Fantasy · Fiction · Romance · Young Adult

Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens


Title: Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens

Editor: Marieke Nijkamp

Page Count: 320

Series: N/A

Publishing Date/Publisher: September 18, 2018 by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux (BYR)

Format: eBook

Review:  It can be very difficult to rate short story anthologies because the content is so varied; however, I think that 3 stars would be my average rating.  As expected, some stories I enjoyed more than others, but overall I was impressed by the diversity of characters represented.  There were LGBT characters, gender fluid characters, persons of color, persons of different religions, and of course, all characters had some sort of disability, whether it be physical, intellectual, or emotional.  Some of the genres covered were horror, science fiction, fantasy, and romance.

There were a couple stories where it was not clear what disability the character had.  The descriptions were very ambiguous, and if you did not know that this was part of an anthology featuring youth with disabilities, you would probably miss the fact that a disability was even involved.  It would have been nice if  the authors had covered what inspired the characters they created in their short bios at the end of the anthology.

Another thing that really stood out to me is that the title of the anthology does not adhere to person first language (i.e. Stories Starring Disabled Teens vs. Stories Starring Teens with Disabilities).  Admittedly, I am very aware of this distinction due to a training I received at work, so perhaps it does not stand out to others the way it does to me.

Reader: Bekah




Fiction · Romance

The Kiss Quotient


Title: The Kiss Quotient

Author: Helen Hoang

Page Count: 336

Series: N/A

Publishing Date/Publisher: June 5, 2018 by Berkley

Format: Paperback

Review: Fifty Shades of Wow…this book was everything I hyped it up in my head to be and more.  I love a good romance, and I have read many, but it is rare to come across a book that really makes my heart pitter patter.  Not only that, but it has a very diverse set of lovers.  The heroine, Stella, has Asperger’s Syndrome (a high functioning form of autism) and the hero, Michael, is biracial (Vietnamese/Caucasian).

I was never a particularly big fan of the Julia Roberts/Richard Gere film Pretty Woman, but this gender bent retelling was both believable and heartwarming.  It’s a slow build romance, and even though the outcome seems inevitable, it is still tremendously gratifying to see it come to fruition.

What I particularly enjoy about the book is how the author develops the character of Stella.  The author is herself autistic, and the authenticity of her experiences really shines through Stella’s inner dialogue.  Stella is both quirky and lovable, and at times the pain and frustration she feels is so raw, you feel it to your very core.  You can’t help but root for her and her budding romance with the sensitive, yet studly male escort with a heart of gold.

As a side note, I grew up near the city where the story takes place, so it was very interesting as a reader to experience familiar places in a new and fun way.

Reader: Bekah