First, my review:
Charlotte has been suffering from recurring benign tumors all of her life. When two tumors appear on her brain, they must be removed. Immediately. There's just one thing...removing the tumors means that Charlotte will lose her hearing. And so, Charlotte begins a one month countdown to the day on which she will lose the thing she cherishes more than anything else: the gift of sound.
I want to start off by saying that I was thrilled that the book was set in Coronado, California - I often visit that island and I was very familiar with every landmark mentioned in the book, from Petco to the Del Coronado Hotel. That said, the story was good. We all knew what the novel was building towards (Charlotte's hearing loss), and despite the heady subject matter that the author addresses, she manages to weave a tale that is both lighthearted but able to pull at your heartstrings. I honestly thought the book might be a little depressing because it deals with cancer, but it was done so well. I was impressed and pleased to read something so refreshingly real. When you find yourself displaying sympathy for the main character, becoming angry or sad along with her and identifying with her pain, then you have created a memorable character. The character that stays with you after the novel is finished and you're staring into space, thinking about her after the story is done. That's what Jacqueline Abelson has done, and I would urge anyone looking for a great YA read (it can easily cross over into NA, as well) to pick up HEAR. It's
Here's what the author had to say about this!
Hi, Jacqueline! Thanks for stopping by. Why don’t you introduce yourself to everybody?
Hello! My name is Jacqueline Abelson, I'm nineteen–years–old and I live in Pasadena, California. I will be enrolling at Mount Holyoke College in the upcoming fall. I plan to study literature, writing and psychology, as well as joining Mount Holyoke’s swim team (favorite stroke is backstroke). From the beginning of sixth grade, I’ve been an avid reader, reading everything from Gregory Maguire’s Wicked to Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games. I think that I enjoy reading as much as I like writing. Overall, it's a toss up.
Give us a rundown on the plot line of your novel, Hear.
The story of HEAR is about a girl by the name of Charlotte Goode, who has grown up with this rare genetic disease that causes benign tumors to grow along her nervous system. She copes with her disease through music – she’s a violin player. When Charlotte is informed that the surgery will save her life, she also realizes that the price she has to pay is her hearing. That’s when her doctor informs her that she has a month.
Hear deals with some pretty serious subject matter. Where did you get the idea for this, and were you ever hesitant to write a book that dealt with something like cancer?
The idea came to me when I encountered a news story on Good Morning America back in the summer of 2008. A young woman by the name of Jessica Stone has the same type of disease as Charlotte. She also encountered the same choice when a tumor was found pressed against her brain stem: Hearing or life? Jessica was given a month to keep her hearing and savor the sounds around her before she went in for her surgery. As for the cancer aspect, the answer is no. I think that young adult readers are mature enough to deal with serious subject matters like cancer. Unfortunately, cancer definitely exists in the world. And readers (young or old) need to learn how to deal with it, if only in stories.
How long have you been writing – and what is your favorite reading (or writing) snack?
I LOVE REDVINES! Redvines are positively addictive, and I eat them whenever I get my hands on one of their boxes! As for the writing part, I've been making up stories since I was eight, and I knew that I had "the bug" to write because I couldn't find the will to stop writing.
What do you hope readers take away from your book?
I really hope that my readers will take away from HEAR a better sense of life, challenges, and how to overcome them.
You can pick up Hear for 99 cents on Amazon right HERE!