Monday, April 13, 2015

Mini Review: Both Sides

ISBN: 9781940114033
Pages: 288
Source: Author/Word Slinger Publicity

Imagine if you were in a tragic accident – unable to move or speak but otherwise cognizant of everything around you. Imagine hearing doctors deciding your fate without you having a voice in the outcome. 
Alex is a 16-year-old girl who finds herself in that exact situation in Both Sides, a novel that begins when – while on a class field trip – Alex and another girl, Sandra, end up in a horrible accident. 
If the doctors act quickly, they may be able to save one body…and one brain. Amid the confusion and uncertainty, we hear everything that’s going on in Alex’s mind – from her initial disbelief to her wry sarcasm about the absurdity of it all to her realization that life, as she knew it before, will never be the same. If she survives. 
The novel poses a myriad of questions: Just what makes up a person? Is it the body, or the mind, or something else entirely? Will Sandra’s body reject Alex who so often rejected her? 
Both Sides tackles these issues and more. Within its pages every reader will find her own answers and discover, in the end, a story of courage and a girl who never before existed.

Hello everyone! I'm slowly going through my review pile and since I received this first and it's super short so I picked this one up first. Without further ado, let's get into my review:

Both Sides follows a girl named Alexandra Featherstone who gets into a ski accident when her lift falls and she along with another girl tumble to the ground. For the first couple chapters the story is narrated by Alex as she experiences this out of body experience where she can see everything that's happening including her broken body on the hospital bed. The doctors tell her parents that her body is broken beyond repair while the other girl in the accident, Sandra, is brain dead. They propose radical brain surgery, the process of transplanting Alex's brain into Sandra's body.

So that alone is a very interesting concept for a story especially with the surgery process of transplanting a brain to another body with the intention that the human coming out of the surgery is the one the brain belongs to. However, the delivery of this book didn't exactly meet my expectations. The writing style was really choppy which could have been for effect but didn't work for me. It could have been used to convey the fact that Alex was first in a coma and then underwent brain surgery and is now trying to adjust to her new body BUT it made some parts really difficult to read and the whole story seemed choppy.

Then there's Alex who I tried to connect with but ended up really annoying me. She's really whiny and judgemental and expects everything to just revolve around her. When she comes through surgery and wakes up - she throws a fit because she has Sandra's awful voice and her mousy hair. Her infatuation with outward beauty really started getting on my nerves and makes me wish that Sandra is the one who wakes up and not Alex. Despite that, Alex's character has a crazy strong narrative voice which really drives the story along.

There's also the whole concept of the virtual reality world that Alex creates to get in touch with her new self. It's this program where outsiders (doctors) can see and record everything, but can't see through Alex's eyes. Instead they see the world she creates with her mind. That fact alone is really confusing. Another thing that really confused me was the whole legal background behind this type of surgery. Usually, brain surgery occurs when the owner of that brain passes away and decides to donate his/her organ to one who needs it, but the owner is not connected as in personality take over connected. Where's the legality behind this? Sandra's parents try to interact with Alex but it's just assumed that Alex's parents have the guardian rights because Alex is the one coming out alive? There were just so many unanswered questions that the story kind of fell in on itself.

The ending was a step forward to a "Better Alex" as she adjusts to Sandra's body and gets dispatched from the hospital. I do own the second book so I'll definitely be picking it up in the near future to check out what happens next on Alex's journey.
3 out of 5 stars

Foreverly Obsessed,

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