Let me start off by saying that I am not a big chick-lit fan, I don't watch a lot of Lifetime television (or similar channels), and I am not a big cryer, but... This book had me going through the tissues rather quickly. Written by Chelsie Hill and Jessica Love, the story is inspired by Chelsie's real life experiences. The protagonist, Kara, is a gifted dancer whose car is hit by a drunk driver and she wakes up in the hospital with a severe spinal injury and no feeling in her legs. The story of how she works through recovery, comes home, goes back to school, and tries to go on with her life while adjusting to using a wheelchair is sad, funny, frustrating, and honest in its portrayal. Although this story focuses on Kara's journey to becoming Kara 2.0 (the new version of herself after the accident), it also is about family and friendship and what really matters in our relationships and our lives.
My father had a stroke that has caused him to need a wheelchair for the last few years. Reading Kara's reactions to people trying to do things for her without even asking if she wants help sounds very familiar. That's one of the things that rang so true about this story. I think it is natural to offer assistance, but acting as if someone who uses a wheelchair is helpless is very rude (whether we mean it to be or not). Sometimes it is hard to wait and watch as someone you love struggles to do what you could do easily. I have learned to ask, "Is there anything I can do?"
I also loved the way Kara used the Homecoming Queen competition as a way to spread the word about drunk & distracted driving and how it can change lives. The Walk & Roll Foundation that she forms a chapter for at her school is a real organization and has a dance team like the one Kara joins in the book.
If you enjoy realistic fiction about people picking themselves up and going on with their lives despite obstacles, then you should read Push Girl, just keep the tissues handy. (This is a Young Adult book from Griffin Teen.)
I was provided an advance copy by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.