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Radiate by Marley Gibson


by Marley Gibson

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This is the story of Hayley Matthews, a high school senior who has just made the varsity cheerleading squad at her school when she is diagnosed with cancer. The first half of the book is dedicated to the cancer discovery and treatment. Most of it is set in the hospital where she stays for a lengthy period of time because of the various surgeries she has to undergo, chemo and radiation. The author goes into great detail about all three, which is great, but it was also a little confusing at times because there was just too much to remember.

The second half is about her transition back to school and her new life as a cheerleader. She seems to be ready to put the cancer behind her and move on, but unfortunately there are still some side effects she has to deal with along the way. There is a really great positive message about never giving up and always pushing through no matter what life throws at you which was definitely the best part of this book.

Haley is a really inspiring protagonist. She handles everything that is thrown at her head-on and with an attitude that most teenagers would not possess if faced with the same challenges. My only issue with her was that she seemed to be obsessed with getting to cheer camp (and just cheerleading in general) even though there was clearly a much more important issue at hand.

The cover is perfect for this book. It is a cheerleader surrounded by bright, happy colors which is exactly who Hayley is.

Fun Fact: Radiate is a fictionalized version of the cancer that author Marley Gibson went through as a teenage cheerleader (from author website). ( )
  joanab951 | May 21, 2015 |
I was very much drawn to this book for a number of reasons. The cover is very striking; its bright colours certainly make it stand out. The description also managed to be both sad and hopeful at the same time and there was just no way I could not read this one as I needed to know how things were going to work out for Hayley. Radiate definitely didn't let me down and I'm so glad I got the chance to read this special book.

The protagonist, Hayley, has finally gotten everything she has ever dreamed for. She has made the cheerleading squad and life is going great. Her celebrations are short-lived, however, as Hayley finds a cancerous lump in her leg. This was so well written in the book and really made you see how Hayley was feeling when she discovered this. You could see her battling between wanting to tell someone and wanting to just pretend there was nothing there at all! The part where Hayley and her mother find out her diagnosis is heartbreaking and very raw.

I couldn't set this book down out of my hands! I was so captivated by Hayley and her story. I wanted and needed to know where it was going. The writing is brilliant and makes it easy to speed through the book. All the characters are very well developed and you can really sense the emotions her family and friends are experiencing. There are so many feelings going on in this book that it can nearly be overwhelming at points! When I got to the end and saw that the author had been drawing from personal experience, it only made the book mean even more.

Radiate is a unique and powerful tale that I would recommend to anybody. ( )
  nicola26 | Mar 30, 2013 |
An awesome teen novel of a girl that overcomes. I enjoyed the fact that the novel was loosely based on the author's own teenage years. ( )
  Dauntless | Feb 18, 2013 |
I started to read this book because the students really like the Ghost Huntress series, and I encourage them to read other works by authors they love, so wanted to have this available. Hayley makes it onto the cheerleading squad and shortly afterwards discovers a painful mass on her leg which only pops out when she and her cheering partner are working on their routines. It turns out to be cancerous, and the rest of the book is about how she deals with the cancer that is threatening to take her life. ( )
  JRlibrary | Aug 8, 2012 |
{ I received this as an ebook from NetGalley. Full review originally posted on my blog, PidginPea's Book Nook. }

I very, very rarely give a book 5 stars. A book that I really like will get 4 stars, but a book has to speak to me in a certain spectacular way to get bumped up to that last star. Radiate is hands down 5 stars.

The thing I loved most about this book was the overwhelming feeling of hope. I doubt there will be a person who picks up this book who hasn't been touched by cancer in some way. I'm no different, and because of that, there were moments in Radiate that were difficult for me to read. I was in tears a few times. But there is never a feeling of giving in, or of being out of options. The feeling always, despite how desperate things seem, is hope.

From the moment she is diagnosed through her treatment, Hayley is of course terrified, and angry, and there are times when she questions why this happened to her. Despite it all, she can count the number of times she cries on one hand. She is unbelievably strong. She never lets the possibility of anything except full recovery become a reality in her mind. She tells her doctors what she will be able to do, rather than listening to them tell her what she won't be able to do. She becomes an inspiration to others without intending to.

I had no idea that this book was based off the author's life. If you read Radiate (and I highly recommend you do), please be sure and read the note at the back of the book. It's the perfect ending to it all. The fictional story was wonderfully written and really touched me, but knowing it was based off a true story made the book feel even more real and alive, and it made the feeling of hope even stronger. ( )
  PidginPea | Jul 21, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0547617283, Paperback)

Hayley Matthews is determined to be the best cheerleader she can. She works hard
and pushes herself 110% all the time.
Then Hayley finds a lump on her leg. The diagnosis is cancer. The prognosis is
unclear. She could lose her leg. Or maybe her life.
At first Haley is scared, terrified. In an instant, everything she’s worked for seems
out of reach. But Haley is strong. She’s going to fight this disease. She will not let it
take her life or her dreams.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:11 -0400)

Just after making the varsity cheerleading squad the summer before her senior year of high school in Maxwell, Alabama, Hayley Matthews learns she has an aggressive form of cancer in her leg, and she turns to her family, her cheerleading, and her Christian faith to sustain her through her treatment.… (more)

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