The average of all the short stories combined is 3,92, but I’m still debating giving it 5 stars just because we need more of these books. I laughed and cried and felt all the stories and all the tiny recognisable things that we disabled/chronically ill people have in common. There was a lot of recognition for me but that it’s simply because about everything in my body is malfunctioning. I too worry about muddy sand combined with my electric wheelchair and muscle weakness and am afraid to eat in restaurants because of what it might do to my stomach. My parents are the best ever too and I don’t want to be called ‘brave’ or ‘an inspiration’ simply because society can’t handle illness. I too feel so limited physically – especially when it matters. So I just have to applaud the authors because you did a splendid job! Thank you for participating and creating these awesome characters (and let’s be honest, most of the settings and ideas were soooo epic too!). Short stories will always be one of my favorites (might have something to do with concentration issues lol) and these are the best I read in a long while. Here are my thoughts on the individual stories:

The Long Road – 5 stars

In case you wondered if a historical story about a Chinese girl traveling to Persia would ever be relevant in your life: yes. Well, at least if you deal with disabilities. The stigma on mental illness is very heavy in this story, she and her family are shunned. And the importance of meeting fellow sufferers. Also, her parents are awesome! They tried so hard to help her, and even wanted to travel half the world on camel back through a desert, for the possibility of a cure. My parents would totally do that too and I love them for it but I know many other stories from fellow patients (granted, ME and Lyme are different in this aspect, but it has the same stigma).

Britt and the Bike God – 5 stars

This story features a blind girl and her wish to bike. And also not to be a burden. I cried, that says enough. Love the story, very sweet! Also very good representation, and I loved this line. “I hated being called brave. It was almost as bad as inspiring”. It still weirds me out that people call me brave when I’m just living my life. Yeah sure, a lot of aspects suck but you can’t do anything about it, you just keep living the best way you can like anyone would. I know it’s what people say when they feel sorry for you or don’t know how to deal with the situation so I don’t mind it, but I very much dislike the idea behind it. I even wrote an essay about it once lol.

The Leap and the Fall – 5 stars

Oh man this one is creepy!! I shouldn’t have read this at night while a storm was raging. Don’t repeat my mistakes! Awesome story though! In this story you could really feel how it is to be physically weak and how frustrating that is when it really matters! And how helpless it makes you feel. I get embarrased when my parents help push me to cross a 3 inch door step and the commotion that gives. I actually was waiting for the protagonist to get stuck on the sandy path lol. That didn’t happen but what did happen was that it matters what’s inside you and that you are your own person and that love truly can work miracles. But still creepy.

Per Aspera Ad Astra – 5 stars

Sci fi story featuring a brilliant gifted girl with anxiety? I’m here for it. Again, the representation is top notch. How you are unable to do something as simple as turning to a computer screen or pressing a button. I think it is very well explained. Her story arc is very believable, and well, awesome. Love to see how random strangers sometimes can help enormously.

Found Objects – 3 stars

This one was a bit weird, I still don’t know exactly what happened and why. The symbolism however is excellent and I liked the idea of your pain turning into monster.

Plus One – 3 stars

I love the diversity and a look into the Islam but it was also the hardest part of this story: I don’t understand much of what exactly happened. The MC is amazing though.

The Day The Dragon Came – 5 stars

Oooh this one is placed in medieval Ghent! It feels very at home with all the Dutch words seeping through. And it’s the sweetest story and I loved it. The stigma Alix faces is horrible and she feels like she’s an outsider and a prisoner while Delfin is actually finding his freedom here and a new start. Very good representation of chronic pain. Not many authors think of describing the drain and exhaustion that comes along with it.

Captain, My Captain – 4 stars

Though I can’t judge this one, I think the execution of this story and mental disability is so well done! You really feel how he is straining with it, and kudo’s for the author for making a point of the repetition in a very not boring way.

Dear Nora James, You Know Nothing About Love – 5 stars

Again, very good representation of IBS. Though the more gory parts were not described lol. The struggle and fear of bejng out in public was handled really well, it’s always hard to not make it look like anxiety. Thoughts do have a part but it mostly just is really tricky going out and eating food. The story itself was also very cute, how acceptance can make a lit of differences.

A Play in Many Parts – 2 stars

I’m a bit confused about this one, it didn’t seem to have a point to me and I skipped the play itself because I didn’t understand it. There might have been more clues in there… it seems theater stories are not my thing!

Ballad of Weary Daughters – 2 stars

It was a good story and I loved how they discussed drug use and how it’s really trial and error and frustrating. The story itself didn’t really click with me, there were many names and I didn’t get half of it. But I loved the soulmate friendship!

Mother Nature’s Youngest Daughter – 3 stars

Short stories often have such awesome ideas and concepts! It’s why I love them so much. This one has that too! It was a bit weird but in a good way. Deals a bit with self images and disability – and bullies.

A Curse, A Kindness – 4 stars

Oh this one was awesome! I totally fell in love with the characters and the concept was great. Though I feel like disability was not really mentioned or showed at all..

Reacties op: We need more of this!

Unbroken - Marieke Nijkamp
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