Thursday, March 08, 2012

The Running Dream (YA)

The Running Dream. Wendelin Van Draanen. 2011. Random House. 336 pages.

My life is over. Behind the morphine dreams is the nightmare of reality. A reality I can't face.

Jessica was a great runner, a star of her school's track team. But one day on the bus ride back from a meet, something horrible happens. Someone crashes into their bus. Lucy, her teammate, dies, and Jessica loses her leg. The novel is about how she copes with that loss. How the loss of a leg, at first, is the loss of a dream. But how through that loss she's able to see some things more clearly than before. Like how much her teammates really do care about her. So much that they sacrifice their time and energy and put all their heart and soul into fund raising for her. Like how she sees another classmate for the first time, a classmate in a wheel chair for quite another reason. Rosa was always so easy to ignore before, but now she's seeing her as a real person worth knowing.

So The Running Dream is a novel about hopes and dreams and perseverance. It is an emotional novel, of course. But it isn't purely inspirational. Jessica is, in many ways, just an ordinary girl with ordinary problems. Like how the guy she has a crush on doesn't really see her like that--not really. And how she struggles with keeping up in math, etc.

Read The Running Dream
  • If you're interested in sports stories with heart
  • If you're looking for an emotional, inspirational read
  • If you're looking for YA novels about friendship and family

© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


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