I’m not sure whether this is my mistaken preconceived notions regarding how the story would go, but A Story About Cancer (with a Happy Ending) by India Desjardins and illustrated by Marianne Ferrer was a lot darker than I thought it would be. I guess the inclusion of a happy ending didn’t mean that the story would follow a less dejecting tale in the beginning. And yet, I still can’t help feeling as though I expected quite a bit more optimism, hope, and happiness peppered throughout the book. That is not to say, of course, that this isn’t a good story. It is. The book follows the tale of a young girl, diagnosed and receiving treatment as she navigates the world of living as a cancer patient with the potential of an early death looming over her.
I’ll be honest, some parts of the story were difficult to read through, leaving me feeling rather upset for a while afterward. It really does, at times, break your heart. And I think that’s to be expected from a story like this. The account of the girl’s experiences, the near entirety of her life, is one you follow through with her. You empathize and can almost feel a lot of the pain yourself.
And, of course, you expect a happy ending. This isn’t a book where you get blindsided by a lack of happy ending, which is incredibly nice. Any reader can figure out how it will end, of course. I do feel that the ending came a bit too quickly and went by faster than I’d have liked, especially after the grey feeling you get from the majority of the book.
While I wasn’t a huge fan of the artwork, it definitely added to the story in a unique way. I can be pretty picky when it comes to illustrations of people and it can tend to take away from the story for me. But all in all, A Story About Cancer (with a Happy Ending) is definitely a book worth reading, especially if a person feels it would help them navigate their own story.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.