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About the Author
Paul E. Stawski won the Highlights for Children fiction contest for his short story, Code Red, a science-fiction story about a little girl who has to make a very grown-up decision. As a child, Paul was the subject of Newbery-Award winning author Lois Lenski's We Live in the North. Then, as an adult, he taught at an all-girls' high school before becoming a full-time writer. Both Sides is his first novel, he is currently writing the second book in the Both Sides series, Taking Sides due to be released January 2014. He lives in Troy, Michigan, with his wife and two cats.
Our Book Review
When I read the book description I just knew that this would be a book I would enjoy to read due to the unusual story line. I am pleased to say the book exceeded my expectations and I was gripped from page one.
Two girls, Alex and Sandra, from the opposite end of the social spectrum are involved in a tragic accident on a school trip, one girl is left brain damaged the other is left with a shattered and broken body. Do the surgeons leave both girls to die or do they transplant the healthy brain from one girl into the healthy body of the other. This is where the numerous 'what if' questions started as I asked myself throughout the book how I would feel, who would this patient now be, who would now be her parents, how this would affect family and friends and that's even before the whole ethics of the issue.
An absolutely fabulous read from such a talented author as he brings the whole story to you through the eyes of Alex as she lay both in her coma as well as her recovery efforts. You could feel Alex's sheer panic and terror as she is aware of all the goings on around her, feeling like she doesn't exist as everyone else makes decisions on her behalf. The feel of disgust being inside a body that she cannot bear to be in, her life that she took for granted will never be the same again.
As you read the book it becomes very clear that a lot of research has been done by the author for a story that will inevitably bring questions, discussions and debates to anyone who reads it as well as opening it up to those around them. I do have to include that I would absolutely love to take the virtual therapy that Alex undertook, to escape from the world into another place, how wonderful that would be.
A highly recommended thought provoking read as you feel as you are there besides Alex as she struggles to come to terms with all that she has lost and what she now has become. I cannot wait to read the next book to see how the author will carry the story on for Alex and all those affected by the tragedy.