Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Smell of Paint

The Smell of Paint, by Sheryl McFarlane

YA/Canadian/realistic/sports/dealing with dying

Jess is 14, and she is a runner. When she is asked to join the city's track team she is overjoyed, and throws herself into training. However, she finds that it is difficult to juggle her passion for running and the team, with her lifelong friendship with her two non-jock best friends. Tensions ensue, and life feels a little difficult. But, things are made exciting by a hot boy on the team, so things are looking up. That is, life is alright, until Jess's mom is diagnosed with cancer. All of a sudden Jess's world is turned around, and she doesn't know how to deal with her fear, and she feels completely overwhelmed by her sadness.

Some of the story felt a little done. There've been so many books about dealing with parental illness. But, this one really is well put together. The characters are not saints, but I also didn't feel disgusted with them. Jess's emotional roller coaster felt real, and the ending was satisfying. There was a good mix of uplifting sports and young life material, and death and dying material. So, while I found myself tearing up while reading, I also enjoyed the story, and felt happy in the happy parts. All together, a great little bit of realistic teen fiction.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the nice review! I'll pass it on to Sheryl; she'll be happy she made your tears flow a little.
-Sheryl's editor, Ann Featherstone