Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses

Kristen O’Neal. Quirk, $18.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-68369-234-8
Indian American premed student Priya Radhakrishnan is just back for her sophomore year at Stanford when she begins to feel ill, then is diagnosed with Lyme disease. Forced to drop out of school and recuperate back home in New Jersey, Priya is frustrated by her loss of independence as well as lethargy, brain fog, and joint pain. Her close online friendship with another woman, tan 20-year-old Brigid—with whom she joins a chronic illness support group—provides Priya with welcome camaraderie and understanding. When Bridge’s frequent, chatty messages suddenly stop, Priya learns that Bridge is actually a werewolf, and her agonizing transformations are becoming increasingly erratic and dangerous. O’Neal persuasively pulls from her own experience with chronic illness to inform her depiction of the topic, using interactions between support group members to layer comedic banter and vulnerability that specifically addresses aspects of disability experiences. While the race to help Bridge control her symptoms propels the plot, it is Priya’s growing ability to mourn what she’s lost while celebrating what she has gained—community, true friendship, and a new perspective on her professional goals—that make it memorable. Ages 14–up. Agent: Dana Murphy, the Book Group. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 02/10/2021
Release date: 04/27/2021
Genre: Children's
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-68369-235-5
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