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I also wish it was more about Jessica and Rosa, rather than just Jessica. The romance was also completely redundant, focusing more on the friendship would have been better. Overall, I just thought it was too juvenile for my tastes. I would recommend this to younger readers, probably teens aged 14 and under, but I wouldn't recommend it to others outside that. I previously read Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen but I found that to be quite juvenile too so I'm not sure if I would read more books by her in the future. Mar 05, Drew rated it really liked it Shelves: contemporary , young-adult.

I wipe my eyes and check the clock again. For me, as a reader, it would be terrifying if I went blind. I would lose the ability to see words with my eyes and imprint their meaning into my mind. What a scary thought. While it wouldn't be the end of the world - of course there are still audiobooks to listen to - it would be such a tragic loss. For Jessica, losing her leg in an accident turns her whole world upside down. Because Jess is a runner.

And now the one thing she lives and breathes for has been taken from her. It fills in a lot of information I was clueless about before, like "below knee" and "above knee" amputees, prosthetics, and how people with missing limbs do things differently. Mostly, though, it focuses on Jess as she is faced with the reality that the world didn't stop when she lost her leg. Everyone went on with their lives and somehow, Jess needs to continue on with her own.

It's such a motivational story. When Jess watches an online video of Oscar Pistorius, a runner who has prosthetics on both legs, she dares to dream that she will run again. By the end of the book, Jess was like a different person - full of hope and determination, not the scared, depressed girl she was when she first lost her leg. It was truly an inspiring journey to experience along with her.

I was heady and happy and I could feel myself—a future me—running. I would love to see more positive portrayals of parental roles in the YA genre, where usually parents are nonexistent or portrayed negatively. The Running Dream was written in a simple, straightforward style that was easy to read. It was such a moving book - while I was mentally cheering Jess on, I was also feeling extremely thankful that I have all my limbs, and it helped me understand people who have lost theirs a little better.

Feb 05, Cat rated it liked it Shelves: young-adult. I am not a runner. In fact, my body vehemently resists most exercise, preferring the couch, Netflix, and fistfuls of potato. So a book centered around the love of running did not seem to be my cup of tea. But this? This was pretty good. It almost, almost made me want to get up and run. In The Running Dream , year old track star Jessica has just lost her right foot. The book follows her through her frustrations, healing, and eventual ability to feel comfortable in her own skin. It's a perfectly I am not a runner. It's a perfectly entertaining book, and van Draanen obviously did her research.

The stages of grief feel authentic. The process of healing and getting a prosthetic are precise. And the fears Evangeline suffers all feel real. Every single twist and turn of the story is seen miles away, but still. A fairly enjoyable read. View all 3 comments. I am deeply out of step with friends again on this one, and it feels a bit like kicking a puppy to say how much I disliked a book about a runner who loses her foot but overcomes her tragedy - in theory.


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Little quote to indicate the prose before another few quotes just to vent. This one comes two pages after Jessica asks he I am deeply out of step with friends again on this one, and it feels a bit like kicking a puppy to say how much I disliked a book about a runner who loses her foot but overcomes her tragedy - in theory. This one comes two pages after Jessica asks her best friend about school to which she hasn't returned, after the accident in which she lost her foot and Fiona asks in return what Jessica wants to know about it.

This is a good question, and it's one I really don't have an answer to. I want to know everything about school. And nothing about it. It hurts to realize how unnecessary I am. From what little I've let Fiona tell me, school life seems the same as always.

Track meets happen.

A drowning dog's desperate wish comes true

The same flitty people are still flitting about. The same teachers are keeping to their same routines. The same lunchtime activities and rallies and club meetings still take place. I fell off, but the merry-go-round keeps moving. Admittedly a lot of one-line paragraphs makes it faster to read than it would be otherwise. The bit about tennis players who "call off practice if the courts are even a little wet" is the worst, but however realistic or not this tirade is I suspect it's pretty much at the "not" end of the spectrum , I don't understand the lack of generosity in failing to admit the hard work all serious athletes have to put in.

It's noticeable also that when her coach finds out about the running leg she could get, it's the team that gets involved in fund-raising along with Jessica's crush - but he becomes a runner, so is clearly A-OK all along, but minus his then gf, who's the only one on the track team who's a poor athlete and a phony , with really nobody who's not on the team involved at all.

Again, I'm not the one to be pointing the unrealistic finger at a book over US high school experience, but even in the girls' school here, which was pretty bad in many ways, it's inconceivable that the fundraising wouldn't have been a school-wide effort. The sheer awfulness of Jessica's erstwhile rival from the well-off school is both unnecessary and - oh, yes - foreshadowed by this first thing we're told about her: "Her long nails painted deep red But of course, she goes to the other school.

Langston's got state-of-the-art everything. From their starting blocks to their jumping standards to their landing systems and cages and hurdles and bleachers , their equipment totally puts Liberty High to shame.

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It's their track, though, that has us all green with envy. Ours is dirt. Theirs is a Tartan track. It's the most amazing track I've ever run on. It's clean, smooth, and fast , and it's a beautiful royal blue. Whenever I race at Langston, I imagine that I'm running across water. It's an incredible feeling. So Langston is our big league rival, and even though they have everything our team would love to have, we have the one thing a team can't buy. Maybe it's a bond formed from years of running into the wind. Maybe it's because Kyro calls us his family and expects us to treat one another that way.

Maybe it's just the fight of the underdog. Whatever it is, we have it, and Langston doesn't. Oh, they act like they do, but you can feel it -- it's just a show. I read this not long after reading The Year We Fell Down , which I found quite problematic in some ways, but the protag's voice was so, so much more appealing. And that didn't have all the one-line paragraphs. I find those pretentious. They're also irritating. I bet you're irritated too now. View all 6 comments. It got me hooked right from the start. Just the synopsis alone is enough for anyone to pick the book up and immediately start reading it.

For me, the beginning of the book was the most memorable. It was when Jessica had just lost one of her legs; her worst nightmare. The horror, the pain and agony she had to deal with just to walk again was truly heartbreaking. Being a runner in her school, her legs are definitely the most im The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen is undoubtedly a great book. Being a runner in her school, her legs are definitely the most important part of her body. But with the tragic accident leaving her crippled, Jessica learns to have a better appreciation of the things she has in life.

I found the plot beautiful especially when Jessica got to walk again for the first time with her new prosthetic limb. It's like watching that youtube video where the deaf lady gets to hear the world for the first time. Yeah, that emotion that emulates out is amazing. The beginning of the plot was borderline depressing but the ending is extremely victorious. I loved the happy ending, although I had wished for further elaboration at the end. Okay, maybe I just wanted the plot not to end and I'm making excuses.

But that is how I feel. So maybe I was let down a little here. I really loved how her team, her friends and family provided support to Jessica during her tough times. How they found ways to raise funds just so that Jessica could run again and feel the breeze on her face. With the plot not only focusing on her recovery but also adding the element of high school, I do believe that that elevated this book. It's kind of like a American romantic tale which has a tragedy.

That's the simplest way I can put it. If you love a book on determination and how a girl is able to take charge of her tragedies to becoming victorious, then you should totally give this book a go! Jun 17, Abbie rated it it was amazing Shelves: 5-star , favorites , contemporary. From the first page to the last page, it completely grabbed me, held my attention, and made me super emotional.

The characters. ALL the characters in this book are so well-written.


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Jessica, our protagonist, is a runner who has just lost her right leg in a tragic bus accident. The story begins with her waking up in the hospital post-amputation to find that her life has been completely turned upside-down. Talk about jumping right in with the inciting incident!! It grabbed me right away and didn't let me go. Jessica felt real.

Though not everyone will be able to relate to her physical struggles, her emotional and mental conflict cut right to the heart! Her reactions and responses to everything life threw at her always felt realistic. She was shook and rightly so by the accident, but never obnoxiously whiney.

She grew and transformed because of her circumstances and in spite of her circumstances. She was a character I could believe in. The supporting characters were also amazing — every one of them felt 3-dimensional and human, with flaws and hopes and fears of their own. Jessica's parents were amazing. Her best friend, Fiona, was epic. Jessica's new friend, Rosa, was awesome.

I loved how she led a story of her own and took the plot for an interesting and engaging twist. I think the thing I loved the most about the characters was how their stories all worked together. Jessica learned from Rosa, but Rosa also learned from Jessica. Fiona learned from Jessica, and Rosa — and so did Gavin.

It felt so realistic, because everyone's lives and decisions and conflict interwove with the rest of the characters and, in some way, impacted each other. The journeys. Jessica goes on a pretty big journey — learning not just how to run with a different ability, but learning how to live , and not let anything stand in her way. Over the course of eight months, she goes through a roller coaster of a journey — and all of it felt so natural and smooth. The pacing was beautiful, and I never felt like Jessica had a major shift too quickly.

The themes. I believe that the world needs more stories with positive themes and happy endings, and this book has no shortage of that!! I love love LOVE the themes of overcoming, healing, hope, teamwork, friendship, dreaming big, and seeing people for who they are, not just their conditions or disabilities. The themes made me giddy. I especially loved the more subtle theme of self-worth and how that ultimately comes from within. There was a line about "weeds in my worthiness garden" and OOF that hit me hard. I loved it. Other things: I also really appreciated all the detail and medical accuracy!!

Van Draanan really did her research, and it shows. Having written a book including an amputee character shameless plug: check out my debut novel Days of Sunlight!! I was excited to see how the author included all the aspects of Jessica's new and different experiences and lifestyle into the story. I think it got a little too technical sometimes?? The only nit-pick I had was that I thought it was a little odd that Jessica had never heard of runners with prosthetic legs?

Or had never seen anything about the Paralympics? I mean I totally understand that the author was using this realization as a sort of "pivotal moment" in the plot for Jessica, when she realizes she can run after all but I just felt like the therapist or prosthetist would have mentioned the possibility of running blades to her, since she was obviously super depressed about not being able to run. It left me on the final page with a big goofy smile on my face and I can't help but give a story like that 5 generous stars. The world needs more books like The Running Dream. Do yourself a favor and read it.

Jul 09, Duffy Pratt rated it liked it Shelves: childrens. I'm torn about how I feel about this book. For what it aspires to be, its quite good. But I wanted more from it. The story is decently told and moves along nicely. The characters are stock, but there's enough depth there to tug on the heartstrings at a couple of points. For basic background, this is the story of a high school track star who loses her right leg in a bus accident. There are several aspects of the book that are quite good. First, there is a strong and clear sense of what its like to I'm torn about how I feel about this book.

First, there is a strong and clear sense of what its like to be a runner: the challenge, the pain, and the potential for euphoria. It's quite clear that both the narrator and the author love and understand running. Second, the main character and her friends feel genuine to me. They are stock characters, but while they are thin, they don't feel false. And through the course of the book, I actually came to have a kind of affection for the narrator.

Also, the book is written in what feels like a distinctive voice. At first, I was dismayed because the narration is in the first person present. This always bothers me, but here it was less bothersome than usual. I have a hard time understanding why this fad has become so pervasive. It's supposed to make things more genuine, but for me it always feels more artificial.

Anyway, I quickly got over it, and then got taken in by the rhythm of the narration. The sentences tend to be short and staccato. And there tends to be one sentence per paragraph. Sometimes just a phrase. Maybe less. For a while I thought this was a deliberate choice by the author. And then, a high school newspaper story appeared in the book. And guess what? It's author wrote in exactly the same style. I was a little disappointed. Then, there is the question of the lack of depth of almost all the auxiliary characters. The mother worries.

The father remains distant and silently toils.


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The best friend shows support and concern. Every character is pretty much one dimensional. Then it occurred to me that perhaps they were one dimensional because that's as deep as the narrator was capable of looking into them. There are some hints that there's more to these people than the narrator appreciates. So I started looking for more suggestions of unreliability in the narrator, and maybe they were there, or maybe I was simply projecting, trying to make the book better than it actually is.

I'm still not sure about this, but either the narrator is fairly dense and totally self-absorbed, but still basically a nice girl, or the book and its characters lack any depth at all. My other problem is with the story structure. It seems like recovering from a leg amputation would present lots of obstacles. But, other than getting over her initial bad attitude, the narrator doesn't struggle much at all. There are basically no set-backs in the book. And, since everything comes so easy for her, it ends up that the narrator and hero is largely passive. For the most part, she doesn't do much of anything, and other people tend to do stuff for her.

This kind of passivity feels realistic, but it also tends to be dull. This presented a goal, positive action on her part, some legitimate obstacles to that action, and the use of ingenuity to overcome the obstacles. Unfortunately, for the rest of the book, people mostly decided to do something and then did it, and little or nothing ever stood in their way. For example, she is warned at one point to be careful about overusing her new leg, because hot spots can cause a serious set back. So, she never overuses her leg and doesn't have to deal with hot spots. That's sensible, but doesn't make for very interesting or dramatic writing.

On the other hand, once the story is over, and we get to the third act, the writer spins the book in a slightly new direction and things pick up very nicely. This act involves the narrator trying to do something special for a new friend, a girl with cerebral palsy who had helped her catch up in math. The ending is warm and touching. Even though the manipulation here was more than obvious, I found myself liking it.

Most of my issues with this book stem from it almost being really good. I'm happy that I read it, and it was a fairly charming and easy read. Jan 08, Brian Kelley rated it it was amazing. I'd added the book to my "to read" pile at some point this summer and over the course of a few months several books have shouldered their way past it and into my hands. It took my overhearing a conversation in my 8th grade classroom a couple of weeks ago for me to anchor the book solidly into my upcoming current reading blitz during the holida Positive.

And runs. Nov 22, Allison rated it really liked it. After I finished reading this book, it made me think more and deeper about the situation. Jessica, the star runner on her track team, loses a leg in a car crash. She struggles to walk or even hobble to places. This completely frustrates and agers her. Jessica runs, not as fast as she used to, but she is still able to run for the track team.

Then she has this crazy idea to physically push a girl she met in a wheelchair, in a 5k race. Will she do it? After I read this book, it changed my thinking about disabled people. Jessica just proved that anyone with any disability can have just as much enthusiasm as someone without a disability. Jessica completely turned losing her leg, into a positive. It would be really hard to make losing a limb into almost a positive, especially when you lose a leg and you are a runner. This book was great because not only did the runner lose a leg and get one back, but also has this idea to with her prosthetic , push a girl in a wheelchair in a 5k race.

Jessica wants to do more than expected. The expectation is that she heals, recovers, wins a race or two. Now she wants to make the dreams of someone else come true too. This book makes me appreciate more what God has given me, especially of course my two feet. Really enjoy the story telling as well as the characters. So great. The information about running and the athletes with disability got me check on YouTube to find out about it. There were realistic yet best scenario views of hardships and victories an amputee would face both mentally and physically.

The addition of Rosa, a girl with Cerebral Palsy, was wonderful as it helped put things into perspective for Jessica and drew my attention in more. The love interest was a very worthy guy, so the pairing made me very happy. I love the overall theme of how people with disabilities want to be seen as people and not their disabilities. As someone with a disability myself, although not the exact ones mentioned in this book, I find this to be very true.

Jan 19, Jamey rated it really liked it. I loved this book! It actually correlated with my leg injury and how I have to make it through each day step by step. My leg injury was nothing though compared to losing a foot, such as this girl did. This book describes the problems she faced on her way to recovery and how she overcame more obstacles.

Her dream: to run again. Will her dream come true? Guess you have to read it to find out. I thought the author did amazing job writing this book and I wouldn't have changed anything about it. This I loved this book! This was very realistic and I think that a lot of people would enjoy this book as much as I did. Jun 21, Rana rated it it was amazing. Jan 23, Sarah DiMento rated it really liked it Shelves: read-in , books-i-own , contemporary , ya. I read this because I love to run and rarely see books that center around running.

I wasn't expecting much but surprisingly I enjoyed this story a lot. A bit cheesy but still inspiring and has a meaningful underlying message. Aug 23, Krissy rated it really liked it Shelves: audiobook , pgs , imperfect-heroine , cover-color-white. I actually enjoyed this one. I loved Jessica's attitude despite everything that happened to her.

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Yes there were times when she started to fall into that rabbit hole but she always quickly shook it off and kept going. Jess was strong and inspirational and I loved it. A runner loosing heir leg in a car accident The main character of the book overcame the challenge by purchasing a iron leg and standing back up again. Although all the doctors say that just being able to stand up again is a god's bless, she aimed for her dream and git back on the track again. Oct 12, Stephanie rated it it was amazing. I absolutely loved this book. And not just because it's all about a high school track star confession: I ran varsity track and cross country all through high school so all the nerdy running stuff?

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The Running Dream

Singapore's Future of US exhibition features 3D models in large domes that depict what daily living in the city-state might be like in By Jessica Cheam. Share this story. Thanks for reading to the end of this story! Most popular. Industry Spotlight. Feature Series. Featured Events jul The SDG Co. Subscribe to our newsletters.