Perfect Strangers: Friendship, Strength, and Recovery after Boston's Worst Day
Booklist Reviews 2017 February #2
The 2013 Boston Marathon's terrorist bombings reverberate still. Four people—strangers thrown together by the 118th Marathon bombs that killed three and injured 264—formed strong bonds and now consider themselves "family." Marathon runner Sdoia, who lost a leg in the attack, with award-winning Jordan (Last Man on the Mountain, 2010), shares not only her own story but the group's. College student Shores Shelter ran into the mayhem and saved Sdoia with an improvised tourniquet; BPD's Shana Cottone got her into a paddy wagon for transport to Mass General, riding up front; and BFD's Mike Materia, who loved working race day and was experienced from his service in Iraq, rode in back with Sdoia, providing comfort, eventually establishing a GoFundMe social-media page for her medical expenses and helping locate Shores. Sdoia and other marathon casualties were the Spaulding Rehab Center's first patients, and their visitor list became "something of a legend." Sdoia expresses her understanding of how trauma shapes people differently and how their connection, strengthened by loss, has provided a key constant and comfort in four lives. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.
PW Reviews 2017 January #1
It takes a remarkable person to convince you they have gained more than they lost after having a leg blown off in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. But that's exactly what Sdoia does in her frank, personal account of that horrific day. Describing herself as stubborn and determined even as a kid, she conveys that strength in relating how she survived after realizing she would lose her right leg and might bleed to death. In a spare but emotional register, Sdoia describes how three people rescued her. College student Shores Salter ran into the chaos and held the tourniquet tight enough that she didn't bleed out. No-nonsense cop Shana Cottone commandeered a police van to get her to the hospital. Mike Materia, a big, stoic Boston firefighter and Iraq War veteran, got her off the street and into the van. The book movingly describes how the four of them, bonding over the rescue and Sdoia's difficult recovery, became as close as family. Sdoia is unsparing in describing her own weaknesses as well as her strength, but this candor only makes her story all the more inspiring. Agent: Katherine Flynn, Kneerim and Williams. (Apr.)Copyright 2016 Publisher Weekly.