This is the story of Daniel Landon, a fifteen year old diagnosed with leukaemia. He's a bright, typical teenager that is just battling on and trying to live his teenage life, including hanging out with friends and more importantly girls. There's a strong reference throughout the book to the character of Holden from J.D. Salinger's, Catcher in the Rye. Having never read Catcher in the Rye it was a little tough to really understand some of the references to Holden, none the less, this didn't distract me from enjoying this book.
Daniels parents have a very hippie outlook on life, living on a houseboat for one. The main issue is they refuse to go down the traditional methods of treatment ie, chemotherapy and radiotherapy instead choosing herbalist and natural methods. At one point Daniel is taken across to Mexico for ground breaking natural treatments. Is it really worth it?
This books throws up so many questions. Should parents have the final say on what treatments a child does or does not receive? The characters in this book are really well portrayed and give a good insight into how the disease effects not just Daniel but his immediate family and friends.
With the end near and Daniels health fading rapidly he runs away to New York. Leaving a last will and testament he friend takes him to the station where Daniel says his farewell and begins his journey into the unknown.
Collapsing in the street he wakes up in the hospital close to death and he begs the doctors for the previously declined chemotherapy.
I really enjoyed this book and loved Daniels character. The only thing that spoilt it for me a little was the ending. throughout the book I'd routed for Daniel praying he'd get his miracle cure. At the end he's taken for his treatment but what then...? The book ends and I'm left wondering how Daniel's story ends.