach, and her track teammates, Jessica may actually be able to run again. But that's not enough for her now. She doesn't just want to cross finish lines herself—she wants to take Rosa with her.

Buy the Book (The Book Depository/Amazon)

The Running Dream is an incredible, inspirational read. My first thought after the initial shock of awesome I got after finishing the book was why haven't more people read this book? I haven't seen it getting the attention it deserves.

After one of the best points in Jessica's life, the future looks good until tragedy strikes and Jessica loses a limb. Jessica is a runner so losing one her feet is like a musician losing their sense of sound. It's plain awful. I felt for Jessica as she tried to come to terms with what was happening. Her emotions and feelings were so real. There were times where she was acting angrily towards other people and I understood that completely. Jessica's reaction were so true that I instantly loved and supported her character. Her journey was a great one.

It wasn't just Jessica's character that was awesome though. Every single character had depth and made me smile in a way. Her mom, her best friend, her sister, her dad, they all were real relationships that I couldn't help but read about.

The Running Dream was split up into 5 parts. Inside the parts there were chapters that ranged from one page to seven or eight pages. I loved this format because the prose was so powerful and raw. The writing was engaging and conveyed the emotion so beautifully. I never looked at the page count because I was so invested in the story I didn't even care about the pages.

The story itself is the kind of story that first makes you appreciate what you have and second make you want to do something important. Anything. Jessica succeeded but with the help of her friends and family, and community. They stood by her and it was just moving to see all they did. I know this happens every day though. People lose limbs, get disabilities or gain them early on. These people are fighters. Survivors. They have my eternal admiration.

Overall I'm very happy with this book. Wendelin Van Draanen has written an enchanting and powerful story so I recommend you read it. 4.5 stars.

**** & 1/2 *

1 comment:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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