A must-read tale of courage and determination, Brianna Hellyer
December 17, 2021
“Though I’ll admit, when they first told me that death was just over there, around the corner, behind that yellow line, waiting for me, I was terrified…”
Do you like books about friendship, love, and having to find the courage to push through the hard times in life? Well, then this one is perfect for you!
Exit Through the Gift Shop by Maryam Masters is a well written and heartwarming book. It’s a tale of friendship and loss, determination and courage. I really enjoyed this book because it played on my emotions by showing the character’s emotions so deeply.
Anahita Rosalind Ghorban-Galaszezuk (but you can call her Ana) is a 12-year-old girl fighting cancer. She has been told by the doctors that she has about a year left to live. She is shocked by this news, but she doesn’t let it dampen her courageous spirit. This book describes her last year on earth.
Ana is a wonderful character, full of joy and laughter. She lives every day to the full and rejoices in the love that surrounds her from her family and friends.
Ana’s daily life is tormented regularly by her nemesis, Alyssa Anderson, also known as Queen Mean, or ‘Butt Breath’. From that first day in year five when Alyssa first set eyes on her, Ana has been her daily target for bullying and harassment. When Ana decides to tell the school about her cancer, Alyssa takes a turn for the better. She wants to be Ana’s best friend and is constantly taking selfies of them both. But when her best friend Al alerts her to something online that Alyssa has been posting about her, it’s the last straw. Ana and Al decide to hatch a revenge plan…
My favorite part in the book is when Ana tries her first Philly cheesesteak. She is apprehensive at first, but when she tries it, she describes it as a gift from the heavens, a piece of sandwich wizardry.
I love how Maryam Masters has incorporated Ana’s daily life in this book and hasn’t made it all about the cancer. Ana repeatedly states in this book that life is short anyway, so you just need to cram it all in.
Her attitude about life and death is that it depends on your point of view. You could look at it all doom and gloom and see the negatives: you’re going to die. Or you could look at it in a positive way. You could choose to see all the good things in life and appreciate what you have.
I loved this book because it was full of awesome advice on every page. It has some good life lessons incorporated throughout the story.
All in all, I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone, although I would suggest it would be more suited to kids around 8-12 years old.
- Brianna Hellyer lives in Rolleston, Christchurch.