Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie is a 2006 novel written by a teacher who felt the pain of one of his students, grieving along with her for the loss of her brother. Jordan Sonnenblick writes a tale that can teach any family the true meaning of brotherly love. With the main character, Steven, full of thirteen year old angst and sarcasm, the book takes you on a wild ride from day one. Here are 5 Times the bittersweet tale will break your heart, in the best way possible.
1) Sam, the girl from the hospital, who reminded you that life can be really unfair.
If you’ve read the book I need not say anything else. He made a friend at the hospital his brother was being treated in and they could have been really great friends. They could have played drums together and gone to Steven’s shows. They could have talked about their siblings; her sister, his brother. They could talk about their experiences as living with leukemia and loving someone with it. They could have been great friends but Sonnenblick decided that was too good of an ending and he broke my heart.
2) The news that totally trashed my soul, also something that many people fear.
I’ve had to experience cancer multiple times in my life; though I have not suffered from it myself, I have seen it take the lives of many of my loved ones. My mother had it in 2014; my grandfather has had it three times. I can very much empathize with Steven when he found out the news about his brother suffering from leukemia.
The denial, the anger, the whirlwind of emotions that he’s never experienced in such a pure form; anyone reading this book can feel their heartstrings being tugged when they read these parts of the book. I know I spent a lot of time chewing on my thumb to keep myself from crying.
I’m a big sap, though. But this really did break my heart.
3) Annette and Steven’s relationship; aka friendship goals that remind me how much I love my circle of friends.
I don’t know about you but when I read this book I felt so bad for Annette. Steven, angry as you can expect, treated Annette quite unfairly through the book. She just wanted to do her best to help out her best friend. I felt so bad for her that I wanted to smack Steven on multiple occasions.
But though he shunned her, I could see from the beginning to the end of the novel the strength of their friendship, that he was so comfortable with Annette he was capable of showing her something was wrong even if he tried to hide it.
They had a golden friendship in this novel, one that I know most teens and preteens yearn for from the moment they understand the word.
4) His parents and their relationship, a brutal reminder of family dynamics.
Ow. This part I found hitting home, tearing apart my heartstrings. If you’ve ever experienced illness in your family and you’ve seen how it impacts your family I warn you to brace yourselves. This novel portrays the stress and damage caused to families to a perfect “T”.
His parent’s relationship crumbled, his father and he stopped talking, and his mother was gone off to appointments with Jeffrey. He was alone most of the novel trying to cope with everything that was happening and though I do admit, during my first impression, I saw Steven as selfish. Of course my brain cleared up and I realized he wasn’t selfish, just scared.
Plus he was a little selfish because he’s a thirteen year old boy whose life has just gotten flipped upside down, so expecting him to not be is, well, ridiculous. I hope a lot of people who read this book can relate in some way to Steven in this manner and understand him.
5) Jeffrey, the little trooper devil child, who can stay so strong and happy while the entire world is crushing his tiny little body.
If you’ve ever had a child enter your life then you understand how painful it is hearing them cry. I’m not a big fan of children but when Jeffrey fell and hit his head, my heart broke. I could only picture myself in Steven’s shoes holding my niece while she tried to comprehend what was happening and blood poured. I guess my heart broke for the both of them; Steven would feel guilty for the accident, even if it wasn’t entirely his fault, and that kind of guilt is one that everyone can feel some form of empathy towards. Jeffrey would be terrified, clueless about the situation save for pain and panic.
Children make me feel a lot. Jeffrey broke my heart because my biggest fear is one of my nieces or nephews getting ill in any way, let alone something as severe as cancer. Jeffrey holds out so much hope, radiates positivity even when he’s ill and is just a shining beacon in the dark times. He never gives up hope and his love for Steven is obvious.
These five parts – which, really, encompass the entire novel itself – broke my heart in two. I cried and laughed countless times through my reading of this book. Writing about it now makes me tempted to read it again. Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie, told in the perspective of a middle-schooler named Steven Alper, will touch the hearts of all its readers. It shows a glimpse into a world some people are all too familiar with, and it will break your heart.