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3.3 3
by Amy Reed

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The Fault in Our Stars meets Go Ask Alice in this dramatic romance about a teenage girl who survives a terminal cancer diagnosis, only to get trapped in the deadly spiral of addiction. Fans of Gayle Forman and Sara Zarr will be swept away by this gritty romance, the first in a duology.

Evie is living on borrowed time. She was


The Fault in Our Stars meets Go Ask Alice in this dramatic romance about a teenage girl who survives a terminal cancer diagnosis, only to get trapped in the deadly spiral of addiction. Fans of Gayle Forman and Sara Zarr will be swept away by this gritty romance, the first in a duology.

Evie is living on borrowed time. She was diagnosed with terminal cancer several months ago and told that by now she’d be dead. Evie is grateful for every extra day she gets, but she knows that soon this disease will kill her. Until, miraculously, she may have a second chance to live.

All Evie had wanted was her life back, but now that she has it, she feels like there’s no place for her in it—at least, not for the girl she is now. Her friends and her parents still see her as Cancer Girl, and her boyfriend’s constant, doting attention is suddenly nothing short of suffocating.

Then Evie meets Marcus. She knows that he’s trouble, but she can’t help falling for him. Being near him makes her feel truly, fully alive. It’s better than a drug. His kiss makes her feel invincible—but she may be at the beginning of the biggest free fall of her life.

Editorial Reviews

“[Reed] builds a compelling first-person narrative and sensitively explores Evie’s efforts-and failures-to rebuild her life after a serious trauma.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“A compelling tale, and the cliffhanger ending will leave readers eager for the sequel.”
Children's Literature - Paula McMillen
When you are told that you have incurable cancer, the things you deem important in life shift dramatically. Evie was a cheerleader, sat with the popular kids at lunch, dated the gorgeous football star, and had a long-time best friend and a loving family. Her boyfriend, Caleb, best friend, and family have been there every step of the way—through the tests, the treatments, and finally the emotional trauma and grieving after Evie decides to stop the treatments. But they do not really know what she is going through. Only the other two teens in the pediatric cancer unit, Stella and Caleb, really know what it’s like to be defined by your disease. When rebellious Stella plans a one-night jailbreak to get Evie out of the hospital, the consequences are dire. Stella’s compromised immune system begins to shut down and she dies within days. Evie, for no explainable reason, begins to recover and is released a few weeks later. Of course she feels guilty as the cause of Stella’s demise and completely shuns Caleb’s efforts to communicate. Once home, she finds the attitudes and behaviors of her family, friends, and schoolmates suffocating and alienating, and she begins to push everyone away. She cannot deal with the grief of Stella’s death and the confusion of not knowing where she fits in anymore, so she uses her prescription painkillers to make day-to-day life bearable. She gets addicted, meets an exciting new young man who she believes is a survivor like herself, and heads predictably downhill on what feels like an unrelenting road to self-destruction. The ending leaves the reader uncertain about whether or not she comes out of her downward spiral. It is never clear when her “letters” to her dead friend Stella actually happen. Are they written in a diary? Are we just getting glimpses into the self-absorbed ruminations of Evie? Although a lot of teenagers who feel misunderstood by the world around them will identify with Evie, her decisions leave a lot to be desired as model behaviors. Her emotional and mental turnaround occurs under the influence of a drug overdose and feels contrived. The writing is vivid, the two main characters are reasonably well developed, but it is hard to recommend this book. Reviewed from an uncorrected proof copy. Reviewer: Paula McMillen, Ph.D.; Ages 15 up.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Evie, a self-described Cancer Girl, transitions from palliative care with end-stage Ewing's sarcoma to miracle girl. Instead of shuffling off her mortal coil after being taken on a last mad adventure from the hospital by goth girl Stella, who with her signature fedora and red lipstick is also battling cancer, Evie unaccountably rallies. Perhaps it is the shock of losing friends made in the cancer ward, the new lease on life, or the carpe diem philosophy shared by rebel Stella, but miracle Evie has lost her taste for cheerleading, her best friend, and even Will, the boyfriend who never let her down through the long months of her illness. It's difficult to care much for Evie as a character, beyond basic sympathy for any person dealing with a painful illness, because she doesn't ever really emerge beyond the page. When Evie's back to her pre-cancer life, she meets new romantic interest Marcus on an escape from her intolerably loving home. He's different and happy to share the pot bequeathed by a cancer comrade; and compared to tame Will, Marcus seems like a fascinating bad boy. Yet it's Evie who attempts to numb herself with pills, weed, and booze, leading to a crisis cliff-hanger ending. VERDICT A decent choice for readers with a craving for "dying teen" stories.—Suzanne Gordon, Lanier High School, Sugar Hill, GA
Kirkus Reviews
Evie, 17, bravely faces terminal illness along with her fellow teen sufferers, until fate intervenes; unlike Stella and Caleb, Evie miraculously recovers: "There has been a mistake. Or a miracle."Thrown into limbo and unable to resume her picture-perfect cheerleader's life, complete with football-playing boyfriend Will, Evie writes to now-dead Stella: "If I'm not Cancer Girl, who am I exactly? Crutches Girl?…No one knows what to do with me now that I'm alive." Trapped in her life and her still-weak body, Evie experiments with painkillers, alcohol and a relationship with rebellious teen Marcus (foil to steady Will and sweet Caleb), whom she meets while high on pot. Her connection to Marcus is defined by a mutual commitment to bad decisions, though even stoner Marcus urges Evie to avoid Oxycontin. Like Evie's puzzled and hurt friends and family (who feel she's ungrateful and manipulative), readers may find themselves alienated by Evie's bad behavior, a gutsy move for Reed. The book's epiphanic ending may come too late to salvage readers' relationships with her—or Evie's life. Or not. Readers will be intrigued or vexed by the ambiguity of the ending, depending on their tolerance for plot twists. Offering a provocative spin on the typical teen-with-cancer plotline, Reed risks her protagonist's likability to explore the aftermath of life-altering second chances. (Fiction. 14-18)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
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Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.79(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Amy Reed was raised in and around Seattle, where she attended a total of eight schools by the time she was eighteen. Constantly moving taught her to be restless, and being an only child made her imagination do funny things. After graduating from fillm school, she earned an MFA in writing from New College of California. Amy currently lives in Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband, daughter, and a well-loved dog. She is no longer restless.

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Invincible 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
COBauer More than 1 year ago
Received a copy from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Wow. INVINCIBLE by Amy Reed is a raw, emotional look at terminal illness, the road to recovery, and the dangers of substance abuse. Reed’s writing style is fascinating. I love the way the style changes based on the emotional state of the narrator. The characters felt very real. This isn’t your typical YA teen romance. Don’t be expecting some swoon-worthy romance or an easy read. Definitely held my attention to the very end. Looking forward to the next book in the series.
BlkosinerBookBlog More than 1 year ago
3.5 (liked it a lot)     I wanted to read Invincible because I am drawn to stories with illnesses and cancer. I started early in my reading life with Lurlene McDaniel and still seek out books with those types of feels. I have also enjoyed Amy's other books, so made sense to request and want to read this one.      I really like how strong she was and how she wanted to keep it together for her family. it's definitely hard seeing her in the position that she had accepted that she was going to die she just wanted to be strong for her family her mom her dad her sister as well as her best friends since kindergarten and her very loyal boyfriend all of which is stuck by her side throughout the whole treatment and diagnosis and spreading of the cancer.     I also like how this book focused on some of the unique types of friendships that you make when you are in a teen cancer ward. Stella and Caleb are two of which that have been by her side caleb has a brain tumor and Stella is also dealing with some chemotherapy and radiation and they've been and at the same time a lot. still is one of the people who tell it like it is and to is raucously funny. we get a lot of the humor from the book from Stella and also when please put on line of her pain meds and her whole view of the world seems to change. Everything becomes funny to her and she knows that there's pain but she just doesn't care about it and the world is painted in this picture of being high I guess is the best way to put it.     When the book begins when you see her in a position where she thought that she was going to die she had accepted it and she had declined further treatment. we know from the synopsis that she is going to get a whole new lease on life but I do appreciate getting to know her while she was in that really hard time in her life. I can't imagine living with a death sentence or with a choice of either giving up or being in extreme pain. with the years for life span in the hospital it feels like the whole world moved on without her and I totally cannot imagine how that would feel or how I would move on.     It was sad the loss that happened before Evie's miracle remission. She thought she was dying and then suddenly all traces are gone. She has a new lease on life, but she is carrying a lot of baggage with her. Between the loss of a friend and the way that she has felt pain, been on the door of death has changed her. She used to be a cheerleader and even while she was sick, she kept the upbeat persona.     There was such a change in her. She didn't know where she fit, and she felt so much differently than she did before. School, cheerleading  and prom all seem so meaningless. She turns to her pills and alcohol in order to help dull the pain, first physically and then more and more so emotionally. Her parents, Will, and best friend are all so worried about her. She makes bad decisions, and although I could understand how she was feeling, she really didn't treat any of them well.     While I can see her draw to Marcus, someone who didn't see her go through the cancer, and someone who saw her as strong and tough. It rubbed me wrong because of how Will stuck by her side, and I felt like Evie kept leading Will on, while she was seeing, kissing and emotionally connecting with Marcus.      Honestly this book left her in a pretty bad place, and I felt for her so much. I was worried about how far depressed and uncaring she was.  Bottom Line: Emotional journey of Evie, a cancer patient, now cancer free trying to fit back into a life when she'd already accepted death. 
Sarah_UK1 More than 1 year ago
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.) This wasn’t your average ‘cancer’ story, and I was surprised that it ended with a cliff-hanger! Evie was a girl who felt really lost. I felt sorry for her in the beginning, and I agreed with her that her boyfriend Will worrying about her getting addicted to morphine when she was dying was a bit silly. I understood how she felt once she realised that she suddenly had a future. For her to try and get back what she had lost felt insurmountable to her, and it was easy to see why when people kept telling her how far behind she was, and how she suddenly needed to think about her future. The storyline in this wasn’t your average cancer story, and it wasn’t your average addiction story either. Evie’s problems were so much more complex than that, after having no life, to suddenly having to think about her future was just so daunting, and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. I think I’d have felt overwhelmed as well. There was some romance in this book, and I could once again see where Evie was coming from, and how difficult it was for her to come to the realisation that maybe her old boyfriend wasn’t right for her any more. The ending to this was a little disappointing because we got a cliff-hanger! I wanted to know more about Evie’s story, and I wanted her to find some kind of peace! I can’t believe I have to wait until Summer 2016 to find out what happens! Argh! 6.5 out of 10