This could easily be my favorite YA novel of the year. While it deals with heavy subjects including mental illness, acceptance, and animal conservation and abuse, it also features a kick-ass protagonist who grows through the novel and becomes a woman who puts her life second, behind saving the one creature she’s grown to love.
It is cliche to say you will laugh and cry while reading this book but it’s absolutely true. T. Lily Decker is a high school senior who is terrified of developing schizophrenia, just like her mother. While interning at the local paper, she heads out on assignment to cover the story of a new baby elephant born at the zoo. As Lily knows firsthand, being abandoned by your mother is not easy. So when the calf, Swifty, is rejected by its mother, Lily learns she can’t quite give up the story or the animal.
I loved how through her journey, Lily learned that the world was bigger than just her and her fears. Not only that, but she was able to inspire others to fight for her cause. When the story ended, I had a hard time letting go of these characters. I could have easily followed them for months longer.
Please don’t skip this just because it’s classified as YA. It only is because some of the main characters are in high school. If you enjoyed The Life She Was Given by Ellen Marie Wiseman or All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven, you will also love this novel. This book will have you laughing one minute, crying the next, and aching for a Swifty of your own.
My thanks to the publisher for the review copy.
About the author: Nancy Richardson Fischer is a graduate of Cornell University, a published author with children’s, teen and adult titles to her credit, including Star Wars titles for Lucas Film and numerous athlete autobiographies, such as Julie Krone, Bela Karolyi and Monica Seles. She lives in the Pacific Northwest.
Thanks to the publisher, I have one copy to give away to a lucky reader. U.S. only, please. Enter on the Rafflecopter.
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