Marthe Jocelyn – Would You?

I am currently taking a course on library services for young adults in which I have been asked to review 10 books, so I have decided to post my reviews here too. This is my sixth review. (You can read other book reviews that I have done here if you really want to.) This book will probably appeal to teens around 15 and up. Themes include sisters, families, death, and boyfriends. The genre is contemporary (Canadian) fiction.

This book mainly takes place over the span of about two weeks. Natalie is a normal teenager who hangs out with her friends and steals her older sister, Claire’s, clothes. Claire has just graduated from high school and is set to start college in the fall. One evening, Claire goes out with her boyfriend (with the intent to break up with him), and she gets hit by a car. The story continues on from there about how Natalie deals with Claire’s accident.

Review (includes spoilers)
I was very tempted to stop reading this book shortly after I started it. It is clear that the author is a talented writer — the book is quite well written — but I just did not like the topic that she chose to write about. The older sister, Claire, is in a coma after her accident and the reader is subjected to Natalie’s tormented thoughts about the situation. When, after the doctors have done more testing, it has been determined that Claire is brain dead, Natalie is left with a person-sized hole in her heart. Reading about this kind of pain was too upsetting — at least for me — to enjoy it. I am not sure who would enjoy it. I would think that a person who lived through such a tragedy would not want to relive it by reading about another person’s pain in a book. I suppose it would be an informative book to read if you had a friend who was dealing with the loss of a sibling, but I think it is really just too much tragedy and not enough “other stuff” to water down the raw emotions and make it an enjoyable read. Then again, maybe some people like to stir up raw emotions. It would certainly be a cathartic read if someone wanted give herself a reason to cry!

Overall, I would say that I cannot recommend this book to a general audience. There would have to be a very good reason for me to suggest this book to someone; for example, if the person was in a play about death and was looking for insight. Otherwise, I think teenagers have more than enough angst of their own to deal with without giving them extra things to worry about!

15 thoughts on “Marthe Jocelyn – Would You?

  1. Samantha

    I don’t totally agree with you on how the book is too sad to read. I read the book and I’m 13 year old girl who has a sister. I personally loved the book. Three other friends have read this book and they absolutely loved it too. The book is sad yes, but it is also a good lesson on how you never know when your life could end, so you shouldn’t be afraid to do or say things.

  2. Shaney

    Hi Samantha,

    Thank you very much for taking the time to tell me your opinion. I am very pleased to hear that this book appealed to you and your friends because I think it is very well-written, and certainly an interesting topic for teens to want to confront. I am well out of my teens, so I know that I am not exactly the target audience for this book. I’m glad to hear that I was wrong about this one!

    Are there any other books that you would recommend for teens? I have to read four more books for my class and it would be great to read one that was actually recommended by a teen!


  3. Samantha

    Dear Shaney, I am a big time reader and also am a fan of Sarah Dessen. I loved the book The Truth About Forever. I had to pick a book for my book report so i chose this one. I was an amazing read and i absolutely loved it. It is about a girl in highschool and she had seen her dad die, but when she meets some new people and gets a cool summer job her whole life turns around. I know what you thinking another sad story, but it’s actually not. It is a story about love, family, trying to be someone for sombody and else and so many ohter things. Some of her other books are Just Listen, Someone Like You, Along For The Ride, Lock And Key. I have only read the first two books i mentioned plus The Truth About Forever, but i have read some online sites about what the other books are about and they sound as intriuging as the reast of them.

    Also, have you heard of the Twilight Saga? I LOVE Twilight! A lot of my friends have read the saga and they all love it too. (not as much as me of course i could tell you anything about the book). I’m sure you must have heard of atleast the moveis. I got started reading them because of the movies, but i have read teh series many times and deffinately give the saga a two-thumbs up.

    I hope this gives you some ideas on what book to read next and I would love to hear what you have to say about some of these books.


  4. Shaney

    Hi Samantha,

    I loved reading as a teenager too (and I still do, of course!). I hadn’t heard of Sarah Dessen. I like to listen to audiobooks while I am driving, so I just ordered “Someone Like You” and will start listening to it right away. I’ll post a review here when I’m done so you can see what I think. I’m really looking forward to reading it (or rather, listening to it). Thanks for the recommendation!

    I have, indeed, heard of the Twilight saga. I am Canadian, but I live in Japan and I read the first book in the series in Japanese! Actually, I felt that the translation wasn’t very good because Bella is quite sarcastic and there isn’t a good way to use sarcasm in Japanese. I’m not 100% fluent, though, so it could just be that I couldn’t catch the nuances properly. I have seen the first movie, but not any of the others. I really should watch the rest of them soon!

    I have asked my classmates if they have any recommendations for books that you might like, based on the fact that you like books by Sarah Dessen and the Twilight series. I will let you know if they give me any good ones to pass on to you!


  5. Samantha

    Dear Shaney,
    I’m so glad your reading someone like you. I loved the book. I can’t belive you read twilight in Japanese that is really cool! I can’t wait to hear what you think of the boook. I would love to hear some of the recommendations they have made



    SAMANTHA YOUR A NERD , you probably know who this is :D DONT DELETE MY COMMENT PLEASE, shes one of my best friends, and this seems like goood book

  7. Shaney

    One of my classmates highly recommended Sarah Dessen and she said that her favourite was “The Truth About Forever”. Unfortunately, that one doesn’t seem to be out in audiobook yet. Hopefully soon!

    (I hope that the above poster is actually your friend!)

  8. Shaney

    Do you know about the “House of Night” series? One of my classmates said that it is quite popular with teens, but that she didn’t enjoy the first book as much as Twilight. She also mentioned “Vampire Diaries”. Have you seen/read that?

  9. Samantha

    Hi, Shaney.
    The house of night Series, is the first book called mark if so i think i have read te series. I loved it! they were quite intresting to read and i find my self trying to find out the secrets before they are answered throughout the book.

    I watch the vampire diaries on tv. I have attempted to read the first book in the series but i find the main character Elina quite annoyinhg..

    I hope you do get a chance to read (well in this case listen to) the truth about forever i loeved the book very much as i had said in earlier comments.

    And yes the poster Zimbobway is one of my bestfriends. :) but what can you do? :)


  10. Shaney

    Hi Samantha,

    I am almost finished listening to “Someone Like You”. Definitely enjoying it! It starts out with Michael’s death, so I was worried that it was going to be a tear-jerker like “Would You?”, but that is not the case at all — at least so far. I am up to the point where Halley goes to the prom with Scarlett and Cameron. I’m going to miss these characters when I finish reading!


  11. Samantha

    Hi Shaney,

    Long time to talk. I am so glad to hear that you are likeing Someone Like You, I know it was one of my favorite Sarah Dessen Books. I have a feeling you are going to love the ending and you are deffinately right, it’s not a tear-jerker at all. I thought the same thing when I first started reading it. I find that it’s more pointed towards how much friends will do for each other but that’s just my oppinion. Anyway, I’m really looking forward to hearing your thougths on the book after you’ve completed it.


  12. Shaney

    Hi Samantha,

    Things seem to take longer to accomplish over the summer. I think the heat sucks my brain power!

    I finished “Someone Like You” and wrote up the review. I really enjoyed reading it. I felt like it was kind of a “quintessential” YA book, with lots of inner dialogue from the main character to lead us through her thoughts. Thank you so much for recommending it to me!


  13. Samantha

    Hi, Shaney

    I’m so glad you liked it. I read your review and posted a review on your review. I really liked it as you will read in my comment.


  14. sumilee ortiz

    i loved the book and i am not much of a reader

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