We Should Hang Out Sometime: Embarrassingly, a true story by Josh Sundquist
Release Date: December 23, 2014
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound
A bright, poignant, and deeply funny autobiographical account of coming of age as an amputee cancer survivor, from Josh Sundquist: Paralympic ski racer, YouTube star, and motivational speaker.
Josh Sundquist only ever had one girlfriend.
For twenty-three hours.
In eighth grade.
Why was Josh still single? To find out, he tracked down the girls he had tried to date and asked them straight up: What went wrong?
The results of Josh’s semiscientific, wholly hilarious investigation are captured here. From a disastrous Putt-Putt date involving a backward prosthetic foot, to his introduction to CFD (Close Fast Dancing), to a misguided “grand gesture” at a Miss America pageant, this story is about looking for love–or at least a girlfriend–in all the wrong places. – Goodreads
Josh Sundquist has been single his whole life, minus that period in eighth grade when he dated a girl. For 23 hours. Josh wants to know why he’s been single, so he wrote a book about it. Yes, that is the whole point of this book, why has he never really dated someone. And Sundquist, really isn’t a bad guy, throughout the book that is proven to be true. He goes back and talks to every girl he really had a crush on to find out what went wrong and a lot of the time, it was miscommunication.
Through drawings and in-depth analysis of his dating history he begins to find out where things went wrong. “Background”, “Hypothesis”, and “Investigation.” This was very much a legit scientific discovery and because this is a memoir, Sundquist often seems a bit obsessed with romance; however, I never once thought he wasn’t genuine, honest, and a bit awkward which makes him more genuine. He talks about being homeschooled through eighth grade to that first day of public high school and those experiences in college we all wouldn’t mind forgetting.
Sundquist often assumed girls wouldn’t like him. He’s awkward, he has one leg, that he lost to childhood cancer and while he tries to not let that be a problem, it does effect how he acts. He tries so hard to not be a bother about that fact, that he has one leg, but it does cause him to have walls up around himself. The reader, and Sundquist himself, find out he had a lot of walls up around himself and for the longest time really didn’t love and accept himself. How could he expect someone to love him, if he really didn’t love himself? I’ve read enough romance novels in my time to know that it’s not impossible, no wait it generally is. But once he starts to accept his disability and himself, he stops looking for love and what happens? He finds Ashley, he present day fiancée. (Another Ashley, not me Ashley.)
I wanted to enjoy this book. And I found it to be a quick read; however, I also found it to be quite problematic. It started before I picked up the book and saw this post my friend Anna had on tumblr. I was like “Ugh. Bad joke to promote the book.” And then I started to read the book and found this in the book and my heart hurt. Because why? Why do we have to “joke” about the friend zone? It’s almost 2015, can’t we move on?
Told through real-life journals, collages, lists, and drawings, this coming-of-age story illustrates the transformation of an 18-year-old girl from a small-town teenager into an independent city-dwelling college student. Written in an autobiographical style with beautiful artwork, Little Fish shows the challenges of being a young person facing the world on her own for the very first time and the unease—as well as excitement—that comes along with that challenge. – Goodreads
One of my highlights of ALAMW this past year (besides meeting/having my life become better because SOMEONE is in it) was because I met Ramsey Beyer and her book Little Fish. Then of course, because life happens, the book sat on my shelf and recently I picked it up and devoured it. In one sitting.
Highlight of my reading month to be honest.
I related a lot to Ramsey and her first year at college, her love of list making and realizing how polarizing your childhood home could be from freshman year of college when you live on your own. Through use of mixed media, lists, drawing and her livejournal, Beyer tells the story of her freshman year in art school when she moved away from her small town of Paw Paw to Baltimore, a place 700 miles or 10 hours from home.
While life in Paw Paw was good for Ramsey, she also knew that it was a very limited view of the world. She was excited to see what Baltimore would bring to her life. Because it spans the time period of one academic year you see her high school friends go from emailing her daily to barely emailing her and how it took her a bit to come out of her shell and find her group of college friends. When you grow up in a small town you know everyone and you tend to become friends for life. Ramsey jokes that she forgot how to make friends because she just always had them.
What made Little Fish stand out to me was the use of drawings, the inner dialogue, the lists. Oh the lists. 18 year old Ashley related to all the lists. Heck, the Ashley writing this review relates to all the lists. I often joke that my lists have lists and Ramsey seems to get that and embrace that side of her. She also over thought a lot and never hid that from her livejournal or the lists that she made throughout her freshman year. It works throughout Little Fish. Heck, I would love to fill my shelves with more books like this. Not just because of how well I related to it, but because how well done it was. It wasn’t your typical book, but maybe it should become more typical.