100 Days by Nicole McInnes
Version: ARC Paperback
Rating: 4 stars
Release Date: August 23rd 2016
Agnes doesn't know it, but she only has one hundred days left to live. When she was just a baby, she was diagnosed with Progeria, a rare disease that causes her body to age at roughly ten times the normal rate. Now nearly sixteen years old, Agnes has already exceeded her life expectancy.
Moira has been Agnes’s best friend and protector since they were in elementary school. Due to her disorder, Agnes is still physically small, but Moira is big. Too big for her own liking. So big that people call her names. With her goth makeup and all-black clothes, Moira acts like she doesn’t care. But she does.
Boone was friends with both girls in the past, but that was a long time ago—before he did the thing that turned Agnes and Moira against him, before his dad died, before his mom got too sad to leave the house.
An unexpected event brings Agnes and Moira back together with Boone, but when romantic feelings start to develop, the trio’s friendship is put to the test.
When you think of progeria, or Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome in technical terms, perhaps you've heard of Adalia Rose. She was definitely who I thought of when I found out one of the main characters in this book has progeria.
Those with progeria have a lower life expectancy than most people. Yet Agnes manages the impossible and is currently 15-going-on-16. Despite all obstacles, she tries her hardest to live life normally, even though most people treat her like a pity-party. Her best friend, Moira, sees her as more than that, and tries to shield her from harm. As they go through sophomore year, they run into an old friend, Boone, and the trio work together to face the many hardships of teenage life.
100 Days tackled a ton of real/currently ongoing issues that everyone faces, serving as a reminder that everyone copes with troubles with family or friends. There were weight-issues, depression, broken families, the existence of God, bullying - and the author doesn't try to paint a pretty picture of any of this, either. It was a reality check and a good one at that.
The writing was also vivid and powerful, and as I am taking a Creative Writing class right now, it's something to note.
Now, sighing deeply, I respond to the barrage of sloppy punches by throwing the quarterback onto his stomach in the slush, planting my knee in the small of his back, and hoisting one of his legs and his opposite arm up behind him. Bound in this sort of modified scotch hobble, my opponent screams in hyperextended agony.
And it is at that moment, in the strangest, calmest way and for the first time ever, that I find myself grateful for my father's lessons in cruelty.
When Moira got in, too, I could hardly believe it. She looked like some earth-destroying goddess returning to the sea. She looked like she was made of light and the absence of light, with a little bit of rage and grace mixed in.
Agnes, Moira, and Boone are all coping with their own problems and I enjoyed reading each of their individual POVs, how their voices varied with unique concerns. I loved that Agnes was not cast aside to be a side-character (this was my worry!) when the romance took foot. She remained a constant presence, up to the end. I loved her POV the most, because sometimes it is forgotten that people with disorders/diseases are people, too. Agnes had her crushes and her moments of weakness, and her moments of immense strength.
Even the love triangle is bearable, although there was that typical lack-of-miscommunication that often surrounds these conflicts. This did not overshadow the point of the story, and again, this made me happy.
I'm glad I found this book! I usually have problems with books for romanticizing diseases and disorders, and this was not the case here.