Regine’s Book: A Teen Girl’s Last Words

Regine Stokke, trans. from the Norwegian by Henriette Larsen. Zest (HMH, dist.), $16.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-936976-20-1
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In 2008, 17-year-old Stokke was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive, and fatal form of leukemia. Stokke’s blog, a detailed account of her life before and after the diagnosis, drew many readers in her native Norway and became a bestseller in book form, published shortly after her death in late 2009. Stokke’s emotional 15-month journey offers candid descriptions of endless cycles of chemotherapy, her physical pain, and frustrations (“It’s incredibly tough to experience defeat after defeat,” she writes. “When will all this stop?”), as well as accounts of happier moments, including attending concerts and spending time with friends and family. Stokke’s photography and poetry appear throughout, and her blog entries are contextualized by footnotes explaining key details about leukemia, its treatment, and Norwegian life. Supportive notes from Stokke’s family members and blog readers are also included, but it’s Stokke’s openness and honesty that are the chief draw; readers will feel as though they have truly come to know her. While there can be a repetitiveness to both the entries and the supplemental commentary, it’s a rare, valuable window into life with a terminal illness. Ages 14–up. (Oct.)■
Reviewed on: 10/08/2012
Release date: 10/23/2012
Paperback - 331 pages - 978-1-936976-01-0
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-936976-45-4
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