Monday Book Review: The Squeaky Wheel

The Squeaky Wheel- An Unauthorized Autobiography Review… Summary: This one is a memoir, so it’s a little bit different from the romances I often review. It’s the story of how a young man goes in for an easy surgery and comes out a quadriplegic. The Good: I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. New injury stories are ¬†not my favorite and I was worried that it would be very bitter and angry. It wasn’t. It wasn’t exactly chipper either, but I felt like it really captured this young man’s experience perfectly (not easy to do, even when you’re telling your own story!). It’s easy (for me, anyway) to forget that a disabled person often started out able-bodied and doesn’t know what to make of a sudden change...

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Monday Book Review: They Call Me Sunshine

I’m not even going to provide a buy link to this book. No one should buy it. Ever. This is the worst that self-publishing has to offer. I know the company this author published with and they likely charged her a lot of money to slap her book up on the web. And if she were smart, she’d take it down and learn to write in a way that isn’t highly offensive. The subtitle of this book is “Inside the mind of a quadriplegic” yet it seems very clear to me that this woman has never met a quadriplegic. She knows nothing about it. Her descriptions of it are unrealistic to the point of absurdity. This character is supposedly not able to speak at all and yet he also isn’t on a¬†ventilator. ¬†I’m getting ahead of myself, though. Let me...

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Monday Review: Me Before You

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes Review… Summary: This is another book in the quad-wants-to-die category, which tends to get me worked up. I’m waiting for a book where the quadriplegic doesn’t want to find a way to finish himself off. The quads I’ve known in real life were grateful to be alive and very appreciative of life, having come so close to losing it. Anyway, the story is that Lou, a charming young woman with a quirky sense of style, gets hired to be the carer for a quadriplegic man even though she has no experience at all. It turns out that she was hired more because of her cheery nature in the hopes that she will help bring him out of depression. Though the subject matter is heavy, it is a chick-lit style book. I was very surprised to...

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Monday Book Review: Paradox by Lee Nilsen

Paradox edited by Lee Nilsen Review… Summary: This is a very special book to me. It is a collaboration that I was invited to participate in. The book is nearly 400 pages long and filled with stories, poems, and musings centered around the “imperfect” hero motif (I dislike the term “imperfect” as I find nothing at all imperfect about these great guys!) The other great thing about this book is that the majority of the proceeds from the eBook go to a charity called LifeRollsOn.org, which helps people with spinal cord injuries to reclaim their lives, particularly through sporting events. The Good: A couple of the stories in here are long enough to be their own stand alone novellas! My favorite is The Best Friend by Annabelle. ¬†She has a...

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Breaking the Waves

Breaking the Waves

This movie may have done me¬†permanent¬†psychological damage! ¬†It is incredibly disturbing on many levels. I’m sad that this is what gave the wonderful Emily Watson her break. ¬†She deserved better. ¬†I saw it when it first came out in 1996 and I am definitely not going to watch it again for the purpose of this blog (or for any other reason). Even people who don’t have a problem with the disability portrayal had trouble dealing with the weird pacing and style. Since I have blocked as much of it from my mind as I can, I will give you another reviewer’s take. ¬†This is DevoGirl’s assessment: Breaking the Waves Denmark 1996 no stars Directed by art-house darling Lars von Trier, so already you know it’s going to be more painful than...

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Rear Window, remake

Rear Window, remake

A shame, but this straight-to-tv movie staring Christopher Reeve (after his accident) is nothing but a vehicle for him to talk about disability issues. ¬†The whole story gets completely bogged down in this educating. I’m all for teaching people about disability issues, that’s a real passion of mine. ¬†If you’re going to use a fictional story to do that, though, it has to be gentle, in the background, and not overwhelming the plot. ¬†This feels more like a documentary on quadriplegia than a fiction movie. The original Alfred Hitchcock Rear Window has the main character in a wheelchair with a broken leg, and his immobility is used to up the ante on the fear. ¬†Similar to my comments on Bone Collector and MonkeyShines, it isn’t surprising that...

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