2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Discusses the pros and cons of animal organ transplants without sugar coating it,
This review is from: Pig-Heart Boy (Paperback)
Cameron has a credible voice, helped by the use of the first person and Blackman perfectly captures the envy he feels for his healthy friends. Cameron knows that there's little chance of a donor becoming available to replace his heart so when his father tells him that he's contacted Dr Bryce, a former heart surgeon who's currently working on engineering pigs for organ donation, you understand why Cameron wants to go for it. Cameron's parents voice the pros and cons of such an experimental operation but Blackman also shows how Cameron's condition has taken a toll on the parents' marriage.
Blackman gets across the science of using animal organs for human donation and sets up the ethical issues. She doesn't shy away from the actions of animal rights extremists and she uses the hyperbole of the media reaction to feed into those attitudes. My favourite scenes in the book are those between Cameron and Julie after the operation where Blackman highlights the changes in both characters as a result of the procedure.
I was less convinced by the relationship between Marlon and Cameron, mainly because I didn't quite buy into Cameron's willingness to forgive Marlon's actions (no matter how understandable those were) - but again, it's a good way of showing how the procedure changed things for Cameron, things that he wasn't really prepared for.
Blackman's decision not to sugar coat her book extends to the ending - she leaves it pretty open and yet the reader is in no doubt as to what Cameron's fate will be.
The scenes with the grandmother didn't work for me and seemed far too artificial a device for what Blackman wanted to achieve and I wasn't wild about the baby element, but it did give Blackman the chance to have Cameron monologue his inner-feelings about events, which worked for me in terms of fleshing out his character.