Agnes and Moira are just about as opposite as two girls can be, at least as far as appearance is concerned. Agnes is tiny, frail, and pretty much looks like a little old lady [because she has a medical condition called Progeria]. Moira, on the other had, is rather big. Too big, as far as she and the school bullies are concerned. Her bigger size is definitely a benefit of their friendship, though, because she can be a bodyguard of sorts for Agnes — who might be safer if she were homeschooled but prefers to live as “normally” as possible by attending public school. Boone is a guy they both used to be friends with in elementary school, but something happened that caused the girls to stop talking to him. When fate leads them to, unexpectedly, start spending time together again, their past seriously complicates the present. Agnes appears to think Boone deserves a second chance, but Moira seems determined to keep Boone from getting too close again. Since they’re all-too-aware that Agnes has already exceeded the standard life-expectancy of a kid diagnosed with Progeria, though, Moira and Boone begrudgingly give in to Agnes’ pleas to spend more time together.
This book would be a great conversation-starter for so many topics — friendship, bullying, and body image just to name a few. I won’t lie and say that this is an easy read, because it’s clear from the start that Agnes doesn’t have long to live and that Moira and Boone already have some major issues they’re dealing with. I will say, though, that I think McInnes did a fantastic job of weaving together these characters in a story that is both believable and capable of providing some hope and direction to teens who might be handling difficult situations in their own lives.