Find your “yellows”

Jeannine Toth and Jeannine Toth

“The Yellow World” by Albert Espinosa is a non-fiction novel about the life lessons Espinosa gained from his ten years of cancer from the ages of 14 to 24.

During the course of his treatment, Espinosa had his leg amputated, lung removed and a portion of his liver taken out. While his life revolved around hospitals and cancer, it is in those places that he gained the most insight into taking control of your own life and happiness.

A “yellow world” is the world we actually live in, according to Espinosa. This novel questions whether our expectations of life, love and everything else are legitimate or created from Hollywood and the media. Espinosa believes that that to be happy, people must find their “yellows” or their aspects of life that allow them to live more freely and happily.

Espinosa lists 23 “discoveries” that he made over the decade in which he was in treatment. Each discovery covers a way of handling life, loss, love, anger and finding himself. This novel introduces abstract ideas that, when analyzed, provide logical solutions or reactions to a range of situations. Some of these discoveries include learning to say no, even to himself; letting 30 minutes pass before reading bad news; keep dreaming, and keep trying to make those dreams a reality; and allowing time away from the rest of the world to just shut down.

A positive novel about becoming the person one wants to be while accepting who one is and who one has been, “The Yellow World” is worth reading. Each discovery can be applied to daily life in high school, and in the years following. So go out and find the yellows.