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SHARING SAM by Katherine Applegate


by Katherine Applegate

Pub Date: March 9th, 2004
ISBN: 0-385-73135-3
Publisher: Delacorte

Sam, the new kid in Alison’s Florida high school, is an irresistible combination of mysterious, handsome, and slightly dangerous-looking, and Alison is thrilled when he asks her out. But her good feelings evaporate when her brilliant and beautiful best friend Izzy, who never had a romantic experience, confesses that she likes Sam too. Normally this could be dealt with honestly, but then Alison finds out that Izzy is dying of a brain tumor. Buffeted by waves of contradictory emotions, Alison asks Sam, who cares for his mentally deteriorating grandfather, to date Izzy. Although initially opposed, Sam reluctantly agrees, setting the stage for further complications. Less affecting than it should be, the story, which explores the themes of love, honesty, personal sacrifice, and inevitable loss, feels overstuffed, and there’s something uncomfortable about the emotionally evenhanded treatment of romantic love, dementia, and death. Still, although the reader may not agree with the protagonist’s conclusion, the question of how far one should go to bring happiness to another is certainly worth contemplating. (Fiction. 12+)