Sick Kids In Love – Hannah Moskowitz – Entangled:Teen – Published 5 November 2019
Isabel has one rule: no dating.
–for the other person.
She’s got issues. She’s got secrets. She’s got rheumatoid arthritis.
But then she meets another sick kid.
He’s got a chronic illness Isabel’s never heard of, something she can’t even pronounce. He understands what it means to be sick. He understands her more than her healthy friends. He understands her more than her own father who’s a doctor.
He’s gorgeous, fun, and foul-mouthed. And totally into her.
Isabel has one rule: no dating.
It’s never felt better–
–to consider breaking that rule for him.
I loved this book. Loved the representation of chronic illness in teenagers, something that usually goes unnoticed in fiction. I love the humour woven throughout the story. I loved the friendship, flawed as it was. I loved the character development, as the characters wrestle with things they should or maybe shouldn’t change about themselves. And I loved the romance. So sweet. So based in a strong friendship. So natural and unforced.
Isabel is ready for her junior year of high school. Her advice column is doing well and she has a great group of—mostly understanding—friends. She spends a lot of time at the hospital, mostly because her father is the lead physician and a workaholic, and also because she has rheumatoid arthritis. When she meets Sasha at the hospital, they connect straight away. He’s funny, awkward, handsome, he shares her Jewish faith and he understands exactly what it means to be sick. But Isabel has a no dating rule. A rule she’s not sure if she want to break.
Isabel and Sasha’s friendship and romance is one of the most genuine relationships I’ve read in ages. In fact, as characters they are genuinely flawed, complex, awkward, realistic characters. They both have a great sense of humour and they bounce off each other really well. I loved how they wanted to just be normal with each other.
I loved Hannah Moskowitz’s writing style. Along with genuine characters is a really authentic flow of speech and a perfect balance between descriptions and dialogue. Isabel is the narrator and it gives the reader such insight into her thinking process. I loved Isabel’s development, as someone who learns to stand up for herself better, who learns to be in a relationship, who doesn’t want to give up her identity as an individual, but who must also learn to accept the things that she should maybe change about herself.
Chronic illness is so underrepresented in YA fiction and Sick Kids In Love does a fantastic job of portraying Isabel and Sasha as more than just their illnesses. And yet, they deserve respect and understanding because of their illnesses, and how they appreciate someone who just ‘gets it’. I can also totally relate to their appreciation of a good nap.
Alongside the romance and the chronic illness are themes of supportive friendship and absent parents, both a mother who has left Isabel and a father who is constantly at work. Sasha’s family are wonderfully welcoming and supportive and I only wish there were more sections with them all in it.
All in all, Sick Kids In Love is a fantastic book and one I can highly recommend.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Category: Young adult fiction
Themes: Romance, chronic illness, rheumatoid arthritis, hospitals, absent parents, friendship.
Reading age guide: Ages 14 and up.
Advisory: Implied sex scene, sexual references. Frequent coarse language, f*** (54), sh** (81), bit** (4), pi** (13).
Published: 5 November 2019 by Entangled Teen.
Format: Hardcover, paperback, ebook. 300 pages.
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