Genre/Age: Romance, YA
Summary: Alison has always wanted to fall in love, and now she has, with Sam Cody. Just as their romance begins to blossom, she discovers that her best friend, Isaballa, likes him too. She also finds out that Izzy is dying of cancer. To make Izzy’s last days her happiest, Alison decides she and Sam must hide their love, and convinces Sam to date Izzy instead, for the time being. Sam reluctantly agrees, and all seems well until he tells Alison he is falling in love with Izzy too. This was never the plan, and now Alison may lose everything: her best friend, and the guy she loves.
My Thoughts: This book was originally published in 1995 by Katherine Applegate (of Animorphs fame) and had one of those cheesy 90’s teen romance covers. Luckily, it was reprinted a few years ago, and the striking new cover caught my eye when I was doing returns at my library. All in all, I’m glad I decided to pick it up. This was a really quick read that I read in one day, and quite short, at 156 pages. Mostly, I thought it was a really sweet story about friendship and the lengths to which we would go for those we love the most in life. This really appealed to me as I am a total sucker for books about female friendships. And while I thought Alison was noble and compassionate, sometimes I was just plain frustrated: one, because she was lying to her best friend and two, because she loved Sam, he loved her, and it was sad to watch that forced into disintegration. While I felt heartbroken for Izzy and her terminal illness, it was kind of upsetting when he told Alison he was now in love with Izzy. I did not want Izzy to die, but you know it’s going to happen, so it seems that a lot of the story is waiting for the death in order to see what would become of Sam and Alison, once he can stop “pretending” to love Izzy.
I did like this story, despite being frustrated by it at times (which I think is only natural and possibly intended), and only wish it had been longer so that it could have been developed even further. For instance, I would have liked to see the relationship through Izzy and Sam’s perspective, instead of solely through Alison’s, so that we could have seen what their “pretend” relationship was really like.
My Rating: 3.5/5