Saturday, June 26, 2010

Show Me 5 Saturday: Don't Die, My Love by Lurlene McDaniel

From That's A Novel Idea and Find Your Next Book Here

Don't Die, My Love

1 book I read: Don't Die, My Love by Lurlene

2 words that describe the book: Teen drama

3 settings where it took place or characters you met:

Setting: Waterton, Indiana

Julie Ellis is a teenager who is desperately in love with the star of the football team and who sees nothing but great things ahead of her. She has problems with her mom trying to get her to look at colleges when all she wants to do is find out where her boyfriend plans to go and then make her decision. When Luke finds out he has leukemia, though, her world is turned upside-down.

Luke Muldenhower is the star of the Waterton Warriors football team with a promising college career and a great girlfriend. He's been in love with Julie since they were kids, and he loves reminding her in little ways how much he loves her. After finishing a season that has left him with a flu he can't really shake, Luke goes to the doctor, expecting to be given a prescription and sent on his way to prepare for his senior year and a bid at the championships. It's not that simple, though, and Luke must come to terms with his own fate.

4 Things you liked and/or disliked about it:

I liked that this book was a lot like slipping on a well-worn pair of jeans: I remembered it from the moment I opened the front cover. McDaniel's books stick with you well past adolescence because they pack that emotional punch that's so memorable.

I didn't like how stereotypical a teenager Julie was. Sure, she had to be universal and appeal to her readers, but Julie was just too snippy with her mom a lot of the time for my liking.

I liked how quick of a read this was. It's only 250 pages and a really easy read, so I was able to finish it in a couple of hours. It gave me a nice feeling of accomplishment even though I was a little less than satisfied with how the book lived up to my memories of it.

I disliked that this book was all about packing an emotional punch and not really about drawing any sort of believable characters. I just didn't really feel that much for anyone in the book. Perhaps it's because I'm remembering basically bawling my eyes out when I first read this book (When I was about 10 years old, I believe), and my re-read will never live up to that feeling. But, I've run into some really great young adult literature recently that packs an emotional punch while still appealing to the adult readers. Young adult literature really has come a long way since the mid-90s.

5 Stars or less for your rating?

I'm giving the book 3 stars. It just didn't sit well with me this time around, and part of that could be because I've got about 15 years between my first read and this one. That's a lot of living and emotional maturity. I can see where young girls would still be affected by this one, but I think it may not be as well-received by today's readers as it was when it first was published because of the increase in sophistication of young adult literature.

The Whys and Wheres: Library - I picked it up because I read it so many years ago and still think of it from time to time, so I wanted to see if it lives up to my expectations.

Challenges: Read 'n' Review Challenge


Irene said...

I remember reading this for our library, and I agree with you it's like putting on a old comfy pair of jeans, why you didn't like it is... you grew up.

Kaye said...

I think it's hard to go back and read something you read so long ago especially if you were that young when you first read it. You're right about YA lit today - it sure has changed. Wonderful review!

Jan von Harz said...

I love this format for a review. I rarely reread, but when I do, it is because the book really spoke to me.

Jenners said...

And this is the EXACT reason I hesitate to revisit books that I loved as a child ... they don't always hold up to my emotional memories of them!!!

Anonymous said...

OMG I read this book when I was a teenager... I saw that cover and it automatically took me back!

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