This sequel to Shark Girl (2007) chronicles Jane’s recovery from her injuries.
The verse format enhances the affecting story as Jane struggles with boyfriends and with her future: Will she become a nurse or continue as an artist even though she has lost her drawing hand? Her artwork continues to improve, but she feels obligated to give back to others what she received from the doctors and nurses who saved her life when she lost her right arm to a shark. She receives letters, interspersed throughout the book with no comment, from strangers who have been following her story. Do these influence her? Meanwhile she struggles in her science class, finally hiring a tutor who turns out to be Max, “the heartthrob who got away” in the last book. Max loves swimming, however, and when Jane decides to go with him to the pool, she finds that she can’t cope emotionally with being near water again. Meanwhile she faces another difficult decision: whether or not to undergo more hated surgery to cure the neuroma that’s causing excruciating pain in her phantom limb. Bingham hits the mark with her completely realistic portrait of a strong girl coping with emotional difficulties, taking advantage of her format to include a lyricism that might be lost in straight prose.
An absorbing, genuine and uplifting tale of a strong girl making difficult decisions. (Fiction/verse. 12 & up)