Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Book Review: Forever Changes

Forever Changes by Brendan Halpin. (Grades 9+)

Brianna's starting her senior year of high school. She's taking AP calculus and her dad really wants her to apply to MIT. Brianna thinks she could probably get in - math has always made sense to her in a way that the real world often does not. But even though her entire class is abuzz with college talk, Brianna's not sure she wants to apply. Brianna has cystic fibrosis. She's 18 years old. She knows that she probably will not live to see her college graduation. Forever Changes is about a girl coming to terms with not only her own mortality but her own infinity.

I have been a big fan of Brendan Halpin since I read his Alex-Award-winning book Donorboy. He manages to write about interesting situations with interesting characters and I love that many of his books feature strong father figures. Forever Changes is no exception and one of my favorite things about this book is the strong relationship Brianna has with her dad.

Okay, in high school I was not the biggest fan of math. But math plays an important role in this novel. It's through discussions with her eccentric math teacher that Brianna begins to grasp her own place in the universe. Halpin writes about math in a way that even I can think of it as beautiful. And I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but prime numbers dot the cover of the book. I love, love, love that.

It's sad. Brianna has a terminal illness, so this is no surprise. Halpin has the talent of creating characters that are relatable and real. So, yeah. It's sad.

I loved it. I'd hand it to any teen looking for tearjerkers deeper than Lurlene MacDaniel. Hand it to fans of Before I Die. Hand it to teens who are pondering their futures. And then hand them Brendan Halpin's other books, too.

Check out Brendan Halpin's website: Girl in a Cage.