Strangers Assume My Girlfriend Is My Nurse
With his signature acerbic wit and hilarious voice, twenty-something author, blogger, and entrepreneur Shane Burcaw is back with an essay collection about living a full life in a body that many people perceive as a tragedy. From anecdotes about first introductions where people patted him on the head instead of shaking his hand, to stories of passersby mistaking his able-bodied girlfriend for a nurse, Shane tackles awkward situations and assumptions with humor and grace.On the surface, these essays are about day-to-day life as a wheelchair user with a degenerative disease, but they are actually about family, love, and coming of age.

Strangers Assume My Girlfriend Is My Nurse Details

TitleStrangers Assume My Girlfriend Is My Nurse
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 30th, 2019
PublisherRoaring Brook Press
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Humor, Disability, Biography

Strangers Assume My Girlfriend Is My Nurse Review

  • Elizabeth Sagan
    January 1, 1970
    Absolutely lovely!I discovered Shane and Hannah not long ago when I stumbled upon their Youtube channel (Squirmy and Grubs and if you haven't checked it out oh my God please do) and I fell in love with their spirit. When I heard about SAMGIMN I knew I had to have it (as well as Laughing at My Nightmare, Shane's previous book).It's a very short read, I finished the whole thing in less than a day. It was funny and inspiring (sorry for using the word "inspiring", I know Shane doesn't quite like it) Absolutely lovely!I discovered Shane and Hannah not long ago when I stumbled upon their Youtube channel (Squirmy and Grubs and if you haven't checked it out oh my God please do) and I fell in love with their spirit. When I heard about SAMGIMN I knew I had to have it (as well as Laughing at My Nightmare, Shane's previous book).It's a very short read, I finished the whole thing in less than a day. It was funny and inspiring (sorry for using the word "inspiring", I know Shane doesn't quite like it) and most important, educative. You get answers to some of the question you might have about Shane, while learning more about SMA.
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  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    Brilliant, hilarious, and insightful essays on living with a disability. Shane's voice is a riot and made me laugh out loud numerous times. It's so nice to see more YA essay collections, and this one will appeal to so, so many readers.
  • Sarah K
    January 1, 1970
    A must read for everyone!I was blown away by the stories Shane tells of what it’s like living with spinal muscular atrophy. And honestly not just what it’s like living with SMA but what it means to truly LIVE. This book zeroes in on many stigmas people with disabilities deal with and Shane brings such amazing, funny and heartfelt storytelling to these true life stories he shares. From what it’s like eating out, strangers approaching you on the street, difficulties using the bathroom, you’ll lear A must read for everyone!I was blown away by the stories Shane tells of what it’s like living with spinal muscular atrophy. And honestly not just what it’s like living with SMA but what it means to truly LIVE. This book zeroes in on many stigmas people with disabilities deal with and Shane brings such amazing, funny and heartfelt storytelling to these true life stories he shares. From what it’s like eating out, strangers approaching you on the street, difficulties using the bathroom, you’ll learn so much and have fun along the way. Shane helps us see that we are more than what others decide we are. This is a fun, quick and fabulous book I hope everyone reads! Shane’s voice is one that needs to be heard.
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  • Tracy
    January 1, 1970
    This is WOW insightful. I'm glad Shane included some of his own perceptions/misperceptions. I can certainly see where if I were in his situation, I might not be very open minded myself. Best of luck to you and Hannah, Shane!
  • Alisha
    January 1, 1970
    I feel like Ive been waiting ages for this book it was well worth it. I absolutely loved it! So much so, I read it in one sitting! I first read something by Shane late last year and automatically loved his story telling because I was able to relate to so many of the stories he told living with his disability, and could relate a great deal relating to my own disability soon after I randomly came across Squirmy and Grubs and have loved following Shane and Hannah's journey ever since! Like his othe I feel like Ive been waiting ages for this book it was well worth it. I absolutely loved it! So much so, I read it in one sitting! I first read something by Shane late last year and automatically loved his story telling because I was able to relate to so many of the stories he told living with his disability, and could relate a great deal relating to my own disability soon after I randomly came across Squirmy and Grubs and have loved following Shane and Hannah's journey ever since! Like his other books I was able to relate greatly to so many of shane's stories, interactions, feelings and thoughts. so when I first learned he was releasing SAMGIMN I just knew I had to read it. The way Shane shares his stories about interactions, questions and his undying adoration and love for Hannah was truly a great thing to read and gives me hope that I may find my own Squirmy one day!
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  • B220
    January 1, 1970
    In a follow up to his initial memoir, Laught at my Nightmare, Shane Burcaw brings readers up to date with where he is now and how his outlook on life has changed over the years. Living with a degenerative muscular disease brings many struggles, but through a dark, sarcastic humor Shane has learned to love life, love living, and he has truly grown into a successful (and inspirational) not-for-profit organizer.Through a series of essays, readers experience a glimpse of Shane's struggles, successes In a follow up to his initial memoir, Laught at my Nightmare, Shane Burcaw brings readers up to date with where he is now and how his outlook on life has changed over the years. Living with a degenerative muscular disease brings many struggles, but through a dark, sarcastic humor Shane has learned to love life, love living, and he has truly grown into a successful (and inspirational) not-for-profit organizer.Through a series of essays, readers experience a glimpse of Shane's struggles, successes, embarrassments, and loves. He provides a spectacularly positive outlook on life that will make readers appreciate their own lives more and look at people with disabilities more fairly and empathetically.I was excited when I saw this book was coming out. Thank you to NetGalley and MacMillan Children's Publishing Group for the ARC!
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  • Rebecca L.
    January 1, 1970
    I eagerly awaited the release of this book and I wasn’t disappointed. Burcaw has a great message and he has greatly matured since his first book was released. I’m rooting for him and Hannah and I’m so glad they are providing a strong voice within the disability community. Shane’s sometimes crude language and coarse sense of humor can even be a positive thing because his writing style may attract reluctant readers. I read this entire book in two days.
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  • Forever Young Adult
    January 1, 1970
    Graded By: BrianCover Story: CovergasmDrinking Buddy: Hell, yesTestosterone Level: HighTalky Talk: Talk Dirty to MeBonus Factor: DisabilityBromance Status: BroRead the full book report here.
  • Natalie Gregory
    January 1, 1970
    This book is hilarious! Shane has uses humor and authenticity to show that he is "just as funny, intelligent, sexy, hardworking, adventurous and successful as anyone else."
  • Andy
    January 1, 1970
    I 💜 Shane and Hannah.
  • Jamie Ramsey
    January 1, 1970
    I originally debated between giving this book three or four stars. I thought it was a solid 3.5 and decided to up it to four because there were some really hilarious and eye opening essays. My hesitation came with a few of them reading like they were paid advertisments (the chapter on Alexa in particular...and I say this as an Amazon Books employee who actively sells these devices to disabled individuals and love how accessable they make everyday activities I take for granted) or just a little b I originally debated between giving this book three or four stars. I thought it was a solid 3.5 and decided to up it to four because there were some really hilarious and eye opening essays. My hesitation came with a few of them reading like they were paid advertisments (the chapter on Alexa in particular...and I say this as an Amazon Books employee who actively sells these devices to disabled individuals and love how accessable they make everyday activities I take for granted) or just a little bit out of place with the overall theme. However, it has been a few days since I finished this book and today decided to change my review to five stars. Mainly because I can't stop thinking about it. It is one of those books that stay with you long after you've put it down. I'm a firm believer in reading window books, not mirror ones. You want a book that gives you insight into how other people live. This promotes empathy, self awareness, and, let's face it, just creates kinder people. When that book stays with you days, weeks, even months later, you know it is worth reading. I loved the writing style. The essays were short and concise, easy to read, and, at some points, laugh out loud amusing. There are some heavier topics approached in here and things that make you look at your own life slightly different. But all around it's a great read that makes you actually wish you knew Shane personally. I started reading this advanced copy without any prior knowledge of who the author was or his nonprofit. I ended up googling him, reading his Tumblr, checking out the nonprofit, and watching the vlogs him and his girlfriend have up. So, yes, the star rating has changed. While it's not a full five star book in my opinion, it is a solid 4.5 and I hope this comes in my bookstore because you can bet I'll be recommending it to people.
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  • Alicia
    January 1, 1970
    Burcaw continues to document his life for readers with delight, humor, and the kind of TMI that endears him to us as readers- even this title is just as humorous as it is hard. Burcaw shows, tells, and everything in between with what it's like to have muscular atrophy and even at times waxes poetic and slightly political in detailing the events of a young girl, younger than Shane was at the time, whose claim to fame was a publicized prom before choosing suicide to end her life from the painful s Burcaw continues to document his life for readers with delight, humor, and the kind of TMI that endears him to us as readers- even this title is just as humorous as it is hard. Burcaw shows, tells, and everything in between with what it's like to have muscular atrophy and even at times waxes poetic and slightly political in detailing the events of a young girl, younger than Shane was at the time, whose claim to fame was a publicized prom before choosing suicide to end her life from the painful side of the disease. Yet, ultimately it continues to detail Burcaw's forward progress in life, everyone else be damned. He does good work with his foundation and cousin and then also shows us his romantic (and man-side) discusses his relationships and specifically the one with Heather, who is the woman pictured on the front cover. He does right to share the stupid and silly things people say so that we can all learn to listen more and talk less especially with people with disabilities.
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  • Natalia
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: (I received this ARC from Net Galley. My opinions are unbiased and my own)Fact number one: Shane Burcaw is funny! I really love that right from the beginning of this book we can get a feel for who he is, realistic and downright relatable. It is one of the things that keeps you reading because he's not pretending to be someone he's not.Most of the chapters of this book deal with different experiences in his life and how those experiences are colored by SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy). T Disclaimer: (I received this ARC from Net Galley. My opinions are unbiased and my own)Fact number one: Shane Burcaw is funny! I really love that right from the beginning of this book we can get a feel for who he is, realistic and downright relatable. It is one of the things that keeps you reading because he's not pretending to be someone he's not.Most of the chapters of this book deal with different experiences in his life and how those experiences are colored by SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy). The important thing to remember is that he is not to be pitied, he is here to educate you about how you see people with SMA or disabilities in general and how that sometimes can be hurtful, even when it is not the person's intention.He talks of moments were Reddit considered a picture of him with animals a sob story, or how people see him and pray on him because they think he can't speak, or the fact that when they see him and his able girlfriend they immediately assume she is his nurse. I can't even begin to imagine going through that with strangers who claim to be well-intentioned on an everyday basis.Other moments give you an insight into things you take for granted, like your feet, your sense of security, your ability to roll over in bed if you are uncomfortable. Some of the chapters where he mentioned feeling insecure in his home, I read full of dread. I could feel his fear, the way he described it and it is crazy to remember that he couldn't have moved to save himself regardless of what the situation turned out to be. I am being purposely vague because all his stories are spoilers so I don't want to ruin the experience of reading this book for you. I liked that every story ended with a lesson whether it was a good or bad experience. Also, you never feel burdened by the topic of the book even though he is talking about very serious things and situations in his life. It is a testament to his personality and style of writing, that you can go through this book smiling at his revelations, or awwing at his girlfriend Hannah who seems to be a great human like he would say, instead of crying at some of the injustices he faces. Rating 3/5 ❤❤❤I enjoyed learning about his life and seeing the world from his perspective. I also think this book is a great resource for other people with SMA or people looking to understand how they might be coming across to disabled persons. I personally had an issue with the writing style because it was a bit stop and go. I would feel like I was getting into a story and then the chapter would be over. The experience format is cool because it feels conversational but it had no coherent order in the book, so I just felt like I was reading about random experiences, in bits and pieces. That's just me though, so I encourage you to read this book if it sounds interesting to you. If you are looking for a light read that teaches you a lot, this book is definitely it.
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  • Chrissie Morrison
    January 1, 1970
    Shane Burcaw entered my radar when I read his first book,  Laughing at My Nightmare , which introduced readers who were not already aware of his blog [http://laughingatmynightmare.tumblr.com] to his unique life circumstances.  Living with Spinal Muscular Atrophy means that he doesn't have enough strength to tend to even his most basic needs, like bathing and getting dressed.  As Shane gets older and his muscles continue to deteriorate, he loses more and more muscle function -- even in the muscle Shane Burcaw entered my radar when I read his first book,  Laughing at My Nightmare , which introduced readers who were not already aware of his blog [http://laughingatmynightmare.tumblr.com] to his unique life circumstances.  Living with Spinal Muscular Atrophy means that he doesn't have enough strength to tend to even his most basic needs, like bathing and getting dressed.  As Shane gets older and his muscles continue to deteriorate, he loses more and more muscle function -- even in the muscles that help him to chew his food and talk.  Armed with a positive outlook, adaptive technology, and assistance from the people around him, though, he manages to live a very complete and fulfilling life.  Rather than feeling sorry for himself for the things he will never have, he focuses on his blessings and how he can help others.By infusing humor and wit into even the most embarrassing stories, he makes it easier for readers to delve into the realities of life with Spinal Muscular Atrophy.  The title of this book, by the way, comes directly from real life experiences in which servers at restaurants have simply assumed that he wasn't on a date.  Because they didn't realize a guy in in a wheelchair could go on a date?  Because his girlfriend was "too beautiful" to be with him?!?  Crazy!  Shane caught on at a very early age that many people think his mere existence is a downer, but this collection of essays is proof that he still believes, more than ever, that a twisted sense of humor and a determination to live his life to the fullest can help him conquer the anxiety from within and the negativity from others.Happy Reading!
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  • Carin
    January 1, 1970
    Shane Burcaw is a young man who does not see himself as remarkable, or any of the other adjectives one could use to describe him as special. He is disabled--he has spinal muscular atrophy, a condition similar to muscular dystrophy--but he has dedicated his life to showing how ordinary and normal his life is, and the lives of similarly differently-abled people.He started with a blog, which grew into books and speaking engagements, which now is his full-time job. He runs a Foundation and those are Shane Burcaw is a young man who does not see himself as remarkable, or any of the other adjectives one could use to describe him as special. He is disabled--he has spinal muscular atrophy, a condition similar to muscular dystrophy--but he has dedicated his life to showing how ordinary and normal his life is, and the lives of similarly differently-abled people.He started with a blog, which grew into books and speaking engagements, which now is his full-time job. He runs a Foundation and those are the major income sources for it. In this book, aimed at older kids than his previous ones, in a series of personal essays, he tackles everything from going to the bathroom (a big topic in all of his books) to how he and his girlfriend have sex, to becoming more independent--first in his parents' house when he's able to put in an elevator and live in the basement, and later when he and his girlfriend move to Minnesota. He's profane and funny and laughs at himself first most of the time. He certainly does admit to times when he didn't find his disability so funny--as in an early chapter about his refusal to go tot he bathroom at school as that would require him to ask the nurse to assist him. But in the end, he's chosen to see all the difficulties as just life, and lemonade ingredients. He is optimistic and has a real winning attitude.I think a lot of us who read the book will wish we had the same mental and humorous fortitude to take personal problems in stride. Shane is an inspiration, but I don't mean that in a sappy, sweet way. I mean he's a great fucking inspiration. If this shit isn't getting him down, I should be able to laugh at myself more too. I wish I could. I'm trying to. Teens in particular could really use that lesson.
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  • Alyssa White
    January 1, 1970
    Shane Burcaw's third novel is simply his best to date. This collection of personal essays is genuinely funny, informative, sweet, and intelligent. I loved being more educated about Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) and thought Burcaw's writing style and personality have become significantly more fleshed out and witty. Reading Strangers Assume My Girlfriend Is My Nurse feels like sitting next to a friend who is recounting their life to you.  This novel moves along at a brisk pace, and I finished it i Shane Burcaw's third novel is simply his best to date. This collection of personal essays is genuinely funny, informative, sweet, and intelligent. I loved being more educated about Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) and thought Burcaw's writing style and personality have become significantly more fleshed out and witty. Reading Strangers Assume My Girlfriend Is My Nurse feels like sitting next to a friend who is recounting their life to you.  This novel moves along at a brisk pace, and I finished it in a couple of sittings. Reading about Shane and his girlfriend Hannah's relationship was touching and hilarious, and Burcaw's brave and unfiltered descriptions about his disability, career, sex life, etc., were described beautifully and succinctly while being accessible for the reader. I also noticed a major change in his viewpoints about mental disabilities in this novel, which was a welcome addition. My only complaint about this book was the fact that some stories are told exactly how they were in his previous novel, Laughing at My Nightmare. It became a little tedious to read these anecdotes for a second time, but that's mostly a quibble on my part.  Overall, this is a refreshing, hilarious, yet informative memoir about living with SMA and staying strong in the face of adversity. Burcaw is a talented writer who seamlessly pulls the reader into his world and makes them feel like a friend. Pick this up if you love his YouTube channel or are looking to learn more about SMA.VERDICT: 4.5/5*Originally posted on my blog Alycatgeekery.com
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  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    Bravo, Shane! I'm admittedly in that group of adults with SMA in the Living with M.D. group that gave you a really hard time a few years back, encouraging you to embrace disability rather than live in fear and frustration about it. This book shows that you took our advice to heart, and that you have matured into a great spokesperson for the disability community. (Note: I don't think spokesman has the same pity-inducing connotations as posterchild or some such term, so I mean what I say as a comp Bravo, Shane! I'm admittedly in that group of adults with SMA in the Living with M.D. group that gave you a really hard time a few years back, encouraging you to embrace disability rather than live in fear and frustration about it. This book shows that you took our advice to heart, and that you have matured into a great spokesperson for the disability community. (Note: I don't think spokesman has the same pity-inducing connotations as posterchild or some such term, so I mean what I say as a complement.) In particular, the essay about Ron was fantastic – it was candid, insightful, and conveyed philosophical depth.To others: I've read a lot of disability literature, and would recommend this book as one of my favorite memoirs in the genre. While I'm not a big fan of the bodily function jokes dispersed throughout, they make sense coming from a 20-something male who has to make bodily functions in a semi-public manner. They are also situated in an unique juxtaposition with the extreme honesty and openness with which the author writes about his experiences, both good and bad, silly and life-changing. It is radical honesty and humor – all with a smile – that make this book worthy of your shelf.
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  • Cara
    January 1, 1970
    Having been a follower of Shane Burcaw's YouTube chanel Squirmy and Grubs (which he creates with girlfriend Hannah Aylward) for some time, I was excited for the release of Burcaw's newest book Strangers Assume My Girlfriend is My Nurse. Fellow followers of Burcaw's chanel or written work will be familiar with his trademark sarcastic wit and Strangers Assume certainly did not dissapoint. This series of essays brings the reader up close and personal with the intimate details of Shane's relationshi Having been a follower of Shane Burcaw's YouTube chanel Squirmy and Grubs (which he creates with girlfriend Hannah Aylward) for some time, I was excited for the release of Burcaw's newest book Strangers Assume My Girlfriend is My Nurse. Fellow followers of Burcaw's chanel or written work will be familiar with his trademark sarcastic wit and Strangers Assume certainly did not dissapoint. This series of essays brings the reader up close and personal with the intimate details of Shane's relationships with family, friends, and strangers. The way Burcaw relates his interactions with perfect strangers and his own psychological reactions to them pushes readers to consider their own interactions with people with disabilities in their own lives. Shining a bright light on society's perceptions of people with disabilities Strangers Assume My Girlfriend is My Nurse is sure to stick with readers long after the final page.
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  • Brooke Gaubert
    January 1, 1970
    After following Shane's adventures on YouTube, I just knew I had to pick up one of his books.As someone who struggles with being content in my own life sometimes - I seem to always search for people/things that will bring life back into perspective. This book does just that. Shane's humor is excellent, sarcastic, genius. If you're familiar with hearing his voice on Youtube, I will bet you will read this entire book IN Shane's voice. Aside from the humor, he is such a strong person! So mentally a After following Shane's adventures on YouTube, I just knew I had to pick up one of his books.As someone who struggles with being content in my own life sometimes - I seem to always search for people/things that will bring life back into perspective. This book does just that. Shane's humor is excellent, sarcastic, genius. If you're familiar with hearing his voice on Youtube, I will bet you will read this entire book IN Shane's voice. Aside from the humor, he is such a strong person! So mentally aware and in pursuit of his own happiness while overcoming daily challenges with ease. This book is a breath or fresh air - an interesting read from cover to cover. (I finished it in 3 hours).
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  • Luisa Beguiristain
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: Read in ARE as an employee of Macmillan. Opinions my own. Shane’s most recent collection of essays is all at once laugh-out-loud funny and thoughtful, with rare moments that make you reach for some tissues. As someone close in age to Shane, I found myself thinking, Yes, I do that too. His talent as a writer continues to grow, leaving the reader wanting for more. And like he says, he has another book you can check out—and I will.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    I discovered Shane fairly recently on YouTube, and was really sold on his sense of humour and warm and charming personality. Not only that, but his relationship with girlfriend Hannah is really lovely to watch - they have great chemistry and make a great double-act!Since discovering ‘Squirmy & Grubs’ I’ve been desperately waiting for this book to come out, and it definitely did not disappoint. A solid 5/5, Shane’s humour comes across, his writing style is so easy to read and perfectly portra I discovered Shane fairly recently on YouTube, and was really sold on his sense of humour and warm and charming personality. Not only that, but his relationship with girlfriend Hannah is really lovely to watch - they have great chemistry and make a great double-act!Since discovering ‘Squirmy & Grubs’ I’ve been desperately waiting for this book to come out, and it definitely did not disappoint. A solid 5/5, Shane’s humour comes across, his writing style is so easy to read and perfectly portrays his personality, and the essays he has put together are a real joy to read. Highly recommend!
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  • Caitlin
    January 1, 1970
    Shane is amazing, point blank. Not because of the cards he was dealt but because of what he saw in the cards. This book offers glimpses into his life that will leave you pondering your reactions to the happenings in your life. This book is riddled with humor and beautiful world views. I aim to be more like Shane in my own life.
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  • Lindsay
    January 1, 1970
    Shane outlines & speaks from experience about why society’s most commonly hens perception of the disabled must change: we needn’t automatically pity Ipeople with disabilities without knowing the other details of their life, and it’s important to realize that at the end of the day, are just people like anyone else. I did feel a bit like if you follow Shane (and Hannah) on YouTube, Shane’s blog, etc, that some of these stories were not new, and found me wishing for a little more depth.
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  • Julia
    January 1, 1970
    I read this in one sitting as I couldn’t put it down. Having watched Shane on YouTube I knew roughly what to expect in terms of humour and I wasn’t disappointed. The narrative voice cracked me up throughout, and I feel I learnt a lot about disability and issues that hadn’t occurred to me before. Very interesting read would recommend.
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  • Kristin Nerone
    January 1, 1970
    Shane does it again I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Shane has a unique voice and writing style, and it works perfectly with his sense of humor. I laughed so hard that I woke up my sleeping boyfriend on several occasions. I’m looking forward to the third installment- just try not to wait another 5 years to publish it.
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  • Pam
    January 1, 1970
    Read an e-arc from NetGalley.Shane has a disability, and arms himself with humor. He is pretty open about his life: he needs a special car seat to hold up his head, he keeps a straw nearby to scratch itches, he uses a floaty neck brace to keep his head up above the bath water. And he is super proud to have a girlfriend.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    AmazingOnce again Shane has written a book which both makes you appreciate his humour and teaches you about the challenges of living with a illness.His writing has matured greatly since his last book, which was also excellent, and I enjoyed every word.
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  • Renae Buck
    January 1, 1970
    Shane is such an amazing person. Watching Shane and Hannah's journey makes my day every day! He is such a humorous and empowering guy! He's so friendly and personal too! I'm so so so exciting to read this book! You should be too!
  • John Scurto
    January 1, 1970
    This book was fantastic!!! I read it in an eight hour sitting and could not stop once I started! Saying I loved it would be an understatement! Shane's humor and outlook on life is what makes this one of my all-time favorite books! Definitely a must-read for all!
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  • Librariann
    January 1, 1970
    Ages 12+Very accessible memoir of life from a funny, if a bit immature, guy with Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Would recommend to middle school and high school boys or folks looking for true tales of people with disabilities who need something at an easier reading level.
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