Tuesday, February 24, 2015

ARC Review: Positively Beautiful by Wendy Mills

Title: Positively Beautiful
Author: Wendy Mills
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Rating: ☆☆☆☆
In this heart-wrenching story of love and loss, a teen grapples with a medical question that could change everything.
Erin Bailey's life changes forever the day her mom is diagnosed with breast cancer. It's always been just Erin and Mom, so living without her is not an option. Life takes another turn when the cancer is linked to a rare genetic mutation, and Erin must choose whether or not to have her own DNA tested. Her only escape outlets are a new friend she met in an online support group and flying lessons, where looking to the horizon calms her deepest fears. But when a flash decision has Erin flying away to find her friend, she embarks on a journey to new love and a better understanding of the true meaning of beauty.
This thought-provoking story brings readers to the emotional brink and back again as they experience Erin's fear, her frustration, and ultimately . . . her freedom.

My Review

A few simple words can't explain what reading Positively Beautiful by Wendy Mills will do to readers. It's an emotional roller coaster of a read that will have readers laughing, smiling, swooning, and crying. You will be in tears by the end of the book. I promise you that. The book will literally transform the way readers think about life and death.

The novel starts out by introducing readers to sixteen (almost seventeen) year old Erin Bailey. She is your average American teenage girl. She does well in school and has a best friend. She's not the most popular girl in school, but I wouldn't say she's on the lowest rung of the social ladder. She's also got a nemesis like quite a few girls do in high school. Her best friend meets a boy, and soon they all begin to hang out with Michael, a boy who used to be quite popular until he decided to drop it all. Pretty status quo, right? Well... that's just the beginning of the book.

Mills introduces the main problem of the book - Erin's mom's cancer diagnosis - rather quickly, but after reading the whole novel, I like that she did that. With the inclusion of a very quick diagnosis, Mills creates a very realistic case of what it's like to battle cancer because cancer really can strike anywhere and at any time. 

If you read the synopsis, you know that Erin's mom discovers that the cancer is linked to a genetic mutation. Some of you may already be aware of this gene - the BRCA gene - because Angelina Jolie recently decided to have a mastectomy because of it. After Erin finds out that she could be at risk, she orders a kit to have her own DNA tested. I thought that Erin was brave for wanting to find out the truth, even though everyone, including her mom, is insisting that she wait until she's older to be tested. I admire Mills for bringing this into the story. It really shows that some people want to know just how they could die.

I also enjoyed that there were a few things going on in this book. It's not just about cancer (although the aforementioned cancer is the reason that Erin does a lot of what she does). There are some heartbreaking moments between Erin and her best friend. There are some times when you'll feel so bad for Erin that you want to jump into the book and give her the biggest of hugs. You'll see Erin go online to find support groups to help her cope with the genetic mutation that is destroying her family. Erin also tries to distract herself with flying lessons so she can feel closer to her late father. Erin is a mufti-faceted character that I think will connect with many of today's teens.

If you're only looking to read a few new books in 2015, this should be one of them. It's emotional and it's raw, but it will teach you about life and love when it seems like all hope is lost in the world.


  1. This sounds really interesting. I'm not sure it's for me (I am so terrible with sad books) but I am definitely going to make sure my library has copies. Thanks for the review!

    1. I understand not being okay with sad books. I usually am, but I couldn't help but cry because of this one. And yes! I hope that some of your teen readers pick it up. :)

  2. Great review Erin! I always read the sad stories, but they are so good. :)
    New Bloglovin and email follower
    Jess @ Jess Time To Read

    1. Thank you, Jess! I am a reader of the sad stories too. I just love them.

      Thanks for following! <3

  3. I'm so happy you liked it, Erin! I love the review. I'm glad I was able to give you a namesake. :)

    1. Thank you so much, Wendy! And yes! I love that I've finally found an Erin! :)

  4. I have seen a few reviews for this book around and they have all been singing its praises! It sounds like something that should be on my TBR right now! I love the idea of it being beautifully written and packed with just the right emotion as well.

    1. It definitely deserves all the praise that it's getting! It's amazing!

      If you read it, let me know what you think. :)

    2. Me too, me too! I'd love to hear what you think, Olivia-Savannah. :)


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.