Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Genre: Inspirational fiction

Breathless by Lurlene McDaniel (2009)

I selected this title randomly off the new fiction shelf at the library because I recognized McDaniel's name from all my volunteer shelving at the middle school and knew she was prolific. I did not know what kind of fiction she wrote, at all. Turns out it's classified as "inspirational" fiction for teens.

This novel tackles the theme of euthanasia as one of the main characters, Cooper, has to decide whether or not to help his best friend, Travis, end his cancer-shortened life. McDaniel does not trivialize the topic or make it a black and white issue. Nor does she develop the characters to any great extent. The novel is short and to the point. It seems to be meant to generate discussion about a topic rather than engage the reader in a riveting situation (that would be Jodi Picoult, My Sister's Keeper, for instance) .

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