Title: Slipping Reality
Author: Emily Beaver
Available: Barnes and Noble
From the Publisher: In a time of hardship and heartbreak, sometimes, reality just isn't enough. Slipping Reality is the story of fourteen-year-old Katelyn Emerson, who, when faced with the glaring reality of her brother's illness, rebels against the truth by slipping away into the depths of her own imagination. There, she finds the kind of support and comfort she feels she deserves. There, she does not have to feel so alone. And yet, as Katelyn's grasp on reality begins to unravel, so too does the story of a girl who grew up too fast and fell apart too soon. Emily Beaver's debut novel is a coming of age story that deals with the trials of young grief, insight, and growth where it's least expected.
This book was a hard one for me to read. I have never experienced the loss of someone as close as a sibling; in fact, I’ve only lost one of my four grandparents. That’s the extent of my experience with death. Because of that, it’s hard for me to understand Katelyn. She spends the novel in denial about her brother’s disease. She ignores it – him – because it’s easier for her.
She retreats into a world her mind has created because it’s happier for her there.
And quite frankly, that makes me not like her.
She is weak. She is whiny. She is selfish.
I do have to give props to the author – she wrote this at fourteen. That’s incredible! To be able to evoke those kinds of emotions from me at fourteen is quite an accomplishment.
But I just can’t get past my dislike of Katelyn’s character. And that’s nothing negative against the author – though she wrote this as she was experiencing her own brother’s battle with cancer, she explains that she never did what Katelyn did. She couldn’t leave her brother behind like that. It makes me wonder why she chose to write Katelyn this way.