‘All These Lives’ review

All These LivesAll These Lives by Sarah Wylie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m a little bit sad and a little bit floored.

Do not read this book if you cry easily or are very sensitive.

I don’t have a sister. A younger brother, yes, but not a sister. So I don’t know how it feels to have that bond. Especially not with a twin sister. I can’t imagine how it would feel to think that you’re going to lose them and having to sit everyday and wondering if today is the day.

But after reading All These Lives, I now have a little understanding. And it’s awful. I know this book isn’t a memoir. It’s not based on Wylie’s real life about her dying sister. But I know that this happens to people everywhere and it’s just heart breaking. Even more so, the talented and beautiful way that Wylie puts the story across. The determination of one girl who thinks she has nine lives and is brave and strong and stupid enough to try and rid herself of these extra lives so her dying sister can have a chance at just one life.

The main character, Dani, can be hit or miss sometimes. One minute, I want to grab her and cuddle her. Want to soothe her and make sure she’s okay. And then the other minute, I want to beat her around the head with a tree trunk or something. Because even though she’s ridding herself of these extra lives, she’s also ridding herself of the chance at friendship, at happiness, at romance, at having happy parents and making her sister’s last days better. She’s selfish.

But I still liked her. It was also very refreshing to see parents played out, developed wonderfully, and with main parts in the book. They were a highlight of the book and not an added afterthought.

The ending was a little…fade to black for me. I wanted to know exactly what happened next. But this just proves how invested in the story I was. A very moving and inspiring read. A real tear-jerker. 5 stars for sure.

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