There was a certain degree of trepidation with which I chose this book. The previous two most memorable books dealing with cancer were John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars and Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Air. To put things simply, I cried and cried as I read these books. There was the mild hypochondria induced by the topic. Then again why go back chose something dealing with cancer and death? Because I am a glutton for punishment.
The Last Wish of Sasha Cade by Cheyanne Young, is a book about which I have mixed feelings. It disappoints and it doesn’t as well. It deals with a teenager diagnosed with cancer. And when it turns terminal, her family and her best friend are by her side. Loved by everyone, Sasha deals with her illness with an enviable calm. But what of those she leaves behind? Raquel, Sasha’s best friend is the one person who has been with her through the years. Where Sasha has many friends, she has only one best friend – Raquel. And Raquel has only one friend – the best one in the whole world. Helping her through tough times Raquel is there for her friend. She is there as Sasha plans for her own funeral. There are no secrets between the two. And when Sasha says she plans on contacting Raquel from the other side, Raquel believes Sasha will do it. And how she does it! Sasha sends Raquel on a treasure hunt of sorts. She asks Raquel to consider the whole thing an adventure that she needs to do for Sasha. And on this adventure, Raquel unearths secrets that she did not know Sasha had.
As Raquel receives her first letter from Sasha, she discovers something that no one else knew – Sasha had discovered her biological sibling. And she meant for them to meet. The whole scavenger hunt is meant for Raquel and Elijah. The both get Sasha’s messages and unearth little things that made her the girl she was.
The Last Wish of Sasha Cade is a young adult book, and it is no wonder that Raquel and Elijah fall for each other. With a healthy dose of adolescent emotions, The Last Wish of Sasha Cade is a good book. Where it fails is with its characters. There were no major roles for the parents, they might as well have been props. Then there were the three important characters – Sasha, Raquel and Elijah. Somehow, they seemed to lack the depth that comes with dealing with too much too soon. Where Sasha and Raquel face down cancer and Elijah has dealt with his demons, all three of them come across as someone with nothing important to say.
If you are looking for a The Fault In Our Stars like bawling stint, you may not find it with The Last Wish of Sasha Cade. What you will get is a sweet story with friendship, romance and a tad bit of adolescent drama.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars