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Review of Chemorella by Ken Phillips and Katy Franco

Chemorella, Ken Phillips and Katy Franco’s color-bound, 57 page bilingual journey catapults readers into the world of cancer and the afterward. This story captures the rawness of emotional evolution of someone diagnosed with cancer. In these pages we witness the first injections of devastation, denial, fear, and finally the climax of letting go and choosing life over grief or giving up to the disease.  Phillips and Franco address the severity of cancer in a way that is expressive and humorous; and also written in a way that is always accessible to the reader by means of adopting the Cinderella Fairy Tale to Franco’s testimony.
Like Cinderella, Chemorella is a lovely and beautiful woman with a lot of good spirit to share. However, Chemorella becomes stricken with a tragedy that many people don’t come back from, that is far more serious than anything Cinderella had faced. Though with nudges of negativity from her three “famously awful roommates,” and guidance from her super cool upstairs neighbor, the parallel made to the Cinderella story is nearly transparent. Where Chemorella progresses are by the means of Franco’s tough lessons learned which she applies to the story. The realism of “hair or life?,” after being diagnosed with cancer, makes this book extremely powerful. The statement compels all readers to reflect on its truth when we ask ourselves, “Is external beauty what makes our lives livable?”; definitely not.
Chemorella was one of the most reluctant, at first, to accept this truth. Throughout her journey we’re able to see it’s the intangible; our friendships, and creativity that can pull us through the darkest of times. Phillips and Franco shows us that this is where we can turn to find our happy ending, our dreams, our prince and princess “charming”; and leads us to a beautiful conclusion, “Everyone who knows you, loves you!”  Not only did that phrase bring me to tears, but it alone serves as one of the largest motivators for those who fight and have fought cancer.
That statement is a happy ever after for everyone. Franco’s humility and generosity in sharing her story is tremendous! Not only is it attainable to fighters and those that support those with cancer, but by the way the book was written along with all the beautiful accompanied illustrations by Scott Sackett, this book is ageless, and due to its bilingual nature, will reach and impact even more readers to tears.

*Katy Franco is a survivor of cancer and continues to push through as an advocate and supporter of those who continue the fight! She is also a Comedienne and personality which continues to shine on. More on Katy Franco:  To purchase Chemorella, please visit:




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