Summary (From Goodreads.com)
Mia’s first reaction is outright disbelief. Obviously, a mistake has been made. Sixteen-year-old girls don’t die. But, when the diagnosis is confirmed, she dives headlong into anger. If she has to die, why should it be of cancer? In fact, anything would be preferable to cancer. Better for her to say when, where, and especially how.
Determined to meet death on her own terms, Mia devises scheme after scheme to get the job done. A “fall” down the basement stairs, driving her car off a bridge, and even a dance with a train all end in her survival.
And through it all, Mia keeps her family and friends at arms’ length with her destructive and hurtful behavior. With each failed suicide attempt and burned relationship, she slowly realizes that it’s not the dying that she’s afraid of, but the life she’ll be leaving behind. Now, that life is in a shambles. As time begins to slip through her fingers and death is upon her, Mia fights to rebuild the bridges she has destroyed, but can she do it before the clock runs out?
Title: Always and Forever
Author: Karla J. Nellenbach
Length: 263 Pages
Source: Review copy for a blog tour
I know I just said realistic fiction wasn’t really my thing, but I’ve been trying to step out of my [fantasy dominated] comfort zone this year, so forgive me!
I have to admit, I loved Always and Forever. Mia, a sixteen year old cancer survivor gets diagnosed with a second type of cancer…an inoperable one, that doesn’t leave her with a lot of time. Determined not to fall prey to cancer and the indeterminable wait, she decides to take matters into her own hands, pushing her friends and family away as she tries to orchestrate her own death. I’ll be honest, this was a bit of a stretch for me, but the rest of the characters MORE than made up for Mia’s somewhat bizarre rationalisations.
Kal in particular is one of the most likeable characters I’ve read about in a long time, and throughout the book I veered from hating him to wanting to hug him – just as Mia does. Karla Nellenbach’s writing sucks you in so you can’t help but understand exactly how Mia feels, even if you want to shake her sometimes!
I’m not a big crier, but I have to confess that I pretty much sobbed my way through the entire book! The final scenes are especially beautifully written. If you’re looking for a beautiful, heart-wrenching story with a good dash of romance and some wonderful characters, look no further!
Buy it? Definitely.
In a nutshell: A heart-breaking, riveting debut.