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Book Club: The Cast Chapters 7-8

morose man on couch

Welcome to the comments and discussion of the Young Adult Cancer Book Club! We are reading The Cast by Amy Blumenfeld!  Catch up on Chapters 1-2, Chapters 3-4, Chapters 5-6!

Read our participants’ reactions and follow along with us each week as we read through the book! Caution, spoilers below!

Week 4: Chapters 7 and 8

By Coleen S.:

Chapter 7: Nolan

Nolan continues to behave poorly. He asks Becca’s friend to get involved by providing plastic surgery references, and we hear more about the mess he’s in at work, which he hasn’t told his wife about. I’m having trouble empathizing with him because he’s being such a jerk. He then decides to go home to his parents and brothers instead of going home to his wife. His mom tries to talk some sense into him, but we leave Nolan not knowing whether he is going to take her advice and drive to Becca or try to escape to somewhere else. I’m very disappointed that this is the support that Becca is getting.

Chapter 8: Jordana

I don’t understand why Becca has not told her best friend about her diagnosis yet. Jordana is understandably frustrated because she knows that something is going on, but not what. It’s interesting to watch this group of school friends come back together as adults. They don’t seem to know whether to behave like adults or like teenagers. Given that Jordana is supposedly happily married, I don’t really understand the feelings that she seems to have for Adam. But it’s fun to see both the present and hear about their past together. The final scenes, in which Jordana realizes that there is something amiss with Becca’s health are great. I love the way that the author reveals it through the prayers, something that tied the Cast together through their childhoods.

By Anmol D.:

Chapter 7: Nolan

It was easy to start chapter 7, angry and upset with Nolan. The big blowout of how he reacted to Becca’s concerns about the reconstruction part of surgery, placed him directly into the antagonist character. The introduction of his work problems makes you feel sorry for him a little but it also reminds you of how he thinks he is “protecting,” Becca, instead of telling her the truth. And then he runs away to his mom – that was annoying! I understand that he hadn’t dealt with her first diagnosis and this was his first time in such a situation but it definitely is going to take a lot to get him out of the dog house. He was acting like a coward and “supremely self-absorbed” in how he handled the situation, instead of being there to support his wife and trying to understand her viewpoint. His concern should have been with her health and not how he thought she should look like a “woman.” He was so focused on her physical appearance – asking Seth for a second opinion on a surgeon – that he didn’t take a moment to even think about the fact that his wife has cancer AGAIN. I thought, his mom’s reaction to how he handled things was wonderful – he deserved that whack on the arm!

Chapter 8: Jordana

As someone with OCD, I totally understood where Jordana was coming from when a wrench was thrown into the weekend plans because she didn’t even know if Becca, the guest of honor, was coming. It was interesting to be introduced to the high school-esque drama between Holly, Adam, and Jordana. Especially the way Holly responded to the scene in the basement and the way Jordana eavesdropped on their conversation, through the vents. It was hard not to feel for her, even though she is in a loving marriage, when Adam, her first love, said that he “never loved [Jordana].” Jordana’s fear of losing her best friend, the insecurity that comes with that, is so relatable. But I loved how she gave her self a pep talk to address that insecurity, even when she felt that she was out of the loop in her best friend’s life. It felt so raw and realistic. Sometimes we all can feel insecure in friendships and/or relationships. Especially after overhearing Adam and Holly’s conversation along with Adam and Holly’s prayers about Becca and her health. She is determined to get answers and be there for her friend, which is really all anyone can ask for in a friend.

By Melissa B:

In this chapter, Nolan decides against going to the “reunion” with his wife Becca and her friends. Instead, he goes to his parents’ house in New Jersey. I feel that Nolan is being incredibly selfish in this entire situation. Becca has the right to choose what she wants to do with her body and he should be supportive of whatever decision she makes. I think he had a little heart to heart with his mom. Mom sides with Becca and tries to convince him to take her car to go be with Becca, stating that she needs him right now. Most of the time motherly advice is the best!!Chapter 8: Jordana

In this chapter, Jordana is upset with Becca and Nolan for not being able to attend the reunion. I feel that Jordana gets way too stressed out about things she can not control. Becca calls Jordana and states she is coming. Jordana was upset that Becca was riding up with Holly and she felt as though Becca blew her off. Jordana should just be happy that Becca is even going. Meanwhile, Jordana gets to reunite with her old boyfriend Adam and has a little alone time with him before Holly and Becca arrive. Of course, nothing happened however Holly was very upset when she arrived at the house. Becca is finally getting ready to tell Jordana the “news” when they were interrupted by Adam. Jordana also overhears Adam praying for Becca and before dinner, Holly prays for Becca as well. Jordana is definitely on to something and feels left out that she has not been informed of anything with Becca’s health. At this point in the story I’m not sure if Becca has informed Holly and Adam of her recent cancer diagnosis. They could be praying for her just because she has had cancer in the past. These prayers could just be prayers for keeping her healthy. I feel like Jordana just has to chill out, go with the flow, and stop all the drama.

In our next blog post, look for the comments and discussion on chapters 9-10!

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!