November 30, 2012

Radiate by Marley Gibson


Hayley Matthews is determined to be the best cheerleader she can. She works hard and pushes herself 110% all the time.

Then Hayley finds a lump on her leg. The diagnosis is cancer. The prognosis is unclear. She could lose her leg. Or maybe her life.

At first Haley is scared, terrified. In an instant, everything she’s worked for seems out of reach. But Haley is strong. She’s going to fight this disease. She will not let it take her life or her dreams.

My Thoughts/Review:

This book shows two different sides of one story: the darker side, and the lighter side. On one hand, the darker side really didn't last that long. It was less capitalized on than the lighter side. The lighter side is really what this book is all about. It's a super cute and sweet contemporary, with a strangely dark twist: the protagonist has cancer.

That's actually what most of the first half of this book was about: her cancer. And most of the dark time didn't occur then, it occurred  afterwards. It really didn't hit her until it was over, it seems. Hayley was a very upbeat character, and I was honestly rooting for her throughout the book--she makes you want to.

She makes you want to wish her well, to wish her better, and to just let her be who she wants to be. And how cool is it that she's a cheerleader? I mean, really. THAT IS AWESOME. She's a cheerleader, and she get's cancer, and SHE STAYS HAPPY. I honestly don't know how she did it, or even how she could honestly stay so positive, but I liked it.

I do wish that the cancer had hit her a little harder though, maybe caused a bit more emotional development, and a bit more drama. I do know that this is based off of the author's own experience, so I really can't comment on that. Maybe the author was extremely upbeat--the note from her mother in the back of the book makes me think that she was.

Because I'm a complete girly girl at heart, I also wish that there had been more romance. I mean, I loved it as is, but the romance was mostly of the cute variety. Which I like, but I craved a bit more on Hayley and her boy's relationship.

I did think that a few things were over the top, but I won't state the here. Okay, I will. In between those brackets. {TWO people in this story get cancer. TWO. Within months of each other. I mean, both of my grandparents had cancer, but it seemed kind of unlikely in this storyline. But I don't know if this was one of the severely fictionalized parts, or one of the loosely based parts. O_O}

All in all, Radiate is a read that I would definitely recommend to lovers of contemporary, and to people who like a sweet teenage read.

*This book was provided by the author for review.

Favorite Quote:
The lighter side's quote:
As I watch him saunter--and yeah, he does--back to his house, I can't help but note how he's grown up and changed from the kid I knew. I guess we all grow up eventually.

The darker side's quote:
It's hard to accept the bitter pill that sometimes cancer wins out, no matter how hard we struggle to battle it with all our might.


  1. This sounds like a great read. I'd never heard of it, but it has now been added to my (longlonglonglong) To-Read list. Great review!

    Gilly at Writer of Wrongs

    1. It was! Haha, I can sympathize about the (longlonglong) TBR pile. It's insane, isn't it? Thanks! (:

  2. This book sounds so touching :'( I don't read a lot of contemporary, but I'm adding this one to my to-read list. Should I grab a box of tissues when I sit down with it?

    Momo @ Where the Mome Raths Outgrabe

    1. :'( Really? I suppose most of your blog is paranormal fantasy, but I've never thought about it. O_O You probably should! I didn't cry, but I totally came close a couple of times. Thanks for commenting, Momo! (:

  3. Wow! This book sounds very moving. I love books that have a life changing event happen to the main character. It makes the book sound so much more realistic and deep. This is going onto my insanely long to-read pile:)

    1. It was pretty moving! I do too! I really dislike it when there's a cliche, and the book just seems ridiculous, because really, NOTHING EVER HAPPENS. It was good--bump it up a few spaces! My TBR is insanely long too--I'm just doing my own personal review copies readathon right now. It's working! Thanks for commenting, Diane! (:

  4. Great review! It's kind of strange to have a book that's about cancer and is still happy. I think it would be so hard to stay positive, especially when you are so young.

    1. Thanks! I think so too--I'd be in a corner in the fetal position, totally whining and crying about the situation. It would be SUPER HARD. Thanks for commenting, Megan! (:

  5. Thank you for your review, Megan! Most appreciated. I hope your blog readers will give the book a chance and see how they like it, as well.

    And yeah...I was that positive. I was that positive because I really didn't know at the time WHAT I was going through. Just like Hayley, all I wanted to do was get back to school and get back into my cheerleading uniform. Having a goal and positive attitude kept me from ever letting the cancer get me down...which it really didn't until after the fact. When you go through something that intense and unknown, having a focus--a light at the end of the tunnel--is what really keeps you going. And that's the message I wanted RADIATE to have for readers.

    Also, I have started The Radiate Foundation, which is a charity that utilizes cheerleading squads to visit young cancer patients in the hospital and bring them cheer baskets to lift their spirits. We've only just filed the paperwork, but are excited about the possibilities and we're already spreading cheer to cancer victims with free copies of RADIATE.

    As for your bracketed information...LOL...well...everything happens for a reason in a story, right? It was based on something that happened to me after I had overcome. To my best friend's uncle. And what I had been through and my journey with cancer was told to him as an inspiration to him. Also, what happened in the book was done so that Chloe could redeem herself. = )

    As you can see...this is much more than a book for me. It was my life. And it's how I'm paying it forward to others.

    Thanks again!!

    Marley = )

    1. You're welcome--I'm glad you like it! I hope that all my blog readers like it--it's good. (:

      It's actually a really great message...I just don't think that I could've been like that. I would have been curled up in a corner, crying in the fetal position. Seriously--I could never have been that positive for so long, and I just...yeah. Can't do that.

      That is AWESOME. I hope that it goes well, and that the cancer victims enjoy your book--they deserve to enjoy it! I hope that the RADIATE foundation turns out well. I'm excited for you! (:

      Aww, that really happened? I mean, people get cancer all the time, but I've never really thought about how people that are so close to each other could get it. I'm sorry. :( It worked! She became a better person through that, I believe.

      I see. And I believe, lol. I wasn't ragging on you or your book--I was just doing my best to state my opinion. You're welcome! Thanks for commenting!

  6. Fantastic review! I've never read any books about cancer, but this one does sounds like a inspiring story. That a teenage girl can stay happy, positive, and still keep her head up to reach a goal of hers even when she's struggle with her health.

    Another thing I find very interesting is that this is based off of something author herself actually went through. I haven't read too many YA books that do that either!

    Again, great review, thanks! And I can't wait to get the chance to read it!


    1. Thank you! I've read very few--I think it's just that I like to read lighter books. I'm not a big fan of sad books--I mean, I love 'em to death, but I can't take them all the time.

      I know! It was really shocking to find out that the author was so positive, and that most of the book is true. O_O Thank you! I hope that you get to read it soon! (: