(Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers)

Seventeen-year-old Rose Levenson has a decision to make: Does she want to know how she’s going to die? Because when Rose turns eighteen, she can take the test that will tell her if she carries the genetic mutation for Huntington’s disease, the degenerative condition that is slowly killing her mother.

With a fifty-fifty shot at inheriting her family’s genetic curse, Rose is skeptical about pursuing anything that presumes she’ll live to be a healthy adult—including going to ballet school and the possibility of falling in love. But when she meets a boy from a similarly flawed genetic pool, and gets an audition for a dance scholarship in California, Rose begins to question her carefully laid rules.

A heartrending but ultimately uplifting debut novel about learning to accept life's uncertainties; a perfect fit for the current trend in contemporary realistic novels that confront issues about life, death, and love.

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Order a signed copy from Porter Square Books (site of Rose and Caleb's first "date"...and my favorite local bookseller!)


In a strong debut, McGovern investigates mortality, romance, family, race, and class. As narrator, Rose is articulate and sympathetic... McGovern skillfully engages with questions of fate, choice, and truly terrible luck.
— Publisher's Weekly
In her debut novel, McGovern writes with a sure hand about loss, love, and living with uncertainty... This standout contemporary read should have wide appeal.
— Booklist
Readers will stick with Rose through her dilemma—and her decision—rooting for her to make the choice that’s right for her.
— Horn Book
A smart and affecting look at the things we can and can’t control.
— Teen Librarian Toolbox
McGovern details pain, sickness, worry, disease, love, friendship, a first relationship, and does it all more like an old pro than a debut novelist. Her characters do not always have to be lovable for readers to root for — and ultimately adore — them. This is a first-class read.
— RT Book Reviews
A page-turning portrayal of living at risk for Huntington’s disease, rich with the complex layers of tormented indecision that come with genetic screening. Would you want to know? A great read.
— Lisa Genova, New York Times-bestselling author of STILL ALICE and INSIDE THE O'BRIENS
I loved this book for its unflinching portrayal of living with a parent with chronic illness as much as for the wonderful relationship between Rose and Caleb. Highly recommend...