Shay has had a rare blood disorder since she was born. In fact, her mother married one of Shay’s doctors, Martin, who left his world-renowned leukemia research to try and figure out exactly what the disorder is and how to cure it. When she turns seventeen, Martin begins to give her new blood transfusions that make her feel the strongest she has ever felt. But she also has odd visions where she sees through the eyes of a vampire.(Synopsis from Goodreads)
Shay has always been known as "The Sick Girl". She doesn't attend school on a regular basis and her best friend Olivia is like her mother at school, constantly hovering and checking on her to see if she's okay. But when Shay starts these new treatments, she starts to get short lived bursts of strength and she tests them to the limits. Much to Olivia's disapproval. She also has visions of someone else's life and lives through him feeling his emotions and even moving with his body movements while she gets the transfusions. Her stepfather monitors her progress, with a reserved excitement about it. She only journals her dreams, she just thinks they are a weird side effect of the transfusion. She tells no one.
Shay is a little nonchalant about dying, but after seventeen years of knowing she's going to die, I guess she has a right to be. She takes a lot of risks when she's got the chance to, but again she's got the right to do that. Her mother is nothing more than a hovering worrier, though she does put her foot down about another transfusion that sets Shay off. Shay knows nothing about her father except he deserted them and her mother hates him. The only thing she has of him is a locket and possibly this blood disorder she's dying with.
Martin, her stepfather is nothing more really than a doctor, with slightly more concern. He doesn't seem loving at all. Olivia, frankly, seems like a pain in the ass, and a duplicate mother. I'd probably ditch her if she were my friend.
But one night, Shay gets in a fight with her mother over getting another transfusion (Shay wants it) and then her stepfather and her mother fight over it and Shay, in a fit of rebellion, sneaks out of the house and her life changes forever. She discovers things that horrify her and make her deliriously happy. After all, without her transfusions, she figures she'll die in less than a week and so she wants to live. And that she does. I can't say anymore without spoiling it for you, but I'll say the book is divided into two parts, Dreams and Reality. And, there is a huge cliffhanger. I can't wait for the next book to come out in early September. I hope the date gets moved up. I would stand in line for this one, it's that good. I got tired of this type of story for a while, but I'm back baby! I totally recommend this one. It was slow to start with, but towards the end of Dreams it picks up the pace and I could hardly believe it was over.
The writing is simple and flows easily. No real thought provoking ideas. Except maybe don't squander the life you have. Shay skips the drugs her friends do because she's "high on life." It's not an anti- drug message or anything, just that she's so happy to feel good she doesn't want to cloud her mind with drugs. There is a lot of emotion and feeling in the second part of the book and maybe some understated messages there. But it's not hit you over the head kind of stuff. You can read the book purely for enjoyment as I did and then, when you write a review, as I'm doing, you might think about it. I just can't say anymore about the second half. I can't even give it a rating. Read it for yourself and decide. I really loved it!
Heather in Sandwich