Friday, October 7, 2011

Teagan's Story: Her Battle with Epilepsy

Teagan’s Story: Her Battle with Epilepsy
By: Talia Jager
Published: February 16, 2011
Available Format: ebook

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Goodreads’ Synopsis: Teagan Kavanagh’s life is shattered when her parents are killed in a car accident. She must move in with her brother and is forced to attend public school for the first time in her life. As if starting a new school her junior year wasn’t hard enough, she continues to battle epilepsy and the constant unknown of when and where her next seizure will occur. As this new chapter in her life opens, she gets more than she bargained for. Torn between playing it safe and risking her life to be normal, Teagan must make a life changing decision.

Out of Talia’s teen dramas, this one is definitely my favorite. I think it has a lot to do with my fascination with psychology and the brain, and since this is about epilepsy, it is all about the brain. I knew quite a bit about epilepsy from having a psychology degree, but I did learn quite a few new things and got a new perspective of the personal side of the disease. I absolutely cannot imagine having to deal with the things this character faced each and every day. It was touching and inspirational.

While I still think Jager could make some slight adjustments to her writing style (again we are in first person and things can be quite literal at times), I think I have really gotten comfortable with her technique at this point. The only major issue I had through this novel was the chemistry between Zander and Teagan. For a young man, Zander is extremely serious and at times struck me as a bit stalkerish (telling Teagan he “longed” to hold her). It just didn’t feel quite authentic for an eighteen-year-old guy to speak to a girl that way. I understand they knew each other for a while, but I just wish the dialogue had been much more casual. I think it would have made things feel more natural between the two.

Other than that, this book was fantastic! I was completely absorbed in Teagan’s life and all she had to endure. I was sympathetic toward her and her family and friends. I laughed, I cried, and I was dying to know if she was going to opt for surgery and what the outcome would be. I think, aside from an entertaining read, this book could be extremely helpful for young people who are facing this disease or anyone that would like to understand more about the personal struggles that come along with it—friends, caretakers, teachers, etc. Although it is a work of fiction, it is extremely realistic and I have no doubt the experiences and emotions Teagan faces are very much a reality for the epileptic individual.