“Do you really think trees can be friends?”
There’s something incredibly powerful about Caleb and Kit, the story of a twelve-year-old boy with cystic fibrosis who meets a young girl in the woods and spends his summer becoming her friend. I think one of the most amazing and beautifully accomplished pieces of this novel is the voice of the main character. The entire story truly does feel as if it’s being told to you by Caleb and you feel quite present in his life for every moment.
I loved Caleb and Kit. All the children in the story were beautifully written, giving readers a sincere look into the lives of not only a child living through a permanent illness but also showing how other kids respond to them. Caleb is a wonderful character beautifully developed throughout the course of the novel. He feels real and never once did I find myself questioning him in his actions or struggles. I adored Kit not only in the ways we met her but also in her diligent and determined response to her own difficulties in life.
The book had a very Bridge to Terabithia feel to it at times, and there were certainly moments when one genuinely did feel as though they were reading an incredibly similar book–but the characters themselves are incredibly different in ways that make it so two children meeting by a river in the forest is really the only true comparison.
Admittedly I struggled a bit in my reading of the father, for at times it did seem to me as though certain responses and how rude he was to his son were unrealistic, but it is a minor complaint amongst a plethora of praise.
I was thoroughly impressed with Vrabel’s work, a novel that comes from a place close to the heart for her as she mentions in the acknowledgements. Mixing innocence with maturity, it is emotional and raw…and it is real.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.