Sheinmel, Courtney. 2009. Positively. Simon & Schuster. 216 pages.
When my mother died I imagined God was thinking, "One down, and one to go."
Our heroine, Emerson Price has known she was HIV positive since she was four. (She's now 13.) But when her mother dies, Emmy's world begins to collapse. (Her mother had AIDS.) She's sent to live with her father and stepmother. (There's a little one on the way too.) And Emmy begins to question everything.
Why is she taking her medications if she's just going to die anyway? (Why didn't the meds work for her mother???) Why bother if she's never going to have a normal life? If she's never going to have the opportunity of growing up, falling in love, being with someone, and starting her own family? Can one girl find the will to live her life to the fullest? Can Emmy work past the anger and bitterness and realize that there are plenty of reasons to live, to love living?
After several desperate cries for help (not that Emmy would say they were desperate cries for help), her parents (father and stepmother) decide to send her to Camp Positive. A six-week camp for children with HIV. Can the camp experience change Emmy's life? Can this broken family be healed? Is there hope for Emmy yet?
Positively is a heartbreaking (in some ways raw) novel about grief and brokenness. It's a redemptive novel about finding hope, family, and friendship in unexpected places. This one is a compelling book, one that I couldn't put down.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews
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