Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Some Kind of Normal

I had a chance to read my blog-friend Heidi Willis's debut novel a few weeks ago, and it was a real (sugar-free) treat.

Babs Babcock never finished school past the tenth-grade, but when her daughter is diagnosed with diabetes and an incurable insulin-allergy, Babs immerses herself in cutting-edge scientific research to find a cure. Problem is, the cure she finds goes against everything she and her family, not to mention her town, stands for.

But I think her awesome book trailer sums it up best.



The whole book is written in Bab's unique southern voice, and even though the subject matter of the book was not light, Babs made me laugh throughout.

What touched me the most while reading this book was the family relationships. They were so REAL to me I wanted to reach out and touch them. Babs and her daughter Ashley, who is dying but worries whether Brian Lee will be at Saturday movie night. Babs and her son Logan, who have matching souls but don't understand one another. Babs and her husband Travis, who define married love by the end of the book.

You see this family come together during their crisis in a beautiful way.

My favorite character? Hands down was the deviant, pink-mohawk teenage son, Logan. If this was a young-adult novel, I think I would have fallen in love with him a little bit. He plays the troubled teen, but he is really brilliant and devoted to his sister.

This family must bear the pricks of their closest friends and neighbors when they seek a cure in stem cell research that goes against the grain of their small town values. Babs finds pillars of strength among her friends, and those she didn't know were her friends, in her Baptist church. (And she only joined because the Baptists always looked like they were having so much more fun than the Lutherans.)

Heidi really did her research because woven throughout his deeply-felt tale is contemporary science. In fact, I googled a few things about stem cell research after reading because it sparked a few questions. Heidi herself is a diabetic, only not allergic to insulin, which I'm glad because I like her alive. And now she can write more books.

12 comments:

  1. You make me laugh!! What a great review! Thank you for all your kind words and support.

    I hope I live long enough to write another book, too. Although with all this snow, who knows? :)

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  2. Wow! That trailer is powerful. Your review made it even more so. This is a must read.:-)

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  3. AW, what a great review! Well done!

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  4. Heidi-Since you are so snowbound, then you have the perfect excuse to stay home and write (after you are done playing with your puppy and drying the kids' gloves).

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  5. Super-great review, Jessie. I hadn't heard of this one, but now I MUST read it. Thanks! :-)

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  6. I'm so glad you stopped by because I had your blog pulled up earlier today but had to close it out before I could read it. But then when I went back on my dashboard, I must've scrolled past your title thinking I'd commented.LOL

    I feel like I've heard this blurb before, but before the book was pubbed. Like on a loop or crit thingy. It's an awesome premise and it's great to hear that the story is as good as it sounds. ;-)

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  7. Yes, it's a great book, and I hope your review brings more readers to it.

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  8. That book sounds really good. Nice review.

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  9. Jessica: I said a lot of similar things about the book when it first released!(It's just that good) I had the honor of interviewing Heidi and soon after bought the book and read it twice in a row!! This is an incredible book and Jesse, I'm glad she's still alive too. I can't wait to read more of her work.

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  10. Yeah, more books!!! I love this book too, and your review totally does it justice. Good job! My 15 y old daughter just read it, and kept telling me how much she loved it all the way through. (You'll never guess who HER favourite character is...)

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  11. Great review!! So nice you did it like this and it makes it sound awesome!

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  12. Wonderful review. I just sent my mom a copy for her birthday because my reading pile is huge at the moment, but def. wanted to support Heidi. I'll have to order my own copy soon!!!

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