Thursday, April 08, 2021

Mystery Thursday- Remedy

Corrigan, Eireann. Remedy
April 6th 2021 by Scholastic Press 
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Cara and her mother have always been a team, which has been important since Cara has always been extremely sickly. She is always in pain, has trouble sleeping, and is a cancer survivor. Her diagnosis is unidentified autoimmune disorder, and she misses a lot of school. This brings her to the attention of the vice principal, Mr. Briggs, who tells her that she is in danger of not passing because she is absent so much. Because she and her mother have moved around so much, the school isn't happy with the medical records she has provided and wants a bit more information. Cara's mother is more than happy to share tons of information-- but with subscribers to her podcast, Wellness Warriors. She also gets food and help from local churches. When she starts working with Dr. Eric, a somewhat shady character who deals with alternative medicine and doesn't take insurance, Cara starts to wonder about what's really wrong with her. She's also tired of having no friends and not being able to do any activities. She starts to sneak out to the library, where she meets Science Kid, who goes to her school and later befriends her. Xavier (his real name) has Sickle Cell Anemia, so he knows about health struggles, but also sees a lot of things about Cara's treatments that ring alarm bells for him. Cara also occasionally sneaks out to a coffee shop where she can ignore her mother's ever changing diet restrictions, and enjoys going to the Mud Matters pottery shop to work with clay. After trying very hard to improve her school attendance, Cara passes out while taking an exam, and the school has her taken to the hospital. There, she meets Dr. Abidi, who is very concerned about her health and wants to run tests, but Cara's mother is infuriated that the school overstepped their boundaries. When her mother starts a GoFundMe page for "Care for Cara", the money starts rolling in, and her mother starts recording more and more intrusive footage for her "subscribers". When Cara finds a letter from her grandparents, who are in the Cleveland area not far from her, she tries to visit them but freaks out and comes home. While her mother is taking a "much needed" vacation for the weekend, Cara does some snooping, collects a lot of her records, and starts to realize how suspicious everything about her life is. Will Cara be able to get someone to listen to her?
Strengths: Adult readers will know exactly what is going on with Cara, but I don't want to spoil this for others. From the outside, Cara's mom is perfect, and the language that she uses when talking to Cara, the school, and the doctors is chillingly on trend and perfect. She makes everything she does for Cara seem perfectly reasonable, and Cara is so tired and ill that she can barely think beyond getting out of bed. Xavier is a great character who helps her not only with her school work, but with rejoining society, and with questioning why she is ill, and what role her mother might have in that. I loved that the book ticked along with Cara's mom being in charge of everything and Cara managing to sneak out just a little, and then all snowballed very quickly once the mother made the decidedly odd choice of leaving Cara alone for the weekend. 
Weaknesses: I didn't quite feel that the connection that Cara had with Manuela at Mud Matters was all that strong, so was a bit surprised at how that shook out.
What I really think: This was so creepily good that I might buy two copies, just in case someone loses one. Both would be always checked out. There's something about the mystery combined with the treatment by the mother that was deliciously creepy. Loved this author's Creep and Accomplice and think that a very strong argument could be made for calling Corrigan "the Lois Duncan of the new millenium".

1 comment:

  1. Your comment "creepily good" was all I needed to add this one to my list of books to read. The characters sound great.