RELEASED: August 21, 2018
GENRE: YA Contemporary
GOODREADS RATING: 4.09
TRIGGERS: Cancer, depression, addiction
Teenager Cason Martin is the youngest ballerina in the Atlanta Ballet Conservatory. She never really had a choice of whether she learned to dance or not. Her mother, the conservatory’s artistic director, has made all the decisions in Cason’s life. But that’s about to change. Cason has been hiding an injury, and it’s much worse than anyone imagines.
Davis Channing understands all too well what it’s like to give up control of your life. He’s survived cancer, but his drug addiction nearly killed him. Now he’s been sober for seven months and enjoying his community service at the hospital. But just when he thinks he’s got it together, Davis’s ex-girlfriend, who is still battling her addiction, barrels back into his life.
Cason and Davis are not friends. But, as their worlds collide, they will start to depend on one another. Can they both be brave enough to beat the odds?
I’ve had Brave Enough on my ARC-list for a long, long while now. The cover intrigued me from the start – it’s just so pretty, right?! – and the synopsis immediately touched me. Knowing this novel was going to be about cancer and drug addiction, I realized this was not going to be an easy read. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t going to enjoy it.
Like I expected, this novel was hard to get through. Not because I didn’t like it – on the contrary – but because there are a lot of hard topics present. It starts with cancer, with Cason realizing she won’t be the ballerina she’s always wanted to be. She falls into a depression and struggles to get out.
Then we have Davis who used to have cancer. Although he doesn’t anymore, that doesn’t mean his life is all rainbows and butterflies. On the contrary. He’s a recovering drug addict.
“Easy is boring,” Noah said. “Everyone can do easy, it’s a lot more rewarding to do hard.”
Especially being in Davis’ head, reading his POV, was very hard on me because you can feel his struggle to stay sober. Whenever things go wrong and even when they don’t, his brain tries to convince him he needs that high – if only for one more time. I felt sorry for him – maybe that’s wrong, but I do. It sucks for recovering addicts that they have to battle their disease for the rest of their lives. That they’ll never be free of it.
This book showed that to me and it makes me respect the recovering addicts I know even more. Even though some of them have been sober for years and years now and they already have my respect – they do so even more now.
His addiction didn’t define him. It was just one of his layers.
I love how Brave Enough made me feel, made me understand to some extent what these people are going through. Sure, it isn’t the same for everyone but at least now.. Now I have somewhat of an idea of the things going through their head and being able to say that after reading a book reminds me why I love reading contemporary novels.
A decent human will want to be with you because of who you are, not because of or despite your disability.
There’s only one thing I struggled with and that’s how there’s a bit of insta-love going on. More like an insta-crush, but still. I felt like there should’ve been more build-up to Cason and Davis’ feelings instead of it feeling like an instant connection. For me, that would’ve added more to the story but I can see how others wouldn’t be bothered by this at all.
Brave Enough is a story about courage, fighting for your dreams, fighting yourself when you know you have to and.. a story about leading the life you want to live no matter what. I absolutely loved it and the message it conveys.
What are some of the hardest topics you’ve come across in contemporary reads?