Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Positively by Courtney Sheinmel

Characters: 18/20
Plot: 18/20
Originality: 19/20
Writing: 18/20
Recommendation: 20/20
Overall: 93/100 or A
Source: Bought

Since the day Emerson Pressman and her mother were diagnosed as HIV positive, nothing has been the same. When her mother dies of AIDS, Emmy has to go live with the father and stepmother she barely knows, and she feels more alone than ever. Now she has to take pills by herself, and there is no one left who understands what it's like to be afraid every time she has a cold. But when her father decides to send her to Camp Positive, a camp for HIV-positive children, Emmy begins to realize that she's not alone after all, and that sometimes, opening up to other people can make all the difference in the world.
When I got sick the first thing that they tested me for was HIV, and I was so afraid that I got it somehow. I didn't have it, but my disease is caused by the immune system. Even though our diseases are very different, I could totally relate to Emmy. I know that if I have 100% lung function by the time I am forty or if my liver doesn't stop from the pills, I am lucky and Emmy is faced with that too in other ways. There are days that I want to just throw my pills out or not get shots anymore, but I know that decision is a choice between life and death. When I first got sick, I went to a camp for teens with Primary Immunodeficiency and it was similar to what Emmy experienced at Camp Positive. Some of the friends from that time are dead, but they are far from forgotten. The part about the balloons really got to me, because that it what we do every year on my sister's birthday.

The plot is real, because you are constantly reminded how hard life can be for some people. This book is really original, because it leaves you with so much hope. Shienmel is a fantastic writer. I loved that this is based by her experience from with working The Elizabeth Glaser AIDS Foundation and is really accurate and realistic. I highly suggest that you read this book, it is a story of a girl with so much strength.


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