"Invincible Summer" by Jean Ferris
"Robin Gregory, a 17-year-old midwestern farm girl, is awaiting a battery of tests in the hospital when she meets personable Rick Winn, who is a striking contrast to the immature hometown boys she has known. Rick, who is undergoing chemotherapy, distracts Robin from her anxiety through his warmth and humor. When she learns that she too has leukemia, Rick provides constant support, helping her cope with her fear and anger and encouraging her when the treatments leave her moody, ugly, and debilitated. Love blossoms as they share their hopes and fears, and in a particularly touching moment, the two make love after leaving the hospital. Their optimism is short-lived, however, as Rick learns that his cancer has spread and can no longer be contained. Robin assumes the supporter role, helping Rick struggle with his rage at life's unfairness. Ferris skillfully avoids the hazard of mawkishness inherent in such a dual Love Story situation. The emotionally powerful ending affirms life with such intensity that it will leave readers appreciating the present moment more fully. Rick and Robin face adversity with courage, yet realistically fall prey to occasional despair"
· 1 decade ago