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Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most special stories I've ever had the pleasure of reading! A MUST READ! xxx, 22 July 2013
This review is from: By My Side (Paperback)
I had heard so many amazing things about Alice Peterson's books, so I was very excited to start By My Side.

Cass Brooks is enjoying her life, she is a medical student and spends her days happily with her boyfriend Sean. But one day, her carefree life comes to an abrupt halt after Cass steps out into the path of a truck. Suddenly life has changed for Tess - She can't walk, and now her hopes and reams seem out of reach as Cass is uncertain of what lies ahead. But soon, something she least expects comes into her life to help her on her way...

Words cannot describe how much I loved this book! As soon as I started I was hooked! Alice Peterson has created a truly PERFECT story and it was better than anything I could have imagined.

Some of you may not know that I'm physically disabled. I have a brain tumour, and among my many health problems it's caused hemiplegia down my right hand side, meaning I'm paralysed on my right side, so both my right arm and leg have very little function and mobility. I find every single daily task difficult, some days I struggle to get out of bed or dress myself, and I need help to do almost everything in my life, I only have one good arm and as hard as I try it doesn't get me very far with things such as cutting food, opening things, even making a cup of tea or drink sometimes feels like the equivalent of climbing a mountain. And I also can't walk very far at all so like Cass I have a wheelchair that I have to use every time I go out.

The reason I'm bringing all of this up is because being in my position, I could relate to Cass possibly more than I've ever related to any other character in my entire life. I genuinely felt her frustrations at the beginning of the book as she realised just how much her life had changed and began to realise all the things she could no longer do, as well as her new dependency on others. I warmed to Cass straight away, I really identified with her in her new life and I wanted more than anything for her to be happy and progress throughout the story. I got behind Cass and I was very much rooting for her all the way.

The other characters are fantastically written. Dom and Guy in particular were favourites of mine. Cass meets Dom and Guy while she is in hospital after the accident, and they are in similar positions to that of Cass. I liked Dom and Guy's personalities - Dom was a jokey guy who really tried to look on the bright side of things and he made me smile. Guy, like Cass, was struggling to adjust and I enjoyed the friendship that the three of them had, I loved how supportive and understanding they were of each other.

Ticket is GORGEOUS! I fell in love with him straight away - he is such a bundle of happiness! I especially loved reading about Ticket's growing relationship with Cass, I liked the strength and love that they gave to each other, and they had the most beautiful friendship I've ever read about. I felt I learnt a lot in this story, although I was aware of the work that dogs do and how they help disabled people, I was thrilled to read this story and discover more about what charities such as Canine Partners do and how much of a help they are to others!

I especially worry about stories with disability in them, I worry that it won't be true to life and I understand it can be a tough topic to get right. But I needn't have worried at all...Alice Peterson has excelled in her storytelling, I feel she really `got' Cass and her disability. The story flowed beautifully and was told in a way that gripped me and touched me at the same time. I became very emotionally involved in the story...it was like an emotional rollercoaster. I laughed at the humourous moments and at Cass and Ticket's first meeting as I thought that it was wonderful! I also cried a lot during this book ass well, there are many moments that will touch your heart and I admit there were times I had a few tears and one moment where I was full on sobbing.

By My Side is one of the most special stories I've ever had the pleasure of reading. I can't put it any better than that. All I can say is that By My Side is the best book I have read this year, and it is a must read!
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Location: England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 257