pipermc11 added a book review.
Ruthie is just a young girl living in New York City, trying to achieve the American dream until those dreams are put on the line after a car accident that leaves her very injured. The story follows Ruthie's journey to recovery, forgiveness, hope, and love. I loved this book so so much for not only the thought provoking bits and life lessons, but for the melting pots of cultures that were conveyed. Because this is largely based off of the author's own experience, it has a personal touch that couldn't have been added otherwise.
First of all, the life lessons and thought provoking bits. I loved Ruthie and I think anyone could sympathize with her hopefulness and kindness. I also loved how her recovery process was used in such a way that Ruthie had to grow up fast and learned so many life lessons like forgiveness, following your dreams, etc. The one complaint I would have is that I felt that sometimes, because Ruthie was bedridden, the story dragged a little.
I also loved the other main component I took away from the book, which is that America is a melting pot. One of her friends was Indian, another was fluent in French and English and was from Belgium, their apartment neighbor was from Mexico, and Ruthie's extended family (all Cuban) were featured heavily. I also loved how whenever these cultures were brought up, they were always very warm and celebrated their culture (her parents dancing, their culture of food, her friend's mother making pastries, etc.) and I felt like I learned something about each of the cultures. Ultimately, this book showed one girl's story of recovery while learning about forgiveness and hope, and was able to celebrate cultures from all over the world without making the book all about culture/religion. The book shows that you should always follow your dreams because in America, it's a melting pot- anyone can achieve anything.