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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
Hundred Percent Chance: A Memoir by Robert K. Brown is a meld of coming-of-age and an inspiring journey with cancer. Robert was diagnosed with leukemia when he was twenty and studying abroad. In this memoir, the author documents his journey towards healing, navigating the rugged landscapes of adversity, learning patience and perseverance, accepting the inevitable and finding strength in healthy relationships. There is grit, there is determination, and there is the will to live, and it is incredible to see how the experience of mortality transformed the author, giving him a clear perspective of his life. As he takes the reader through the chemotherapy sessions and the different aspects of his healing journey, he allows the reader to feel the pain, touch the hope, and understand that there is far more to life than we can imagine.
The story begins with a powerful, engaging statement, introducing the reader to the central theme in the narrative: “I had leukemia. I had it and now I don’t and that should be that. Only it’s not. It’s a memory that won’t go away. Not a haunting memory… No. Leukemia is vague with occasional flashes of coherence. It is a constant hum.” But the experience of illness, of an aggressive kind of disease, doesn’t just leave one marked with memories; it transforms the individual, enriches their humanity, and makes them look at life differently. Robert K. Brown’s memoir is a powerful testimony to that. The writing is gorgeous, almost lyrical, and it captures the voice of a young man in the '90s, one filled with strength and eloquence. Hundred Percent Chance: A Memoir evokes powerful emotions in readers -- hope and despair, joy and frustration, love and pain -- but the throbbing life within the protagonist, a life that permeates the narrative, will keep readers turning the pages.