Imagine if you were in a tragic accident – unable to move or speak but otherwise cognizant of everything around you. Imagine hearing doctors deciding your fate without you having a voice in the outcome.
Alex is a 16-year-old girl who finds herself in that exact situation in Both Sides, a novel that begins when – while on a class field trip – Alex and another girl, Sandra, end up in a horrible accident.
If the doctors act quickly, they may be able to save one body…and one brain. Amid the confusion and uncertainty, we hear everything that’s going on in Alex’s mind – from her initial disbelief to her quips about the absurdity of it all to her realization that she may have to go through the rest of her life living in the body of a girl she couldn’t stand. If she survives.
Both Sides tackles these issues and more. Within its pages every reader will find her own answers and discover, in the end, a story of courage and a girl who never before existed.
Award-winning author Paul E. Stawski captures the minute-by-minute struggles of a 16-year-old girl whose world is suddenly turned upside down in Both Sides. Radical brain surgery is the only option. Time is running out and Alex’s mind is racing: will she still be the same person when she comes out on the other side?
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Through the Fates she walks. She has no choice in the matter. Alex has a dying body, and Sandra’s brain is no longer functioning. As the time closes in to connect Alex’s mind to Sandra’s body, we are vividly given a window to see inside the fear, confusion and courage of this trapped mind. Paul E. Stawski clearly sets a trap for the reader. I was trapped in Alex’s mind. Overwhelmed to a point my heart beat wildly, my stomach clenched as she clashes with her need to survive and her distress of who she may become in the end. I promise, if you read ‘Both Sides’, you will ‘FEEL’ this story.
I was so impressed how the author took you into a young girls mind, that when I had an opportunity to interview Paul, I jumped! You can read my interview HERE, and get a little insight into the workings of his mind!
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.
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Taking Sides is the second book in the Both Sides series. In BOTH SIDES, Alex grappled with the idea of her brain being transplanted into Sandra’s brain-dead body. In TAKING SIDES, she struggles with her new reality, starting with the ride home from the hospital and the ensuing media circus. She’s now a celebrity who literally comes face-to-face with her new identity every time she looks in the mirror – and every time someone else looks at her. How will her friends react? How will Sandra’s? And what about their classmates and their parents? With everyone taking sides, Alex begins to wonder: is anyone on her side?
I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.