Book Review – The Running Dream

by Niki Malekpour

16-year-old Jessica is no longer a typical teenage girl. Before, her life revolved around the track. Everything she lived and breathed was the smooth, crisp feeling of her shoes against the dirt.

Coming home from a track meet in which she beat her personal record, a car crash leaves her in a world of scars, grief, and hurt. Jessica is lucky- she survives- but she’s lost half of her right leg.

The rest of the book follows Jessica’s journey as she heals and learns to live with her new life. Mostly though, and most significantly, it concentrates on how Jessica is faced with reality — the world didn’t stop spinning when she stopped running.

When Jess watches an online video of Oscar Pistorius, a runner who has prosthetics on both legs, she hopes to run again. But first, she and her team need to raise $20,000 to buy her a running leg.

However. I’m not sure how I feel about this book. For what it is, and what it wants to be, it’s great. It’s a happy, uplifting book about dreams, and hopes, and perseverance with a happy ending. The characters, especially in tough moments, often mess

ed with my emotions and I definitely felt different about some characters towards the end.

Jessica befriends Rosa, a young, enthusiastic girl with Cerebral Palsy. However, I noticed that their friendship was very superficial and I wasn’t really impressed as I thought I’d be. I think that a big problem was Jessica. She seemed very condescending and in some ways, patronizing when she spoke to Rosa. They also just didn’t former a proper friendship- maybe it was the pity on Jessica’s part.

However, Rosa’s character was very developed- she was more than a character with cerebral palsy and a wheelchair- she was a character with emotions and hope and dreams.

 “Air seemed to fill my lungs again. I was heady and happy and I could feel myself— a future me —running.”

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Categories: Opinion

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