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Review: The Brilliant Light of Amber Sunrise by Matthew Crow

Title: The Brilliant Light of Amber Sunrise
Author: Matthew Crow
Year Published: 2013

Genre: YA fiction
Pages: 296
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location (my 2015 Google Reading map)UK

FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my school's library

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): Francis has plans to come into his own, forging his way in school and life, despite his loony, awkward, broken family... and noticeable lack of friends. Then he is diagnosed with leukemia. It wasn't part of his strategy, but there are moments when he can see the upside. After all, people are nice to you when you are sick.

While in the hospital, Francis meets fellow patient Amber. Fierce, tough, one-of-a-king Amber. He falls for her. Hard. Together, they take on the other cancer ward patients, overbearing mothers, and treatments. But Francis' recovery is taking a different path from Amber's. He's actually getting better. And although he knew who he was before cancer, before Amber,  he has no idea who he is--or how to live--when she is in the hospital and not by his side.

Review: I really enjoyed this book, which feels so weird to say about a book that is sad, poignant, and about childhood illness. However, it is well written, funny, and really about life as a teenager dealing with mothers, brothers, friends, illness, and first love.

Francis is charming, sweet, innocent, and smart. He has been given a raw deal with Leukemia, but he has a brother and mother who love him and are helping him through the ordeal. When he meets Amber she is brash and cranky, but there is something he sees in her that others don't. And I think we all want that at some level, whether in a friend or a love interest.

Amber is good for Francis. She cares about him, helps him take risks, make his life full and fun, and she doesn't let the illness bring her down. Francis is also good for Amber. He brings their two families together so that they can all work their way through the complicated life of Leukemia together.

This book is sweet, fun, well-written, and worth it!

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