I am a middle school librarian, so I read a lot, and mostly read YA books. I read this book last fall and really loved it. The main reason was that Ben (the protagonist) was a fully realized individual, with his own interests, quirks and thoughts, not just "some poor kid with cerebral palsy." I once had a friend who had muscular dystrophy and through our friendship got to understand a little bit about what she thought about living with a disability, especially the way others reacted to her. I found it very refreshing to encounter a charecter with a disability in a young adult novel that was so multi-dimensional. His releationship with Colleen is so engaging because she sees him as an individual first, without focusing on the cerebral palsy. Yes, Colleen is a drug addict, but Ben continually tries to encourage her to quit. Yes, there is some swearing and sex. Frankly, I hear much worse coming out of the mouths of my middle schoolers when they tell me about the R rated movies they watch and Grand Theft Auto Video Games they play. I'd much rather a student read a book where they might think a little and be introduced to new ideas about people diferent than themselves than keep it away from them because it doesn't pound away at an anti-drug message. The kids I sugested this book to loved it because it was so honest and realistic.