From School Library Journal
Grade 7-9--Too Young to Die is a formulaic but readable book about Melissa, a high-school junior who developes leukemia, and her relationships with her single-parent mother; older brother Michael; and best friend Jory, a stereotypical rich, lonely, self-described party girl. Melissa is a serious, dedicated student who is determined to earn a National Merit scholarship to a first-class college. Descriptions of her gradual realization of the seriousness of her condition are generally good, as are those of her chemotherapy treatments and of how her changing condition alters her relationships. The theme of sexual awakening provides some tension when a 19-year-old cancer patient whom Melissa's been dating propositions her for a weekend away together, and she considers her options. Goodbye Doesn't Mean Forever is a pleasantly cliche-ridden story that concentrates on Jory, who remains a true friend as Melissa suffers through a bone-marrow transplant and eventually dies. Jory's social-climbing mother is fleshed out a bit more in this book, but her father remains a non-character. Well into the story, Jory is still needlessly and senselessly cruel to others and completely self-centered, although she does help to produce a benefit to raise funds for Melissa's medical expenses. This is a quick and easy read with some discussion of love and sex, God, mortality, and the differences between people who are goal-oriented and those who are not. Strasser's Friends Till the End (Dell, 1982) has more broadly developed characters and greater emotional depth, but both of these books are stronger than McDaniel's If I Should Die Before I Wake (Willowisp, 1985). Romance fans seeking something more serious than the Wakefield twins will enjoy these books--and may shed a few tears as well. --Joel Shoemaker, Tilford Middle School, Vinton, IA
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Publisher
Jory Delaney has always had lots of money. But there's one thing she knows she cannot buy--and that's her best friend Melissa's life. Although Melissa's leukemia is in remission, it's hard for both girls to hold on to the possibility of a very bright future.
When Melissa's health begins to deteriorate, Jory watches her friend's courageous battle and is overwhelmed by a sense of loss. Distanced from her parents, Jory grows closer to Melissa's mother and older brother, Michael, as they give each other untold strength in the face of tragedy. As she grapples with the unfairness of Melissa's imminenet death, can Jory find a way to turn her anger into the hope and inspiration that Melissa wanted to leave behind?