Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Book Review: Dessert First

Ouch, this book really hurt. This book is so emotional raw I am struggling to explain the way this book made me feel. This book looks like your average sweet YA novel but it is not. It is a powerfully moving book about some of lifes hardest challeges.

With that said it wasn't my favorite book. 

Desserts First caught my attention because of the title. I mean of course I want dessert first!! I am sure at some point I read the blurb when I requested it but I don't look at it again before I read it. Well, I was surely surprised when this book was not really about food but about cancer and how our MC (and her family) deals with her brother having it.

This book had way too much going on. There was so much more than just her brother having cancer. There were other people with cancer, her crush on a friend, catfishing of a friend, an online friend who she was scared would kill herself, lots of bullying at school and dealing with school in general with all the other stuff going on. While I appreciated these tough subjects being tackled, I think it was one (maybe three) too many to properly address them.

Then our MC Kat is a wee bit abrasive. Totally get she has a really hard situation but it was almost hard to like her at times. She did start to recognize this and grow during the book which was something I loved to see. There were other characters that I did enjoy quite a bit including her  brother and her crush. Then there were characters who were awful including the mean girl bullies. Man they were rough and the bullying seemed so over the top.

This mostly sounds negative I know but honestly, I found it got better as it went on and I was pretty invested in the story. While a bit predictable I still wanted to see how it played out. And it played out with me sobbing more than once. This was a debut so while I had my issues with this I am definitely looking forward to more from this author.

This was a great story, it was much better as I got further and further invested in it. 

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Merit Press in exchange for my honest but completely unbiased review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Links to purchase: Amazon // Barnes&Noble 

Goodreads Description: 

Upbeat--that's Kat, the girl in the family who everyone turns to when things get difficult. Especially now, when her beloved younger brother Beep is in his second leukemia relapse, and a bone marrow transplant from Kat may be his only chance.

But Kat's worried that she and her bone marrow may not be up to the task: She can't even complete homework, and she's facing other rejection--lost friendships, a lost spot on the soccer team, and lots of heartache from her crush on her former best friend, Evan.

 Kat doesn't know if her bone marrow will save Beep, or whether she can save herself, let alone keep her promise to Beep that she'll enjoy life and always eat dessert first.

Dessert First is a funny, moving story about coping, appreciating sweetness, and learning to forgive

Author Information: 

Dean Gloster is a former law clerk to two U.S. Supreme Court Justices and a former stand-up comedian. When not writing YA novels, he ski races during the winter (Super-G is his best event) and is enrolled in the low-residency MFA program in writing for children and young adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts, where he has the most amazingly wonderful classmates in the world. 

His wife Nancy Ricci works at the children’s hospice and respite care facility, The George Mark House in San Leandro, California, which inspired Dean in part to write his first novel. When Dean is not at home in Berkeley, California, Saucy the dog guards the commas in his manuscripts. 

Writing, flying, and ski racing have lots in common: According to Douglas Adams, all you have to do is throw yourself at the ground and miss.

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