Friends. FRIENDS. I have been reading some EXCELLENT books these days! I’ve been a little pickier in choosing what I’m going to read, so that probably helps. But in any case, this was AMAZING and I’m so tickled that I got to read it!
In Sick Kids in Love, Isabel is the writer behind the popular advice column in her private school’s newspaper, Sick Girl Wants to Know. She’s been sick for as long as she can remember, even though she doesn’t look it most of the time. She’s got rheumatoid arthritis, and she gets monthly infusions for it, to try to deal with the swelling and the pain. And she has one rule – she doesn’t date. Ever. No exceptions.
Well. No exceptions until Sasha.
Isabel met Sasha at one of her infusions. He was getting an infusion as well, because he’s also sick. Which means his GETS IT. He gets what it’s like to be sick a lot, to have to cancel plans, to want to spend an entire “date” napping. Sasha has a different invisible, chronic illness called Gaucher’s, and he quickly becomes the person Isabel prefers to spend time with, outside of her healthy friends at school. Because he gets it more than anyone. Even more than her doctor dad.
Sasha might just be worth breaking her rules for.
3 Things I Loved
- Isabel. Oh, wow, Isabel was an intensely relatable main character. She’s funny and smart and realistic about her condition. High school is rough enough as it is, and dealing with a chronic illness at the same time is depicted remarkably through Isabel’s eyes in this book.
- Sasha. Talk about someone’s foil. Where Isabel is realistic and possibly a little jaded, Sasha is optimistic and enthusiastic about just about everything. But because they are deeply connected by chronic illness, they balance each other out wonderfully. Plus, Sasha is just a lovely love interest.
- Queens. I’ve spent a decent amount of time in New York City with a former job that I had, but I’ve never even been to Queens. This book made it completely come alive for me. Now I want to visit intensely (and immediately!).
This book was #ownvoices. This book was diverse in so many ways (Jewish MC! Queer friends! to name two examples). This book featured chronic illness (!!) in a way that didn’t show anyone DYING AT THE END OMG quit killing off all the sick book characters, good grief! I didn’t find anything problematic here.
A slight dislike was Isabel’s dad’s character. I have a pet peeve about young adult fiction where adults are rarely present, which just isn’t realistic or fair. It was discussed and handled fairly well in this particular book, but it still bothers me as a premise. (It’s even a premise I’ve used, and I hate myself for it sometimes.)
A reminder of the rating scale:
- Red = DNF, I hated everything
- Orange = Ugh, no thank you
- Yellow = I mean, I’ve read worse, but there were problems
- Green = This was good!
- Blue = Oh my gosh, I loved this book!
- Purple = This is the unicorn of books and I will be rereading it until the binding falls apart and EVERYONE should be reading it!
I’ve been giving out a lot of high ratings lately, and I’m completely okay with it. Another high rated book for the win! I’m giving Sick Kids in Love a BLUE rating. Please go read it!
Thank you oh, so very much to the publisher and NetGalley for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I’m a little late with the review, but I’m here and I’m thankful!