BOOK CLUB: Exit Through the Gift Shop

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[Total: 8 Average: 4.1]

Exit Through the Gift Shop by Maryam Master is Ana’s story. Ana is a 12.5 year old girl with cancer. She writes the book as an English assignment about the last year of her life.

Can I say this is a fun book?! Cancer and dying are tough topics but at no time does Maryam Master try to wring the emotion out of her readers.

We follow Ana through what she is told will be her final year of life as she contemplates her own mortality, succumbs to cancer treatments, takes a last hope trip to the USA and faces a ruthless bully.

Ana is very down to earth and philosophical. She has accepted her fate and is ready to make the most of the time that she has. She has quite a sense of humour and her story is written in a dramatic (comedic) way with lots of big bold words and sketches on the pages.

There is a best friend, Al, by her side to support and cheer her up. He is also a little bit silly and not worried about what people think of him. And what’s a teen novel without a nemesis?! Here, Alyssa takes the cake with relentless bullying which Ana expects to stop when Alyssa finds out she has cancer. Ana has already graciously decided to forgive her. Alyssa would have to be the embodiment of bullying.

Maryam Master has written an entertaining novel that will be ideal as a school study novel with the inclusion of metaphors, alliteration and exaggeration. Alyssa, the bully, would be a good case study and excellent discussion point.

Recommended for ages 12 – 16 years

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading Exit Through the Gift Shop by Maryam Master. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

Author: Maryam Master
ISBN: 9781760983512

Pan Macmillan Australia

9 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Exit Through the Gift Shop

  1. Ana is a high school student dying of Non Hodgkins Lymphoma. She has about a year to live. And yet, it’s not a sad story. She chats about the things that are happening in her life. The best friend, the bully, her mum, dad, stepmum, step dad and step siblings, teachers, doctors and nurses. At times very funny and at others very wise. A book aimed at teens but really enjoyed by this teen of many years ago.

  2. (Review as written by my 10 year old daughter who devoured it in record time and gave me daily musings from it).

    Thank you Beauty Lace for letting me review the book “Exit through the Gift Shop” by Maryam Master. This book is very heart warming, heart breaking, but also a delight to read. I am not as old as the main character Anahita who is in grade 6, but I felt like I knew her and her best friend, and I felt so super sad that she was dying and got bullied and also when her friend died. But I think Anahita was so brave and so strong even though she was going through tough times. Anahita is truly an amazing character and I enjoyed reading about the last year of her life. Overall this book made me sad for Anahita but also made me feel like you shouldn’t take life for granted and that you should enjoy your life.
    I loved this book so much I read it very quickly. I would highly recommend this book to kids in my age group as it’s very inspirational. Thank you so much!

  3. For a book about someone dying this was an amazing book which tugged at the hard strings and told a story of a young girl as she navigated the challenges of growing up with limited time, being bullied but maintaining her inner strength and who she was.

    Life no matter how long we are here for should be cherishing and celebrated.

  4. Thank you so much to Beauty and Lace for letting us read Exit Through The Gift Shop by Maryam Master.
    It was an amazing book that both my 9 year old and I loved.
    The main character Ana was dying of cancer but it wasn’t a sad book. Ana was such a beautiful character.
    She shared her life throughout her journey and introduced us to her Dad, Mum, Stepdad, best friend Al and even a bully whose name doesn’t deserve a mention.
    It was such a heartwarming book about a 12 year old girl navigating her last year of life but it was uplifting and raw and inspiring.
    I highly recommend this book to anyone.

  5. Ana is dying, she is young and at high school and being bullied! A lot to deal with!

    We get to know Ana as she talks about her family, the hospital and her bully. She has a best friend and so things aren’t so bad. I loved the humour and Ana’s strength in this book and whilst it deals with some difficult topics it is a wonderful read. Thank you so much for allowing me the opportunity to read this book!

  6. I was hesitant at first about reading about a 12.5 year old dying of cancer, but the humour, philosophical musings and attitude of Ana certainly made for an enjoyable read. The author, Maryam Master and the illustrator, Astred Hicks seem to have made a wonderful collaborative combination to create “Exit through the Gift Shop” about a difficult subject pitched at the 10-15 year old age bracket. I would be happy to read and discuss this book with this age group. Thank you Beauty and Lace Bookclub, Pan Macmillan Australia, Maryam Master and Astred Hicks for the opportunity to read “Exit through the Gift Shop”.

  7. My daughter read this book initially, and absolutely loved it. I then read it, and really enjoyed it, too. It’s a deep novel, and would appeal to the more reflective child, but for those less reflective, it would still be an enjoyable read. My 9 year old daughter really enjoyed it and in fact said “this is the best book I’ve ever read!” which was wonderful praise, given she’s a big reader. Beautiful characters, and story! Thanks to Beauty and Lace for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  8. It is amazing how a book about a young girl dying can be so heart warming and funny, but it is the attitude of Ana that makes Maryam Master’s Exit Through the Gift Shop such a fabulous read. Armed with the world’s most dedicated best friend, Ana navigates her way through treatment, life long bullying, hair loss and losing a great friend on her way to making her last year count. Her story is sad, raw, emotional, triumphant and most of all full of love, and I would highly recommend this to all ages 12 and up. Thanks to Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read and review Exit Through the Gift Shop.

  9. Exit Through The Gift Shop may be a book about dying but it’s also a book about celebrating living.

    Ana is getting hit with a lot (cancer and bullying) but the story of her year is also filled with friendships, highlights, love and laughter.

    I really enjoyed the way the illustrations gave life to the story, it’s as a memoir should be.

    This was a book I enjoyed reading, and one I’ll be passing on to some younger readers who I imagine will devour it.

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