The moment I saw the cover of Brave Enough, I fell in love with it. I mean, look at it, it is so pretty. Sometimes I see a cover, fall in love with it, read the synopsis and know that I won’t like the book. I know, that it’s not up my alley. Well, with Brave Enough it was not the case.
Brave Enough follows teenagers Cason and Davis. Cason is a ballerina on the verge of making it and Davis is a recovering addict struggling with sobriety. The go to the same school but really don’t know each other, as Cason is mostly at her ballet school, which her mother, a typical stage mum, runs. They meet again when Cason is diagnosed with cancer. Davis works at the hospital as part of his community service and also because he had cancer as a child and is, therefore, still very attached to the clinic.
The narrative is split into Cason and Davis’ view point with every second chapter either from Cason or Davis’ perspective. This really added to the story as you get to know both very well and understand their feelings towards each other and the entire situation better. Cason is very ambitious, she really wanted to get to New York to further her ballet career and to get away from her overbearing mother. I enjoyed the relationship between Cason and her mum very much and especially how their relationship progresses throughout the book.
I used to do ballet myself for about five years, when I was a kid, so I loved how Cason related everything in ballet terms. For example, how difficult things, like chemo therapy, are just like difficult ballet moves. While Cason has to deal with life-as-she-knows-it disappearing, Davis has to try and pick up the broken pieces of his life. Davis’ recovery and the inner demons her has to battle, are just beautifully described. It felt so real and relatable.
In general, the topics of having cancer and addiction were handled incredibly well. Obiviosly, I never had to deal with either one of those – and knock on wood, that I never have to – so I can’t say if that is true depiction of those topics, but they felt very realistic. Author Kati Gardner herself is a cancer survivor and had her leg amputated because of it, so I trust her in that.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading Brave Enough. I cried several times as it is really moving, but there are also so many parts where I found myself laughing out loud or just smiling. Despite dealing with cancer, addiction and recovery from both, the book was very slow paced. Personally, I think it fitted the story very well.
I would really recommend everyone to pick up this book and fall in love with it just as I did. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Would you like to read Brave Enough? Have you read it? What did you think about it?
* ad: This book was provided by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you North Star Editions (Flux) and Netgalley!