Positively Beautiful by Wendy Mills
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Age Group: Young Adult
Summary: Jodi Picoult for teens meets Lurlene McDaniel. Beautiful written, beautifully moving, a vivid contemporary story of a girl’s unusual but terrible dilemma - and the love story that springs from it.
16-year-old Erin is a smart if slightly dorky teenager, her life taken up with her best friend Trina, her major crush on smoky-eyed, unattainable Michael, and fending off Faith, the vision of perfection who’s somehow always had the knife in for Erin. Her dad, a pilot, died when she was very young, but Erin and her mom are just fine on their own.
Then everything changes forever one day after school when Erin’s mom announces she has breast cancer. And there’s even worse news to come. Horrified, Erin discovers that her grandmother’s death from cancer is almost certainly linked, the common denominator a rare gene mutation that makes cancer almost inevitable. And if two generations of women in the family had this mutation, what does that mean for Erin? The chances she’s inherited it are frighteningly high. Would it be better to know now and have major preemptive surgery or spend as much life as she has left in blissful ignorance?
As Erin grapples with her terrible dilemma, her life starts to spiral downwards, alleviated only by the flying lessons she starts taking with grumpy Stew and his little yellow plane, Tweetie Bird. Up in the sky, following in her dad’s footsteps, Erin finds freedom chasing the horizon. Down on the ground it’s a different story, and facing betrayal from Trina, humiliation from Faith, and a world of disappointment with Michael, Erin knows she must discover the truth about herself. Sure enough, she’s positive for the gene that’s slowly killing her mom.
Suddenly, Erin’s life has turned into a nightmare, and the only person she can truly talk to is a girl called Ashley who she meets online. But when, in a moment of madness, Erin flies away with Tweetie Pie to find her new friend, she finds herself on a journey that will take her through not only shock and despair - but ultimately to a new understanding of the true meaning of beauty, meaning, and love.
My Thoughts: This was a very emotional roller coaster!
We are introduced to Erin who is just your normal average teenager. She’s a bit on the shy quiet type. She has a best friend named Trina. Trina is the loud one. She has her own sense of style. Erin’s dad passed away when she was young so its always just been her and her mother. Well, Erin’s mom gets diagnosed with breast cancer. This creates a whirlwind of emotion for both Erin and her mother. And of course, everyone surrounding them.
Its a long battle and Erin wants to be there for her mom. But she also is worried she’ll have the same gene that causes breast cancer. Erin’s too young to have to think about this.
Trina also sets up Erin with a boy named Michael. Erin’s had a bit of a crush on him for a while. Well, a lot of drama happens there. Erin gets herself in a pickle. I never really liked Michael very much. He just didn’t stick with me or something.
Erin also meets a girl online named Ashley who has the gene. Erin spends a lot of her time emailing Ashley telling her about her feelings and her thoughts. They form a pretty nice friendship over emails and texts.
I really liked that angle and what happened. I don’t want to say much but I loved that part of the story!
Even though Erin did like Michael I liked the other guy that comes into her life later on. He was sweet and caring and he understood her.
And I loved the flying aspect of this! I loved learning about Erin flying and her lessons.
I really enjoyed this book even though I did cry a little bit. It was heartbreaking to read about but also something all girls should know a little bit about.
Overall: Emotional story! I loved the characters and the character development. I also liked the general plot even though it was scary but I haven’t read too many YA books about breast cancer so this was a very emotional read. Loved Erin as a character! She was flawed but normal.
Cover: I really like it! I like the colors and it just works!
What I’d Give It: