Thanks, Matthew. I thought about linking to the book, but really wanted to emphasize why I wrote it, so I deliberately avoided promoting it in this piece (even with a link). Excerpting the first chapter is a marvelous idea — I may do that in a separate post. Ana and I both read TFiOS and loved it, but we also both had issues with the reaction it got from her peers — it was almost as if cancer was being romanticized (well, literally). I wrote a review about it at one point. I’ll try to dig that up. I agree that cancer seemed to be a YA theme for a while and that may also be why my books were rejected (e.g., perceived as copycat books that came after the fact).