ALWAYS SMILE: Carley Allison’s Secrets for Laughing, Loving and Living
Author: Alice Kuipers
Pub. Date: May 7, 2019
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Synopsis: Not long ago, seventeen-year-old Carley Allison had it all. She was on the edge of fame as a singer and composer. She was reaching for the highest levels as a competitive skater. She had a brand-new boyfriend and a golden future waiting after graduation. Her world came crashing down when she was diagnosed with a rare kind of cancer in her throat. Her case, doctors said, was one in 3.5 billion. Faced with an uncertain new future, Carley did what she always did: she rose to the challenge. Cancer treatment tested her, but Carley was fearless and strong. Told she might never sing again, Carley beat the odds and performed on television for an audience of millions. “Ladies and gentlemen,” the announcer said, introducing her, “The voice you’re about to hear is a miracle …” Carley died before her twenty-first birthday, but her memory lives on in the countless people she touched with her courage.
Author Alice Kuipers weaves their stories with the blog Carley kept in the final months of her life. These many voices — plus plenty of Carley’s texts and photos — show her transformation from ordinary to extraordinary, and convey her personal rules for living well in the worst of times.
This…this was one of the most touching, heartbreaking books I have read in a very, very long time. This book is one that will stay with me not only for a few weeks, but forever.
I will admit, before hearing about this book, I didn’t know who Carley Allison was. However, after picking this up and starting it, I was truly transported into her world, full of information about her, what she was going through, and the role that music played in her life. There are bits and pieces of her blog, texts, and photos in this book, which really opens up a door to how she lived her life and how important her family, friends, and always keeping a positive attitude really were to her.
This book was written in such a way that almost renders me speechless. I really loved it, from the very first page on. Before I read it I did some research on Carley Allison, including checking out her website for some information first, but that isn’t necessary before picking it up. In fact, this book introduces you to the real Carley, and what made her life so beautiful.
While I don’t read a lot of nonfiction books, this is the kind of book that you don’t want to miss. Whether or not you are looking for something inspiring or are hoping for some of your own reasons to stay positive when faced with the uncertain, this book is one that should be given a place on your shelf.
This is one of the most amazing books I have read not only in 2019, but of all time.
It’s heartbreaking, haunting, and incredibly beautiful.
The way that the author put this book together is absolutely beautiful and is a loving tribute to her memory, showcasing her life, hardships, and the real Carley underneath everything else. From her beautiful music to her amazing abilities in the figure skating world, Carley Allison was truly a beautifully gifted young woman.
Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Alice Kuipers is the author of the debut novel Life on the Refrigerator Door, an award-winning Young Adult/Adult crossover published to rave reviews in 32 countries and told entirely in post-it notes written by a mother and her daughter. Named a New York Times Book for the Teen Age, Life on the Refrigerator Door has won or been short listed for numerous prizes, including the Redbridge Book Award, the Sheffield Libraries Choice Award, the Grand Prix de Viarmes, the Saskatchewan First Book Award, the Salt Lake City County Library System Reader’s Choice Award, and the Carnegie Medal.
Alice’s second novel, The Worst Thing She Ever Did (published in the US as Lost for Words), won the 2011 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Juvenile / YA Crime Book; was short listed for the White Pine Award; and was a Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Books of the Year selection for 2011. The Worst Thing She Ever Did has been sold in 9 territories and praised as “gorgeous, heart-ripping, important” (Voices of Young Adults).
40 Things I Want To Tell You, was published in Canada by HarperCollins in 2012. The book has been praised as “funny and totally up to date” by the Canadian Review of Materials, and “crisp and effective” by the Winnipeg Free Press. Rights have been sold in Germany, Greece, Denmark and Croatia.
The Death of Us, came out in 2014 to great reviews, and was a CLA Listed Book. It’s been described as a quick and turbulent read, The Death of Us is a brilliant coming-of-age novel with a sharpened corkscrew of a twist that will leave readers breathless.
Most recently, Alice’s YA novel, Me and Me, was published in 2017. It was described by Bif Naked as mesmerising.
Alice has a brand new chapter book series with Chronicle Press starting wit the first book: Polly Diamond and the Magic Book, an Amazon best book of the month, described by Booklist as a book that: Brings the imagination to life.
Alice is also writing a memoir about teenager Carley Allison with Kids Can Press. She has had stories produced for CBC and essays published in Bristol Review of Books and Easy Living magazine. She has blogged for Today’s Parent, and The Huffington Post.
Alice’s has two picture books with Little Brown Books for Young Readers, Violet and Victor write the Best-Ever Bookworm Book, and Violet and Victor Write the Most Fabulous Fairy Tale.
Alice’s work is published in 34 countries.
Born and raised in London, England, Alice now lives in Saskatoon, Canada, with her partner, the writer Yann Martel, and their four young children.
3 Winners will receive a finished copy of ALWAYS SMILE, US Only.
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