So many feels come from reading this book that I must tell you now: Paige’s story isn’t just for anyone – it’s for everyone.
Anyone (everyone) who’s ever been bullied will find someone to relate to in this book.
Anyone (everyone) who’s ever had to deal with people who equate a long-term illness, disability, or health condition with being worthless or unintelligent will find something worthwhile in this book.
Anyone (everyone) who’s ever watched someone be hurt by others and found it challenging to do more will understand the helplessness that parents often feel.
Anyone (everyone) who’s ever felt that no one else understands the challenges that being different – because of gender, religion, race, or HIV status – presents will find a friend in Paige Rawl.
Positive is the story of Paige’s journey through elementary and high school. In her back pocket, she’s armed with two innate tools: her HIV-positive status and her strength of character. Just with that bit of information, I’m sure you can figure out that life has not been so easy for Paige, but what makes this a book for all people is the way Paige handles herself in the face of adversity. She’s not perfect, and she sometimes mishandles situations, but her tenacity in refusing to stay down for long is incredibly admirable. I think it’s important to cry, especially when you don’t understand things. And Paige has had her turns of tears. But after every setback, she rises stronger. She refuses to let malicious or ignorant people dictate her life, and even in times of great disappointment or injustice from the powers that be, she recognizes that all is not lost. She summons the strength to keep fighting for what’s right. She ensures that love wins.
There are so many life lessons that teachers try to pass on to their students on a daily basis, but sometimes, the words of one who has lived through (and continues to fight) battles are more effective than any scripted lesson plan.
This book will make you run through a gamut of emotions, but I’m willing to bet that at the end of your reading experience, you will have learned a few things about what it’s like to be HIV positive, and your heart will have grown just a little. You’ll be a little more understanding and a lot less judgmental; you’ll be a little more compassionate and a lot less disdainful. Paige’s story may not work miracles in fixing all that’s wrong with the world, but if there are even a few more ounces of goodness in people, I think she’d take that. And I would, too.
Paige Rawl’s Online Corners
Thank you, Harper Collins, for sending me a copy of Positive
in exchange for an honest review.
All opinions and suggestions expressed herein are entirely my own.