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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Above the Din: Diary of the HepC Wonder Drugs is, among so many other wondrous things, an exploration of one woman’s fifteen-year journey to overcome Hepatitis C. Author Labar Laskie introduces us to her new best friends, namely, Sovaldi and Olysio, the newest Hepatitis C wonder drugs available that break the bank, and she is not getting her money’s worth. She opens up her diary because her experience and that of other hepatitis sufferers are never typical and don’t follow a straight line. Being infected with the disease, she has been living for years like a guinea pig as she tries cures that yield poor results and pose health risks. As she searched for an alternative cure, she and her daughter discovered the joys and wonders of the flying trapeze—an extreme sport that helped her cope with her illness.
Above the Din has been written with a keen familiarity with the subject that it presents. Labar Laskie writes an assemblage of research and personal insights as she tries to better understand the literature on her illness and how she can free herself from Hepatitis C. The book has the right balance of humorous and compelling moments and is clever at the same time. Lona Powell’s stunning illustrations further bring the story to life. With fine lines and colors that have a charming storybook quality, the artist captures the essence of the moments that she translates into pictures. It is a colorful journey that shows us that we have the power to do something and make the most out of an unsettling personal situation. This is an honest memoir that is a pleasure to read for the intelligence, frankness, and warmth of its author.