Saving Jessica

Saving Jessica

4.6 36
by Lurlene McDaniel

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Jessica McMillian and Jeremy Travino are a perfect couple.   But now Jessica has been diagnosed as having kidney failure.   She is on dialysis three days a week and is so depressed that she's not sure she wants to live.  Her one hope for a normal life is a kidney transplant, but she's an only child and her parents aren't suitable donors.&…  See more details below


Jessica McMillian and Jeremy Travino are a perfect couple.   But now Jessica has been diagnosed as having kidney failure.   She is on dialysis three days a week and is so depressed that she's not sure she wants to live.  Her one hope for a normal life is a kidney transplant, but she's an only child and her parents aren't suitable donors.   Jeremy is determined to donate one of her kidneys to her, but his parents are terrified of losing their only child.  Will Jeremy find the strength to go against his parent's wishes and do what he must to save Jessica?

From the Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

The ALAN Review - Anne Sherrill
Seventeen-year-old Jessica and sixteen-year-old Jeremy are contented high-school sweethearts. Then comes the diagnosis of Jessica's kidney disease. When dialysis fails, a transplant becomes the only hope for living a normal life. When found to be a matchable donor, Jeremy determines to give Jessica one of his kidneys, even if it means taking his parents to court to win the right to do so against their wishes. Written in a readable if unremarkable style, the book presents teenagers who think and behave as adults and educated, loving parents who want what is best for their only children. Parents and educators sensitive to language or sex will find nothing objectionable. A twelve- to fifteen-year-old reader will gain knowledge about kidney disease, witness dedicated and idealized teen love, and go away with a strong message that faith and determination can win over adversity.

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Sold by:
Random House
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File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

"Happy Birthday, Jessie!"

Jessica blew out the eighteen candles on the cake her mother set in front of her, and smiled at the three people who meant the most to her in all the world--her parents and Jeremy.  How different this birthday was from the one the year before.  Before her kidneys had failed.  "The cake's beautiful, Mom."

She knew her mother had slaved for hours to create a cake that could be incorporated into her diet.  She couldn't have much of it, and truthfully she wasn't even hungry, but she was determined to let her mother know how much she appreciated her effort.  Especially now that Dr. Witherspoon had told them that neither parent could donate a kidney to her.  They'd felt so awful about it.

"You should start a bakery, Ruth," her father said.  "The recipes you come up with are sensational."

Her mother sent him a smile.  "When this is over, I'll never think about cooking again.  We'll eat every meal out after Jessie's better."

Jessica knew her mother had high hopes that the doctors would find her a donor kidney.  Jessica was less optimistic.

"Open your presents," Jeremy said eagerly.

He's been acting peculiar all day.  Sort of antsy, as if he were a time bomb waiting to explode.

Jessica longed to really join the party.  She wanted so much to please all of them.  But she felt awful.  Her dialysis the day before hadn't gone well.  Her fistula had begun to clot, and now she was on bloodthinning medication and antibiotics.  Her arm was sore.  And already edema, swelling, had started in her ankles and feet.  "Who's first?" she asked.

"Mine last," Jeremy said, snatching away the small box.

"Try ours." Her father handed her a narrow box wrapped with pink paper and a purple ribbon.

She tore open the paper and eased the top off the box.  A glittering gold charm bracelet lay on a bed of white cotton.  She caught her breath.  "It's gorgeous!"

"Do you like it?" her mother asked.  "We've already chosen a charm and thought we could add one for every special occasion."

A solid gold "18" dangled from the delicate chain of double links.

"It's perfect.  You know I've always wanted one.  Thanks so much."

"When you graduate, you'll get another charm."

The ceremony was scheduled for Friday night in the civic auditorium.  Jessica had her robe and mortarboard and at the ceremony would receive her diploma and tassel.  If she felt up to walking across the stage.

"Don!" her mother admonished.  "You weren't supposed to tell her.  It was a surprise."

Her father blinked sheepishly.  "Oops."

Jessica giggled.  "I'll act surprised when I open it.  Promise." She turned to Jeremy.  "Well, are you going to let me have my present?"

He held out the box.

"It sure is small," she said teasingly.

"Big surprises come in small packages."

She unwrapped it and discovered another charm.  This one was a bright gold kidney bean.  "This is unusual."

He grinned.  "It's not what it is, it's what it represents that's important."

"A bean? You think I'm full of beans?" She was having fun teasing him, watching his cheeks flush red.

"No.  It's a kidney." He took a deep breath.  "My kidney.  I've already talked to Dr.  Witherspoon about donating one of my kidneys to you."

For a stunned moment, no one spoke.  Then everyone spoke at once.

Her mother started crying.  "It's a miracle.  An answer to prayer."

Her father gasped and began to bombard Jeremy with questions.  "What? How? Are you sure?"

Jeremy held up his hands.  "Wait a minute.  I can't answer all of you at once." He grasped Jessica's hands and gazed lovingly into her eyes.  "You first."

She was overcome with emotion; large tears pooled in her eyes.  "You're the most wonderful person in the world, Jeremy." She swallowed against the lump of gratitude in her throat.  "I appreciate your offer more than words can say. But I can't take your gift, Jeremy. I simply can't."

From the Paperback edition.

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Saving Jessica 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved reading this book..
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book was really good. i couldn't put it down. i was up all night reading it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Saving Jessica is a story about ,Jessica, an average girl of eighteen until having kidney failure. Jessica started noticing that she did not feel good. So she went to the doctor and found out that she had kidney failure. Jessica was to be dialysis three days a week for the rest of her life and had to be on a certain diet for example no orange juice, potatoes and many other things. Due to incompatibility her parents were not able to donate their kidney to Jessica. Although Jessica¿s boyfriend, Jeremy, was a perfect match but, his parents did not want him to be Jessica¿s kidney donor. Jeremy refused to give up hope and went to court to try and get an Emancipation from his parents because he was only sixteen he had to get his parents approve before he could donate his kidney. Although, he failed but, within little time his parents agreed for him to donate his kidney. In the end Jeremy donated his kidney his kidney to Jessica. Jessica was free of dialysis and back to normal life. The characters in this book have strong personalities. All the main characters in this book, with one or two exceptions, are dynamic. Some change quite a few times. The author does a good job showing all the characters point of view, feelings, and how they react. For example when Jeremy¿s parents do not want Jeremy to donate his kidney the author lets you know what their reactions and feelings toward the situation are. Some that not even the other characters know. I really like the characters in this book they are definitely not dull or anything. Saving Jessica is an interesting book. It shows the true difficulties of having kidney failure and shows what things you have to give up in having this terminal disease.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book by Lurlene McDaniel made me cry. The book shows how much an illness can do to make families fall apart. Jeremy's love for Jessica through her illness makes the book worth reading. Let Lurlene McDaniel's fantastic words in all of her books soak into your mind and your heart.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book shows the importance of family and friends. How giving can save someone.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
When I read this book, I was about ready to cry. It's amazing how McDaniel writes so great. McDaniel is one of the best writers out there!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
THis was one of the first of Lurlene Mcdaniels books that i read. And i fell hopelessly in love with the characters. I was suprised to see how some people were so shelterd and how some could just be plain outright selfish. But throught the book Jessica and Jeremy had a strong relationship and you the reader can just tell how much they love each other. And you would just be moved by the lengths Jeremy takes so that he and Jessica can be together!!!:)
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the first book I read by Lurlene McDaniel, and like anyone who reads one of her books for the first time, I fell in love with her story about Jessica and Jeremy. I was so happy that everything worked out in the end, though!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is one of the best books i have read i love it!!!! it has just the right combination of love, suspense and much much more i reccommend you read all of her books, they are wonderful!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is really good! If you like sad books you should DEFINETLY read it.The book is outstanding. Its so sweet how Jeremy wants to give up his kidney for Jessica. Its such a great love story, it will make you very happy while your reading even though its a sad book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Saving Jessica is about a seventeen year old girl who is diagnosed with kidney failure. After her dialysis quits working her only hope of living is to have an organ transplant. Her high-school sweetheart sixteen year old Jeremy Trivino who is the only close blood type Jessica has, agrees before he is even asked to give up one of his kidneys for his girlfriend to live. But his parents aren't happy with his decision, Jeremy will stop at nothing to save his girlfriend , even if that means taking his parents to court to fight for the right to be able to help his girlfriend Jessica. This book was one of the best books i have read by Lurlene McDanial. She is a very good writer, especially with these kind of books that she writes. I also love this book because not only will Jeremy stop at nothing to save Jessica but he jumps at the chance to do without being asked to do so. The only thing that i didn't like was when Jeremy's parents refused to support Jeremy with his decision. I understand that they were afrid that they would lose their only child. But i think that they still should have supported him and in the end they did. This is one of the best books i have read. She needs to write more books in this genre. Saving Jessica is a heart-wrencher, you think sometimes in the book that you will cry your eyes out.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Saving Jessica really related to me because I had a brother with kidney failure at the age of three. He didnt survive because e was born before there were dialysis machines to perform the process of a kidney so the only hope for people with kidney failure was to find a kidney donor
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I love Lurlene McDaniel, her books have a way of making you wanna keep reading. Plus, this one has a happy ending!