Title: Brave Enough
Author: Kati Gardner
Publisher: North Star Books (Flux imprint)
Pub date: 21st August 2018
To say that I enjoyed Brave Enough is to not phrase it correctly: what I appreciated about the novel was its realistic portrayal of living with pain and potential limitations and trying to learn how to overcome them.
There’s an honesty in how Cason makes progress and drifts backward throughout the story. She doesn’t constantly feel sorry for herself, yet nor is she relentlessly and unrealistically upbeat about her situation. For a girl her age, she does her best to cope with what she has to face and tries her best to grasp at what hope she’s given when she can, and is just as ready to disregard it when she can’t handle or face it. She is human and vulnerable and has her bad days and her good ones. Her struggles ring true – trying to claim what independence she can and simultaneously resigning herself to the future she’s painting for herself in particular – and I would have gladly read more about her. I’m not ashamed to admit that I cried more than once before the end of the book.
I read the whole novel, start to finish, in one sitting. Admittedly, my focus was on Cason’s story more than Davis’, but, even so, I felt no need to rush through the chapters following him, which I’m finding rarer and rarer these days with books that employ more than one narrative point of view. The romance was a little predictable, yet not overplayed and didn’t detract from the main messages of the story.
Used properly and sensitively, I feel this book could make a fantastic class reader for children in their early teens.
I received an ARC of Brave Enough from NetGalley and the publisher.