Emergency Room Book Review

Emergency Room by Caroline B. Cooney

College freshmen Seth and Diana volunteer in an emergency room to learn how to save lives — and along the way, they learn to live.

Seth volunteers at City Hospital to get first-hand experience with emergency medicine — and get comfortable with blood and trauma before attending medical school, so he’ll have an edge over the competition. Diana volunteers in the inner-city ER to save the world, one patient at a time. If she gets to show up arrogant Seth too, so much the better. The one thing these two college freshmen share is a desire to be a part of the ER’s action. Tonight, hour by hour and minute by minute, they will get their wish as they confront a student with a gunshot wound, the victim of a gruesome motorcycle accident, and a kidnapping gone horribly awry. Their adrenaline-fueled night will alter the course of Seth and Diana’s lives — and the lives of everyone in the emergency room — forever.

There is a lot that happens in this book, many events and characters packed into these pages. It is busy and hectic, and so fast paced that I barely had a chance to connect with any of the characters. And I found myself wondering what happened to some characters that were mentioned and then hardly brought up again. The girl in the opening chapter is involved in an event, but I never got the chance to find out what happened to her by the end of the book.

I mean, I get it, the book is written in a fast paced style to emulate an action packed evening in an emergency department/waiting room. If that was the intention, then it did the job. But as the reader I found it somewhat disjointing to keep bouncing around. The story is exciting and the events are all quite traumatic, but I wanted a little more of something more. Most of the chapters were told from Seth or Diana’s point of view, but still I felt that I didn’t really get to know them.

All in all, I rate this book 3/5. It did a good job of recreating the chaos of a busy emergency department, but I just don’t think it was for me.

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