Contemporary YA Romance
September 27, 2016
Beat The Backlist
August 5, 2017
Molly Corbett can’t stand seeing her childhood pal Alex Gibson destroy himself. He’s gone from straight-A student to rebel without a cause. With so much at stake, some serious interference is called for—or at least Micromanaging Molly thinks so. Alex needs to get back on the path to the Ivy League. But the harder Molly pushes Alex, the harder he pushes back.
Alex has a secret. Well, two secrets. Number one: He has terminal melanoma. With six months to live, Alex hasn’t got a second to waste. And hanging around hospitals when his friends think he’s cutting school definitely counts as wasted time. Instead, he’s going to drop out, surf, drive fast cars…and finally put secret number two out there. He’s in love with Molly and he’s going to tell her before it’s too late.
If ever there was a book that made me think twice about skipping the sunscreen, it was this one.
I’ve been downloading a lot of free books lately from all those newsletter full of book deals. So many that I started to feel guilty. So, I took a break from my ARC reading and chose a book at random from my Kindle backlog. I chose this one because I liked the title and the cover looked fun. Perfect for a summer read. Bonus it was a novella!
Then I started and oh boy…
Live Fast, Die Young is an emotionally turbulent novella. Alex has terminal cancer (melanoma) and doesn’t want anyone to know. Not even his best friend, Molly, the girl he’s also in love with. He doesn’t want people to look at him differently. So, he keeps his cancer a secret and vows to live what’s left of his life to the fullest.
This story is tragic and beautiful. It can be hard to connect to characters in novellas sometimes because of the limited number of pages you have to get to know them. Vanessa Barneveld portrayed these characters seamlessly. I got to know them and grew to care for them.
The only disappointment I had was that this book, which I got as an Amazon freebie, wasn’t a prequel! I was really hoping to go buy the next book, in which Alex and Molly work to complete Alex’s bucket list before his time runs out. Or to watch Molly learn to love again after Alex’s death. I’m uber bummed that this wasn’t the case. I will however be on the lookout for more from his author.
So, should you read the book? If you want a short, well-written, tragically beautiful story look no further. If books about cancer trigger you, maybe leave this one alone.
Kip’s tongue flicks out and laps sauce off the corner of his lips. Could this guy be any more reptilian? I shudder.
“…But right now? I’m thinking I want to be like James Dean. You know, live fast, die young. Do things at full speed and go out with a spectacular crash.”
This is what dying feels like. When your heart pounds hard enough to crack a rib. When loud, squealing noises echo from an unseen source. When you look around and the world distorts, fades to black. When the last thing your brain registers is the thud of your head hitting the linoleum.
I don’t even remember the exact moment I fell in love with her, but I can’t imagine being out of love with her. Yet I don’t want Molly to fall in love with me. Not when I’ve got a death sentence.
My (Writing) Life
I’m a terrible, horrible person. Instead of doing real work a couple nights ago, or going to bed like I should have, I stayed up late mocking up two book covers. For myself. For books that don’t exist yet. Except very loosely in my head. To go along with another book cover I mocked up for myself. So.. yeah. I’ve pretty much got myself committed to at least a three book YA contemporary romance series, each book a standalone. Hopefully I’ll get started on that by early 2018, if not sooner.
In other news, edits on Peace in Flames are going well. And re-writes on Summer of Peace are moving along nicely as well. A new plot twist popped into my head, so hopefully that works out. I’m very excited to share these novellas with you all.
Here’s a little teaser from Peace in Flames.
(Peace in Flames is Valerie and Liam’s story. Summer of Peace is JoJo and Matt’s story.)
My MIL has melanoma, although it’s not terminal it’s been pretty awful. Thanks for the rec. I’m getting it.
I enjoyed it.
The Husband’s cousin’s bestie was diagnosed with melanoma and died 6 months later. 🙁 I think like all cancer there are stages, depends on when it gets caught.
I really like the sound of this novella. Definitely going to have to read it!
It’s nice and short. Perfect for a quick shot between other books. (And it’s free.)
Melanoma tends to be a genetic trait in my family shrubberies, it is a scourge! Sounds like a bittersweet read.
The Husband is the Whitest White Boy Who Ever Was White and has to get his skin checked from time to time. He’s already had one spot removed to be safe. I need to pressure him to get back in though….
It definitely was bittersweet.
This sounds like one of those that will rip your heart out and shatter it into pieces just to help you tape it back together again. Great review!
I 100% refuse to read this! -puts it in my tbr now- You would never even catch me eyeing a sad story like this. You know, those one where they start out angsty and then love blooms and one of them dies. Pft, nope. not me. -buys book on amazon-
LMAO!!!!! Thanks for the laugh. Seriously, it’s good. And I just realized it’s now branded as a prequel, so I’m HOPING that means there’s a full book coming soon!!!
I love your review and the quotes you picked from the book!! Following your blog!!!
Awww! Thank you so much! You just made my day. <3
It is often hard to write about such hard subject matters in a novella, but sounds like this author got it just right. Great review.
I’m liking novellas and novelettes more and more. The normal fluff authors add is not there. This sounds like a good one.