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Book Club: Brave Enough, Chapter 1

dancer on floor

Welcome to the comments and discussion of the Young Adult Cancer Book Club! We are reading Brave Enough by Kati Gardner!

Week 1: Prologues and Chapter 1

Commentary by Alyssa G.:

In the prologue of the book we are introduced to the two main subjects. We meet Cason and Davis.

Immediately I felt as though I could relate to Cason. She begins to describe the pain she is feeling while ballet dancing. The details and explanations of the pain she feels in her leg make are just amazing. In a way, it reminded me of the pain I felt in my legs throughout my cancer journey. Like Cason, I always tried to tell myself it was just a pulled muscle or something, until it hit the breaking point and I realized it was something much worse. You also see the family struggle immediately between the Cason and her mother. This relationship also struck me as I feel sometimes it is frustrating trying to please other family members in completing task and things they want done.

Next we meet Davis. We learn that Davis had been arrested for possession of narcotics and sentenced to 300 hours of community service. He must serve those 300 hours at the oncology clinic he was treated at. When I was in treatment I volunteered at the children’s hospital where I was treated. Later in the first chapter, we find out Davis really enjoyed his time working at the clinic. Like Davis, I loved volunteering at the hospital, so I like that I have been able to connect to both characters already.

Overall, I really enjoyed the prologues and the first chapter. I thought the characters were introduced well. It was also easy to follow along and you begin to see where the two characters could be connected in the story quickly. I enjoyed these chapters a lot.

Commentary by Coleen S:

I immediately identified with Carson, the first character introduced in the Prologue. She has been punishing herself physically and mentally to achieve her goals. Unlike with myself, I can see that cancer (as it does) is about to sweep in and break everything for her: her life plans, her leg, and her trust in her body. I can also see that her mother is going to have a challenging time handling a daughter with a serious illness. I am hoping that their relationship goes through positive change later on in the book.

By the end of the Prologue, we’ve met both of the main characters (Carson and Davis). They are each at a different point in their cancer journey. Carson is at the beginning and Davis is post-treatment, but still struggling to figure out what he wants his post-treatment life to look like. Since so many of us struggle with this, I’m eager to read more about Davis’s journey.

By the end of Chapter 1, I’m impatient for Carson and Davis to meet. They haven’t yet, but it’s obvious that they will encounter one another in the oncology unit. I am also rooting for Davis against his drug addiction. Unlike Carson, who seems to be a loner, we are introduced to Davis’s support system of family and friends. It’s not easy sailing for Davis though. He also has to contend with people that he used to use drugs with, including an unstable and seemingly manipulative ex-girlfriend.

Join in next Monday for the comments and discussion on chapters 2-5!

We will talk about a few chapters each Monday until the book is done. If Monday happens to be a holiday, then the post will publish on Tuesday. Once we finish the book, we’ll use one more Monday to talk about general feelings from the book and anything else you’d like to discuss. We’ll also have a video chat book club discussion at the end! Join in, in the comments every week! Also, there will probably be spoilers so read along with us!  Excited about the young adult cancer book club?  Have any suggestions for future reads?  Let us know!