Saturday, March 24, 2012

Twice: How I Became a Cancer-Slaying Super Man Before I Turned 21, by Benjamin Rubenstein

Benjamin seemed like an ordinary teenager, but when, at the age of 16, he is diagnosed with cancer, he must summon his inner super hero.  Giving up, and giving in, to the cancer in his body was never an option.  After many hard fought months, it seems as if Benjamin is indeed super human, conquering cancer better than anyone anticipated.  While in his first year of college, he discovers that he has a second form of cancer, quite likely attributed to the chemo and radiation used to conquer his first cancer.  It will take every ounce of super hero in him to battle a second time.

This book is unlike anything I have ever read.  Benjamin certainly tells it like it is.  He is quite the engaging story teller, and his writing is incredibly real.  I find that I have an incredible amount of respect for Benjamin, his story and the way he tells it.  He pulls no punches, and never comes across as a victim.  There are few people who could face cancer so bravely as adults, and fewer still who can do so as a teenager.

I say frequently that my favorite books are those which tell the stories of real people.  I think that is why this book touched me so deeply.  Benjamin never wanted to become the sick kid, never wanted cancer to define his life.  I think he serves as an inspiration to teenagers facing a variety of illnesses and adversities.  While the book is pretty graphic, and the language is a little rough at times, I still find this book quite appropriate to a young adult audience, as well as adult readers.  Personally, I think Benjamin can serve as an inspiration to us all, regarding whatever it is with which we struggle.

I received a review copy courtesy of the author.

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