Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 1711
We Were Never Here
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Sixteen-year-old Lizzie Stroller's life suddenly changes when a severe stomach pain lands her in the hospital. After being in a cancer unit, she fears the worse. Nothing prepares her though for an illness she never heard of. While there, she falls for the mysterious cute volunteer who comes to visit her with his dog. Conner helps her forget the pain, embarrassment of her illness but he has his own secrets.

What worked: Gilmore does a great job showing a teen who suffers from ulcerative colitis. The pain, embarrassment of finding out she has to wear a ileostomy bag as she doesn't have a colon, and the whole awkwardness that people show around those who end up seriously sick. **She even nailed that brilliant but jerky doctor. You know the one without any bedside manners.

There's even a little THE FAULT IN OUR STARS feel that takes place inside the hospital. Nothing over the top but readers get brief glimpses into relationships that occur within a hospital, which include a romantic interest.

The strength of this novel isn't the romance but rather Lizzie's journey from finding out about her illness to dealing with it. These are shown in very authentic details.

What I did have issues with had to be Connor. I get that he's cute and being that guy at the hospital who can appear all caring(plus he gets brownie points for having a dog). What didn't work for me is how he lied so much. He came across as being a jerk and manipulative. He even mentions how he knows Lizzie really is helping him and not the other way around. Plus, his revelation made it very hard to like him at all.

The novel touches on romance but it happens so fast that it was really hard to connect with them.

But that's just my opinion.

I did like the other relationships in the novel like Stella, who helps train dogs. Her hardcore appearance hides how smart, caring she really is. Those scenes with her and Izzie worked.

Heartbreaking and realistic portrayal of a girl's journey from finding out about her serious illness to trusting in her heart.
Good Points
1. Realistic portrayal of a teen dealing with a health issue
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