BOOK REVIEW: Wink by Rob Harrell

Not gonna lie here, what made me pick up Rob Harrell’s Wink is atypical, to say the least. As the pet parent of two cats who have one eye {one of whom, oddly enough, was almost named Wink}, I felt myself drawn to this tale, and I am so grateful for it as I was charmed. By the characters, by the relationships, and by the perspectives shared. In a world rife with hate, Wink is overflowing with compassion and truths - not to mention a healthy sprinkle of punk rock.

Twelve-year-old Ross Maloy is living the typical middle school life. He’s got two amazing best friends, Isaac and Abby; a crush on a classmate who doesn’t know he exists {obvi}; and his own semi-popular comic series…Batpig. Then an unexpected swelling of his eye pops up one morning during the summer between sixth and seventh grade, and everything changes.

Diagnosed as a rare and deadly eye cancer, Ross immediately enters a world of unwanted new in the form of vision loss in one eye and the need for 8 weeks of intensive radiation therapy. Not to mention being forced to wear a gigantic look-at-me cowboy hat at all times {yes, even in the classroom} for protection.

Though def not the way one expects their middle school years to play out, Ross has a phenomenal support team, leaving him convinced that he’ll beat the big bad C; but then one of his besties {Isaac} bails, and someone starts circulating gruesome memes about his condition around school, and suddenly Ross isn’t so sure. Until he meets a slew of newbies that give him a new reason for living.

Y’all the supporting cast of this book is fire. Yes, I love Ross; but you’ve also got the wise Jerry, a geriatric patient Ross meets in the waiting room at radiation therapy; Frank, a tech who moonlights as a musician {and ultimately brings out Ross’ punk rock persona}; Abby, who is one of those rare, unicorn-like friends {i.e. one who is ridiculously supportive but will tell you off from time to time}; and even Jimmy, a supposed bully with a bad rep, but a lovable spirit.

Is the content hard to swallow? Most def - especially when you see how Ross feels after those memes start circulating {I cried}; but it is so important to bring books that represent differently abled people, and those dealing with illness to the forefront – if only to show people to be grateful for what they have and show compassion without condescension to those who may be going through it. With Wink, Rob Harrell manages to do both; while also showing the seriousness of the situation presented in an oft-times humorous fashion. Wink stands in a class of its own – it is funny, it is original, and it will stay with you long after the last page is turned. Add this one to your TBR pile babes!

Star Rating: *****



ellie said...

Sounds like a book I definitely need to read! Awesome review!

Caitlin'nMegan said...

Sounds like a wonderful read to read with the family and more. Thanks so much!

Ivy's Closet said...

Sounds great! Love to find new books like this!

Carefully Listening said...

Looks like it's got a lot of laughter and tears. Wonderful review!

Briana said...

I love that the book incites compassion


Why Girls Are Weird said...

I totally need to check this out!

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