Title & Author: Positively Beautiful by Wendy Mills
Publisher/Year: Bloomsbury USA Childrens/March 3,2015
Genres: YA Romance, YA Contemporary
Source: Around the World ARC Tours
Other Books By Author: Debut YA Novel
What This Book Is About
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.
(Summary from Goodreads)
My Thoughts on This Book
When I first received Positively Beautiful in the mail and began reading it, I questioned at first why I requested to be on an ARC tour for it. At first it didn’t seem like it was my type of book and I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to get into it. I continued reading (thank goodness) and totally loved the book. I liked how Erin was like most typical teenage girls, but at the same time she wasn’t. Erin was self conscious and faced bullying issues at school when she began to stand out. I wouldn’t say she was a “strong” female lead character at all but that is what made me enjoy her journey even more. I found Erin easy to relate to in many ways and loved how she tried to connect with her deceased father by also getting into flying. I hate flying and airplanes so when Erin began talking about taking lessons I was just thinking, “No, no, please no,” in my head over and over. Reading the parts when she was up in the air made me actually want to fly, it seemed exciting and fun.
Once Erin finds out her mom has cancer, and that she too may carry the mutated gene that gives her an 80% chance of getting breast cancer as well, she goes online to try to find some answers. When she’s online she finds a message board and posts her thoughts and feelings and receives a reply from Ashley, a girl who knows she’s a carrier of the gene. Erin and Ashley exchange emails and phone numbers and talk throughout the book. At first it was kind of strange because Erin was so open about everything going on in her life and Ashley seemed more reserved. By part 2 or 3 when Erin flies down to Florida, illegally I might add, to meet her new friend and get away from the stress at home, everything about Ashley makes sense.
Although I really enjoyed all of the book, my favorite had to be part 2 or 3. The book is broken up into four parts and I enjoyed it the most when Erin was spending her time in Florida with her new friend. It was almost a mini vacation for me as well just reading it. I loved the little island she camped out on and it almost made me think of the movie The Blue Lagoon but don’t ask why haha. This definitely turned out to be an amazing book and I am so happy I finished it and cannot wait to get my own copy when it comes out in March of 2015.