Love, Ish

Love, Ish

3.62 (399 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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Things Mischa "Ish" Love will miss when she goes to Mars: lying on the living room floor watching TV, ice cream, her parrot Buzz Aldrin. Things Ish Love will not miss when she goes to Mars: mosquitoes, heat waves, missing her former best friend Tig.Ish is convinced that she'll be one of the first settlers on Mars. She's applied to and been rejected from the Mars Now project forty- seven times, but the mission won't leave for ten years and Ish hasn't given up hope. She also hasn't given up hope that Tig will be her best friend again (not that she'd ever admit that to anyone, least of all herself). When Ish collapses on the first day of seventh grade, she gets a diagnosis that threatens all her future plans. As Ish fights cancer, she dreams in vivid detail about the Martian adventures she's always known she'd have and makes unexpected discoveries about love, fate, and her place in the vast universe. In this story perfect for fans of Fish in a Tree and The Thing About Jellyfish, Karen Rivers has once again created an unforgettable narrator who will pull readers into her orbit and keep them riveted until the very last page.
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Product details

  • 9-12
  • Hardback | 279 pages
  • 140 x 177 x 30.48mm | 362.87g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1616205709
  • 9781616205706
  • 2,129,513

Back cover copy

Things I Will Miss When I Go to MarsIce creamMy parrot, Buzz Aldrin (and all other birds)The hot smell of Earth summerThe trees and the lakes and the nightDadThe way Mom makes everything prettier than it has to beThings I Will Not Miss When I Go to MarsEleanor, same gene pool or notThe smell of the inside of the schoolDoing and saying all the wrong thingsMosquitoesMissing Tig
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Review quote

"A star-bright story of love, courage, and unflagging spirit."
--Booklist, starred review

"A worthwhile and affecting odyssey."
--Kirkus Reviews

"The cancer story line is interspersed with many facts about Mars and space and carries universal themes of friendship, family, and school life, but make no mistake--this book packs an emotional punch. This heartbreaking and sharply wry tale about friendship, family, fate, and illness will find a broad YA audience."
--School Library Journal

"An affecting, hard-hitting story."
--Publishers Weekly

"The writing is vivid and the close first-person narration keeps the reader in Ish's fast-paced mind even as that mind deteriorates, making the dream scenes powerful . . . Rivers imbues Ish with a sense of humor, an emotional depth, and a complexity that keep the story from becoming a cliché."
--The Horn Book Magazine

"Immensely relatable. Rivers has nailed the middle school voice, which makes the progression of this story all the more poignant as Ish faces something even more frantically unknown than being the first girl on Mars. Love, Ish solidly puts readers into the body of a girl whose lifelong dreams, like the fluctuating distance of Mars from the Earth, are creeping farther and farther away. Between Ish's vivid dreams and her often lonesome real-life interactions, Rivers skillfully brings readers on a journey of maturity, heartbreak, and, yes, love, that they will not forget."
--Cleaver Magazine

"As [Ish] copes with her diagnosis, she learns how your dreams can pull you through even when the future is uncertain."
--New Moon Girls/
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About Karen Rivers

Karen Rivers has written novels for adult, middle-grade, and young adult audiences. Her books have been nominated for a wide range of literary awards and have been published in multiple languages. When she's not writing, reading, or visiting schools, she can usually be found hiking in the forest that flourishes behind her tiny old house in Victoria, British Columbia, where she lives with her two kids, two dogs, and two birds. You can find her online at or on Twitter: @karenrivers.
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Rating details

399 ratings
3.62 out of 5 stars
5 26% (102)
4 31% (122)
3 28% (112)
2 12% (47)
1 4% (16)
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