Disclaimer: I received an eARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Always Smile: Carley Allison’s Secrets for Laughing, Loving, and Living is compiled by Alice Kuipers and is a collection of blogs from Carley and a commentary from her family and friends.
Carley Allison was 17 years old when she was diagnosed with a cancer so rare that at the time, she was only the second person to ever be diagnosed with it. This cancer, found in her throat, immediately threw a wrench in all of her plans. She had been a competitive figure skater and a singer, but suddenly, she had to have a trach and begin chemo. Prior to beginning chemo, she began experimenting with her voice to see if she could still sing. She figured out how to do so, recorded a video, and her video garnered the attention of Selena Gomez. Carley fought valiantly and entered remission before the cancer came back in her lungs which tragically led to her death.
Carley Allison’s story later led to a movie, and while this was the first time that I was hearing about Carley, her story is still worthwhile reading even for those who had never heard of her.
Because the book is not just Carley’s blog, you get a feel for how the cancer impacted her and her family. For those who have never experienced a loved one facing cancer (or even those who have), hearing from the person who has cancer and those who had to watch is an eye-opening experience about how fighting cancer takes a whole community.
Those who had followed Carley’s story will appreciate this, and for those who will be learning about Carley for the first time will be touched.
Always Smile releases May 7.