'I thought if I was going to die I should write some things down'
Kirsty Everett was going to be an Olympic gymnast. But as she made plans to win gold, life, as it does, laughed at the goal she'd set. Aged nine, she was diagnosed with leukaemia and spent the next two and a half years in treatment and attending the funerals of children she met in the cancer ward. At the age of sixteen, Kirsty's cancer returned. Faced with a devastating prognosis, she threw herself into as much as she could - friends, school, drama, sport, even a life-writing course with Patti Miller. As she said, 'I thought if I was going to die I should write some things down.'
Against the odds, Kirsty survived. She never achieved gold at the Olympics, but she learned a lot about people, attitudes and resilience.
This is a book about growing up different when you want to be the same; sparking hostility where there should be support; and how love can be tested to its utmost. It's wise and unflinching and hopeful, and you won't feel the same after reading it.
'Told by a writer who's a real natural' Steven Carroll, Sydney Morning Herald
'[An] incredible book ... I haven't been able to stop thinking about Kirsty's journey' Chyka Keebaugh
'Everett is a born writer, her compelling story shot through with the extraordinary sensitivities of childhood' - B+P magazine
'Honey Blood is one of the most exuberant, life-affirming memoirs I have ever read. The fact that it is about the uncompromising reality of childhood cancer, makes it all the more extraordinary. Read it and be utterly bowled over Kirsty Everett's astonishing courage, honesty and cheeky humour' - Patti Miller, author
'If the Olympic Games are designed around people achieving their personal best, commitment, courage, determination and reaching their goals, Kirsty has been to the equivalent of two Olympics' - Wayne Staunton, managing director, Sold Out events management
'Do not be afraid of this book. The big C in it is not cancer, it's Courage. The courage to deal with pain, loss, fear and the shattering of a young girl's big dreams.
'Instead of tiptoeing around the tough stuff, and leaving the most difficult bits out, Kirsty Everett dives right in, taking the reader into her world, bravely, honestly, with raw humour and grit. We get up close to her tight-knit family, boisterous friends, tender first loves, doctors both brusque and kind, and rude strangers. Death hovers on every page, but life's vitality and Kirsty's defiant spirit shove it aside.
'This refreshingly straight-talking account of adolescent leukaemia goes beyond pain to a fuller, wiser, deeper understanding of what really matters when everything you hope for hangs by a thread. It offers the best medicine for anyone who has ever faced relentless physical and mental odds and obstacles that create seemingly insurmountable roadblocks as tests of character. It may not be a cure, but it is one mighty transfusion of the powerful drugs that make us human and help us survive: hope, compassion, and love' - Caroline Baum, author
'This is a coming of age story that will shock and inspire you. Told with searing honesty Honey Blood tells the close-up story of growing up while everything is falling down. In her compassionate, funny and warm way Kirsty Everett tells her story that will inspire others to tell and live through their stories. A wonderful and truthful insight into how to survive and thrive against the odds' - Michael Anderson, Professor of Creativity and Arts Education, University of Sydney