Imagine if you were in a tragic accident – unable to move or speak but otherwise cognizant of everything around you. Imagine hearing doctors deciding your fate without you having a voice in the outcome.
Alex is a 16-year-old girl who finds herself in that exact situation in Both Sides, a novel that begins when – while on a class field trip – Alex and another girl, Sandra, end up in a horrible accident.
If the doctors act quickly, they may be able to save one body…and one brain. Amid the confusion and uncertainty, we hear everything that’s going on in Alex’s mind – from her initial disbelief to her quips about the absurdity of it all to her realization that she may have to go through the rest of her life living in the body of a girl she couldn’t stand. If she survives.
Both Sides tackles these issues and more. Within its pages every reader will find her own answers and discover, in the end, a story of courage and a girl who never before existed.
Award-winning author Paul E. Stawski captures the minute-by-minute struggles of a 16-year-old girl whose world is suddenly turned upside down in Both Sides. Radical brain surgery is the only option. Time is running out and Alex’s mind is racing: will she still be the same person when she comes out on the other side?
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About the Author
Paul E. Stawski won the Highlights for Children fiction contest for his short story, Code Red, a science-fiction story about a little girl who has to make a very grown-up decision. As a child, Paul was the subject of Newbery-Award winning author Lois Lenski’s We Live in the North. Then, as an adult, he taught at an all-girls’ high school before becoming a full-time writer. Both Sides is his first novel, he is currently writing the second book in the Both Sides series, Taking Sides due to be released January 2014. He lives in Troy, Michigan, with his wife and two cats.
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Taking Sides is the second book in the Both Sides series. In BOTH SIDES, Alex grappled with the idea of her brain being transplanted into Sandra’s brain-dead body. In TAKING SIDES, she struggles with her new reality, starting with the ride home from the hospital and the ensuing media circus. She’s now a celebrity who literally comes face-to-face with her new identity every time she looks in the mirror – and every time someone else looks at her. How will her friends react? How will Sandra’s? And what about their classmates and their parents? With everyone taking sides, Alex begins to wonder: is anyone on her side?
I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.
My Thoughts …
Are you familiar with the expression “you read my mind”? In this book you do just that …
I was immediately drawn into Alex’s mind. I kept thinking, wow … how would I feel if I were in this situation, would I react any differently? How scary it would be to know what is going on, but not be able to communicate in any way except quickening or slowing your heart rate.
I think the author was pretty spot-on in his understanding and depiction of a teenage girl’s rollercoaster of emotions. I liked the way he introduced Alex as fairly self-centered and then showed her baby steps of growth toward maturity by her starting to see the situation from Sandra’s point of view.
I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the next book in the series, “Taking Sides”.