Kasey has just learned she needs to spend an entire month in hospital. She’ll be away from her family and friends and surrounded instead by old people.
And you know how old people creep me out, Nina. I can’t help it. The slowness. The teeth. The tendency to be super crabby.
Kasey passes the time by writing a series of letters about the experience to Nina, her best friend. She also has Ivy, who helps her through the lonely and scary nights.
While she’s waiting to be released back into the world outside, Kasey makes some friends and realises how lucky she is. There wasn’t much of a transition between Kasey complaining about her situation and coming to the realisation that she has much to be thankful for.
Sometimes it felt like Kasey was younger than twelve and I wondered if this was because the author was reflecting on their own hospitalisation when they were nine years old.
I also wondered why Kasey was hospitalised and hooked up to an IV before she was even officially diagnosed. There wasn’t really any indication of how she was feeling physically during her hospitalisation either.
In the beginning of the book I wondered why this twelve year old was handwriting letters (this was answered) and why she didn’t spend her time complaining about the lack of internet access.
I had expected much of this story to consist of Kasey visiting the other patients and learning their stories. She did interact with some of the other patients but not as much as I had originally hoped.
I absolutely loved Missy Wong, though, and was delighted to learn that she was based on a real person. I also liked Louise, although I really wish I had learned the details of why she didn’t want to go home.
Thank you so much to NetGalley and Orca Book Publishers for the opportunity to read this book.
Once Upon a Blurb
Through twenty-six letters to her friend Nina, twelve-year-old Kasey chronicles the often humourous observations and impressions of her unexpected, month-long stay in a geriatric ward for the treatment of a rare but treatable bone disease (“osteo-something-something-itis”).
Kasey tries to make her life less dull by wearing her own nightgowns, surrounding herself with her favourite stuffies and developing an unusual exercise routine. Hospital food, insomnia and the germy communal bath are enduring sources of dread, but some new (and unexpected) friends make her life bearable.