Would you rather know what’s going to happen? Or not know?
This is the question that starts Natalie’s story.
The summer before her junior year, Natalie spends time with her friends sneaking into neighbor’s pools at night and hanging out at the diner, where they play the Would You Rather game – asking each other very funny, hypothetical and often gross questions posed as moral dilemmas. Natalie is looking forward to a lazy, fun summer, but her sister Claire is leaving for college soon and Natalie dreads it. She has always shared a room, clothes, and everything else with Claire.
Claire is excited about her future. She tells Natalie “I have this roar in my head…of anticipation. That it’s all just starting.”
One night biking home after a swimming pool raid, Natalie passes police cars and ambulances. She thinks nothing of it, but when she arrives home she finds out that Claire has been struck by a car and suffered severe brain trauma.
With Claire in a coma, Natalie’s life changes dramatically. The words “Would you?” take on a whole new meaning.
Would You is not a light read. It’s an extremely honest look at the painful feelings, thoughts, and choices you have to make during a tragedy. It strikes a good emotional balance; it is never sentimental or overly angst-ridden. Natalie’s reactions are realistic. She goes through guilt and anger, lashing out at people and feeling repulsed at how unrecognizable her sister is in the hospital bed. She has the support and understanding of her family and friends to help her face these real life dilemmas, and finds solace while talking to the unresponsive Claire in the hospital. This is a tough, heartbreaking novel, but Natalie manages to find peace and strength by the end.
5 out of 5 stars – couldn’t put it down