Review: Give Me a Reason by Jennifer Miller

Reviewed by Debz

Remy Sinclair’s life has just fallen into pieces. After feeling lethargic for a couple weeks, she goes to the doctor for a flu shot. They ask for more blood for further tests, and then for a biopsy. She has cancer they say, and no one is sure how much time she has left. The doctor even goes further to say that she has a rare aggressive form that, if left untreated immediately, would lead to death in months.

She’s devastated and numb. Anyone in this situation would need someone to lean on; her best friend and confidante was no longer there. Her mom, too, had died of cancer, and Remy had just been waiting for the other shoe to drop. She has no friends, no life outside her cat, Meatball, and is resentful of society browbeating cancer survivors into “fighting.” She just wants to live her life to the fullest in the time she has left. Her mom fought for so long, went into remission, and still died of cancer. She was not able to fulfill any of her goals in her bucket list and the disease took a huge toll on her life. Remy just wants to die.

Oliver just wants Remy to live. He doesn’t understand why she wants to die rather than kick cancer to the curb. As her best friend, he just wants the love of his life with him for as long as possible. Although he has not told her he loves her, he wants the best for her and he knows that dying is not it.

Remy, rather than start her treatment plans immediately decides she wants to fulfill the most important wish on her and her mother’s bucket list. Feel the sand on her toes, on the beach. Oliver will not let Remy do this on his own so he books a 1 week trip for the both of them in Hawaii. Remy is really surprised Oliver is allowed to come with her as his girlfriend doesn’t like her much.

I really loved and cried with this book. Honestly, I don’t know why I do this to myself. I was crying in the bus for god’s sake. A mess.  This book took me through an emotional rollercoaster and even though I was sad at times, I couldn’t help but laugh and smile at the joy this brought me.

It was also very interesting for me to see someone talk about a topic I feel strongly about. The way we view cancer and cancer patients and their time with the disease feels somewhat problematic to me. We call them fighters and that always bothered me; it bothered Remy too. Calling them fighters means there is a fight, and in a fight there is always a winner and a loser. This just puts too much pressure on people already in one of the most difficult times of their lives. This also makes people take insane risks and very difficult choices with unproven drug trials and debilitating side effects just to make sure they win the fight. I hope we get to a point where we cure cancer, but until then, there should be more encouragement to people, telling them that they don’t have to sacrifice their quality of life to fight. It’s okay to let go when the time comes.

Back to the story, during the vacation, Oliver tries his best to convince Remy to get the treatment offered by the doctors. But she needs a reason. Her mom is no longer alive, and she has no friends other than Oliver. Although she has loved Oliver all her life, she knows from prior experience that he doesn’t reciprocate these feelings.

Remy and Oliver are able to rediscover the love they had always shared, rebuild their friendship and come to an agreement about the future, their future.

Like I said, this was an emotional rollercoaster for me. Read if you dare, or if you’re not afraid of crying in public, because I sure did. Thank you Jennifer Miller, this was beautiful.

Rating: A

Click to purchase: Amazon

Give Me a Reason
by Jennifer Miller
Release Date: June 18, 2018

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