2011 · September

If I Die Young by Talia Jager

“You’ve been tired a lot,” she commented. I nodded agreeing with her. “Caelyn, are you pregnant?”

“What? No!” I was horrified that she’d even think that.

“Okay, just checking. You’d tell me if you were?”

“Of course!”

Rating: 4 stars

When Caelyn Noel was diagnosed with asthma five years ago, it put a damper on things. Now, she’s sixteen and things are finally going her way. She has loving parents, the best friend ever, and the boy she has had a crush on since elementary school has finally noticed her. Then, she collapses in school one day. To her horror, she finds out her heart is failing and she must have a heart transplant to live. Caelyn struggles with her fear of dying and worries of having someone else’s heart.

My Review:

This is a wonderful teen read! It focuses a lot on love, death and just trying to have some hope.

I basically cried through most of this book! Caelyn’s story is tragic and one that stayed with me for days. This would have to be every parent’s worst nightmare, but I appreciated the fact that the story was from Caelyn’s perspective. It kept the reader attuned with the thoughts and feelings of the actual patient instead of a loved one.

The relationship between Caelyn and her best friend, Lindsay was so real. Every one of us has either had a relationship like that or at least wanted one. It was agonizing reading while knowing exactly what was going through Lindsay’s mind.

“Okay, okay.” She took my hand again. “Caelyn, you are my best friend. I have no plans on letting you die. But, if you do….,” She choked back tears. “If you do, I will always remember you. You will forever be a part of me. I love you too.”

When Austin arrived, he was like a breath of fresh air! I really adore his character. He brought the light back into Caelyn’s eyes and made her happy again.

There is a slight twist to the story that the reader finds out in the end. It was kind of predictable and I knew that was how the ending would go, but I loved reading about it anyway.

I would like to highly recommend reading this book. It will forever be one of my favorites. Thank you to Talia Jager for the copy for this review and giving me a little insight to the feelings of a very ill adolescent. It was interesting to see inside Caelyn’s head and share her fears right alongside her.

Death was definitely hovering now. It had moved in slow, but strong, waiting for the right time to strike.



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