Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Positively by Courtney Sheinmel

Title: Positively
Author: Courtney Sheinmel
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Reading Level: MG, 10+
Publication Date: September 15, 2009
Pages: 224
My Edition: Hardcover

Amazon Page

Cover Rating: A+
Book Rating: B

Plot - 18/20
Characters - 16/20
Writing - 18/20
Originality - 19/20
Entertainment - 8/10
Recommendation - 9/10
Total: 88/100


Emerson Price cannot remember a time when life was ordinary. She was four-years-old when she and her mom were diagnosed as HIV-positive – infected with the virus that causes AIDS, and eight when her parents divorced. Now she is thirteen and her mother is dead. Emmy moves in with her father and stepmother, but she feels completely alone. Even though everyone has always accepted her, no one – not her father, or stepmother, or even her best friend – understands what it’s like to have to take medicine every single day, to be so afraid of getting sick, and to miss her mom more than she ever thought she would.

When Emmy’s dad and stepmother send her to Camp Positive, a camp for HIV-positive girls, Emmy is certain she is going to hate it. But soon she realizes that she is not so alone after all – and that sometimes letting other people in can make all the difference in the world.

The author is donating a portion of her proceeds from this book to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

Positively was a remarkable book about a girl who is HIV-positive dealing with the death of her mother from the AIDS disease. This book detailed what someone goes through when they are HIV-positive with-out making it seem like a book listing information. It was a girl learing to see herself without the HIV effecting every though and desicion of her life. It was a wonderful book that was heartbreaking but also enlightening and true.

This book was MG, and I normally don't read MG books because of the fact that I always think that authors don't protray the age of twelve or thirteen as twelve and thirteen year olds really are. In Positively I had that problem. I was thirteen not too long ago (Shh...) and I felt that Emmy was protrayed younger then she really is. That bothered me.

Other then that, this book was great. It was a nice slow start before transition right after her mom died, going to the funeral and moving into her dad and stepmothers house and starting school again, we got to see Emmy in her worst state. Then she went to Camp Positive and we saw the steps it took Emmy to see herself without the HIV taking over her every though about every little thing from talking about cute celebrity guys to wondering if life is even worth it. It was a great change and to see Emmy make it was wonderful.

The characters were very realistic (besides Emmy and her classmates seeming younger then they are) and the writing was very good. It was original and the plot was very developed and flowed nicely throughout.

If that's not a reason to buy this book when it comes out on September 15th then how about the fact that some of the proceeds that Courtney Sheinmel makes of this book will go into the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. It for a great cause!

And may I also say that the Author's Note in the back of the book was just heartbreaking. It was a short and sweet look at the authors reasons of writing this book and I think it was more agonizingly sad then the novel was because it was real. That always gets me.


  1. I'm so glad you love this book. It sounds like an awesome one. I'll buy it for sure ^^

  2. I really liked this book. Nice review(:

  3. I think the cover is perfect for the book. Great review, great cause.

  4. Thanks for the review. I've seen this book and wondered about it - how it handled the whole topic. I feel I have a better feel for the book now.


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