cover image Sick Kids in Love

Sick Kids in Love

Hannah Moskowitz. Entangled Teen, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-64063-732-0

The jacket art promises that “they don’t die in this one,” which is both a spoiler and a nod to popular YA books, notably The Fault in Our Stars. Sixteen-year-olds Isabel and Sasha meet in the hospital drip room: your basic meet-cute, except with discussions of whether their diseases are fatal. They aren’t: #OwnVoices author Moskowitz (Teeth) is interested in what it’s like to have a chronic illness that makes it hard to get to school every day, go out with friends, and show up for planned events. Isabel’s a worrier who tries to manage her frustrations (her mother’s absence, her father’s consistent downplaying of her illness) by not talking about them. Adorable and funny Sasha, whose family is open about his illness, convinces Isabel to break her no-dating rule. Following the teens through relationship issues and health challenges makes for touching reading. Most refreshing is Moskowitz’s ability to take up real issues connected to chronic illness without insisting that the kids who have them be either heroes or martyrs. Ages 14–up. (Nov.)