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The Courage to Compete: Living with Cerebral…
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The Courage to Compete: Living with Cerebral Palsy and Following My Dreams

by Abbey Curran

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This is such a great book that is so interesting to read. It is such a real book that I can relate to in several ways. It inspires me to strive to be a better young woman and continue pursuing my dreams. I would suggest this book to anyone, but especially to females or to someone who has been diagnosed with any type of handicap. ( )
  achclaire | Oct 30, 2016 |
I wanted to read Truest because I liked the sound of the dynamics between the characters, and especially the hinting at Silas's sister's secret. He sounded like a character that I would like too, eccentric, charming, and a fit for West that she didn't know she needed.

Their friendship started out antagonistic, he was in a mood and West's pastor dad threw them together since West needed help detailing cars, her summer job. One that she used to do with her best friend, who is off to camp. Silas was moody, and cryptic, though there was an underlying chemistry and tension there from the beginning. Even though West has a boyfriend. One who seemed really sweet, and like he cared for her. But Elliot, the boyfriend is beyond busy, working for his dad, and practicing for football.

Silas is lonely, feeling like her dad is too busy for her with his parishioners and in bed with migraines the rest of the time from working too hard. So on top of her best friend and boyfriend not having time for her, when Silas asks to hang out after work, she accepts. Their conversations are weighty and intense at times, and then others, they laugh together. They share interests in books, and her radio program, things that Elliot has no interest in.

So of course, I was a little upset because her heart got more and more into the friendship with Silas, and it felt like cheating. Elliot was jealous, and he wasn't unjustified. But I think that it took so long for West to admit her real feelings, and their depth.

I also liked getting to know Silas' sister. She definitely had a secret/problem that I have never encountered before. But I like that West just accepted her like she was, and tried to help her when that secret caused disruptions, and problems for Lauren.

The last half was really complicated and messy and I saw one of the things coming, although I wish that it were different just because it breaks my heart. I wish that everyone could find the mental health person that will fight for them when they can't. I feel like I have found someone that is okay, but times I wish they could see through the walls I put up, and dig a little deeper. But the way the storyline was set up, and being informed in some things mental health, I saw the sad signs.

The rest of the plots though managed to turn hopeful in some ways. All of the characters and relationships whether family, friends, or romance is really tested and stretched, and I was glad of those things. There weren't any easy resolutions, and I appreciate that because it feels realistic. But it still managed to bring the themes together, and get the characters on the road to realization, growth, and continuing to live their life, and fight for those around them while facing that life will always have something hard to face, and things that aren't easy, people are messy and complicated, but worth it.

Bottom Line: Complicated characters and emotional situations. ( )
  brandileigh2003 | Aug 10, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062363913, Hardcover)

A remarkable memoir by Miss Iowa USA Abbey Curran about living with cerebral palsy, competing in Miss USA, and her inspiring work with young women who have disabilities.

Abbey Curran was born with cerebral palsy, but early on she resolved to never let it limit her. Abbey made history when she became the first contestant with a disability to win a major beauty pageant. After earning the title of Miss Iowa, she went on to compete in Miss USA.

Growing up on a hog farm in Illinois, Abbey competed in local pageants despite naysayers who told her not to. After realizing her own dream, she went on to help other disabled girls achieve their goals by starting Miss You Can Do It, a national nonprofit pageant for girls and women with special needs and challenges, which became the subject of an HBO documentary with the same name. This is Abbey’s story. 

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 10 Aug 2015 08:56:26 -0400)

A remarkable memoir by Miss Iowa USA Abbey Curran about living with cerebral palsy, competing in Miss USA, and her inspiring work with young women who have disabilities. Abbey was born with cerebral palsy, but early on she resolved to never let it limit her. Abbey made history when she became the first contestant with a disability to win a major beauty pageant. After earning the title of Miss Iowa, she went on to compete in Miss USA. Growing up on a hog farm in Illinois, Abbey competed in local pageants despite naysayers who told her not to. After realizing her own dream, she went on to help other disabled girls achieve their goals by starting Miss You Can Do It, a national nonprofit pageant for girls and women with special needs and challenges, which became the subject of an HBO documentary with the same name. This is Abbey's story.… (more)

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