Friday, June 7, 2013


by Donna Jo Napoli 

When Sep stares into the mirror the morning of the first day of school, something's different. 

Her lips are now completely white. 

 Then a spot appears on her hand. 

Another shows up on her chest. 

And more keep appearing over the next few weeks. 

She's diagnosed with vitiligo, an incurable disease that causes the skin pigmentation to change, permanently, to white. It's unpredictable, but not contagious, and Sep will have to learn to live with it forever. 

Before it spreads so far that she has to admit to everyone around her what's going on, Sep is determined to get the most out of life and the new guy who just started taking an interest in her. 

Can she find a way to have it all before it all is taken away?

Final thoughts:  This one has me confused.  There is so much good to this story and it could be a real help to people who find themselves in similar situations, but there are too many problems.  The first, of course, is the sexual situation issue.  It's a natural progression to the story, but Napoli really didn't need to describe it in detail.  It takes the book from a good middle school book to upper high school with just a few pages.  The second issue is Sep's compulsion to spend page after page describing facts she's discovered about salmon and Vishnu and other scientific and philosophic things that come up in her life.  Finally, Joshua's nice and all, but the ending seemed odd.  While more realistic than many books, it felt unfinished.

Rating: 3/5

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