Thaw Review

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It isn't often that a book comes along leaving me hating the main character but absolutely loving the complete package! The main character in this young adult novel is so refreshingly dislikable...a strange statement, I know, but really, take my word for it here. You'll have extreme disdain for him through most of the book, but by the end you'll love him and just want to give him a hug.
When high school ski star and big man on campus, Dane begins suffering from Guillain-Barre Syndrome, life seems to stand still. Though the syndrome is not permanent, it results in Dane being completely immobile, having to slowly regain nerve function in his entire body and re-learn even the most basic of tasks all over again.
While recovering, Dane resides in a rehabilitation home in central Florida, far from the snowy weather of his home in Upstate New York ( home too!) and very far from the verbal and mental abuse of his father. Given almost endless time to think and reflect on the past couple of years, Dane slowly begins to open his eyes to how he's treated people and why he is constantly surrounded by people, but always alone.
Monica Roe did a beautiful job of creating an incredibly egotistical, smart mouthed main character that really believes he can do no wrong. He has treated his family badly, his girlfriend badly, and his teammates badly, though truly believes all that hurt is attributed to their faults, not his. As he struggles to become whole again, Dane's thought processes begin to shift and his coldness starts to melt, leaving him to try to mend fences that he had broken with his lack of care for others.
Thaw was a true surprise to me. I really didn't like Dane in the beginning of the story, though I now see the point of the character being written the way he was. The plot is very strong and the characters all unique. This is a great teen novel and one I will most definitely be recommending to all.

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A proud, gifted young man learns to overcome abuse. Dane, a high-school senior and ski team standout, is in a rehabilitation clinic in Florida, a thousand miles from his home in upstate New York. Guillain-Barre syndrome has paralyzed him completely, and doctors don't know when - or if - he'll regain the use of his body. When Anya, a young, no-nonsense woman, enters Dane's room and introduces herself as his physical therapist, Dane promptly sends her away. He's confident that he'll overcome this freakish illness without her superior attitude. Dane finds his occupational therapist more agreeable, and the two make quick progress on Dane's upper extremities. His legs are another matter. Dane understands quickly that if he wants to ski - or walk - again, he'll need to work with Anya. She and Dane reluctantly agree to develop his body strength, but as his family's visit to check his progress gets nearer, tension mounts. Dane's disdain for his friends, his family, and even his girlfriend grows clear, and his father's intolerance for failure becomes a consuming preoccupation. When the day of the visit arrives, a lifetime of subtle abuse either will cause Dane's icy mind to crack, or the young man will learn to thaw.

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