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Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite
The Upset: Life (Sports), Death...and the Legacy We Leave in the Middle by Tyler Trent and John Driver is an inspiring story and a powerful testament of faith and love; a young soul's journey towards finding meaning in cancer through selflessness and joyful acceptance. It is the story of Tyler Trent, a young sportswriter and fan who, in 2014, is diagnosed with osteosarcoma. It is the first of his three battles with cancer. The young writer captures the emotion at the time when he got the news. When he knew his days were numbered, he lived his mortality in a spirit of faith, finding a purpose in his illness and selflessly allowing himself to walk a path that would inspire others after his death. In this narrative, one thing clearly stands out: Tyler never wanted his death to be in vain, so he gave up the remaining days of his life to fight for the support of cancer research.
The Upset by Tyler Trent and John Driver is beautifully told, allowing different points of view to come out, including the way the young man's parents saw him. The prose is crisp and the tone is upbeat. There are insightful passages that invite readers to reflect on the mystery of life and the place of faith, love, and family in human growth. Tyler writes: "At every turn, the real grace of Jesus for me—and for you—has only required that I keep showing up with my brokenness. When I do, he has promised that he will already be there waiting. Before I was ever a Christ-follower, Christ was a Tyler-chaser." This book brought both tears of sorrow and love to my eyes and I enjoyed the way the humanity of the protagonist is explored. In fact, there is a powerful light flowing through the cracks of his brokenness, a light that points the reader to the essential truth.