If your friends jumped off a cliff, would you jump too? Bryan chose to dive. Moments later, as he lay on the beach, unable to move his arms or legs, two questions ran through his mind: Would he walk again? And would he ever have kids? Based on the incredible true story of life, love, and never giving up.
©2014 Stacy Lynn Carroll (P)2014 Stacy Lynn Carroll
I have listened to a bazillion audiobooks since that's where I do most of my reading anymore. I can't rank these things.
One of the most compelling things in the story--for me--was that it's based on real life. It was quite an eye opener for me, as I lived Bryan's experiences with him and his epically awesome wife Nedra. I'm a positive person, so I really related with his view of life. Such a huge thing for someone his age to do. I would only have asked for a little more of what those thoughts were as he lay on that beach for so many hours.
I loved his time in the hospital with the other guys. It was great to see the prankster things they pulled, showing that their injuries hadn't consumed their lives. It was different, yes. Very different. But it would be easy in their feet to give up and decide life could never be good. Bryan is proof that attitude is everything.
Probably Nedra and Bryan tie in that for me. As I mentioned, his positive attitude was inspiring. But so was Nedra's. It was no small thing that she willingly--knowing exactly what it would mean since she was his nurse--took on the responsibility of caring for a man who was so severely limited. And yet she did, and they've had a wonderful (though hard) life. But who doesn't have a hard life? Just because it's hard, doesn't mean it can't also be wonderful.
Yes! The narrator did a fantastic job with all the various characters and point of views throughout the book. He captured the humor and the moments of fear and distress. I felt the emotion through this.
The theme is what stands out the most to me. The value of life. Even though Bryan is damaged to the point of not being able to move or even father children he over comes those things. He does it because he wants to make his life full and meaningful. This story shows that no disability is too great to have a wonderful life.
He became the voice of Bryan for me. I especially enjoyed the moments of humor. The times that I would catch myself laughing out loud.
Nedra! Holy cow what a woman! You really have to read the book to appreciate the things she goes through and does for the man she loves. She has extreme strength, loyalty, determination, courage, and compassion.
MY NAME IS BRYAN is a heartwarming story about overcoming the challenges of disability, not only for the individual going through the trial but those that support them. Stacy Lynn Carroll does a fantastic job marrying the various points of view of those involved in Bryan’s life. The characters are real and by the end of the book readers will be attached to them as if they too are connected to Bryan’s family. My favorite moments from the book are those when Bryan sees that he has disappointed others around him—others that he cares for, like his grandfather. It is these moments that you see the determination that Bryan has to be a better person—disability or not. I loved all the moments of humor and the touching theme of the value of life. I will say that I got choked up at the end of the book and that is a rarity for me. Overall I think this is Stacy Lynn Carroll’s best work, having read her Princess series. I felt her connection with the characters and the love she has for them shine through the words.
My Name is Bryan is an inspiring and heartwarming story that made me feel grateful to be alive. Something I really appreciated about the book is it got right to the heart of the story--Bryan's accident and subsequent paralysis. Very little time was wasted on back story, which is a common complaint I have with these types of books. Instead, there was just enough back story to give context and make my heart break for Bryan. I was so excited after reading chapter one to realize we were immediately getting to the meat of the story!
Something else I thought was used well in this book is an omniscient viewpoint. I generally don't enjoy that sort of head hopping, but I felt Carroll did it very well and purposefully. Instead of distracting me from the story, it added depth and understanding that I loved. I enjoyed seeing multiple perspectives on Bryan and his accident, although he was definitely the main character and the bulk of the story was from his point of view.
This story made me root right along with Bryan every step of the way. Bryan's positive attitude made the story uplifting when it so easily could've been depressing. I finished the last page feeling upbeat and positive. It shares a great message, that life is precious and the good can be found in any trial. I was so impressed with how the author handled a very complex and challenging story. This is definitely a book I'll be recommending to others! I'm excited to see what this author publishes next.
I received a free audio copy in exchange for my honest review.
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