Keep your chin up; the sun is rising.
Summary: “I want to be all right.”
“Define ‘all right’.”
Juniper Johnson’s life shattered the moment that her spine did. The teenager had initially planned on attending an elite high school for students with superabilities. Instead, she is shipped off to Effective “Defective” Academy – an institution for children with superabilities and disabilities. With the help of her friends, her kind professor, and her less-than-kind mentor, Juniper learns what it means to be disabled, what it means to be a superhero, and what it means to be human.
Fave Cinnamon Rolls: Skylar, Skorpio
Needed BROTP: The Defectives
A full 5 of 5 stars for such a heart warming and hilarious story with disabilities, chocolate milk and superheroes.
I first came across this story around the time the Me before You movie was coming out and Tumblr was ablaze with their brand of ‘righteous’ indignation about the ableism within the story and what they felt about the ending. A post appeared on my dash detailing a story about a girl who ends up disabled in a car accident and has to now go to a new academy for people with superabilities who are also disabled in someway or another, whether that is blindness, asthma or even Autism. This post gave quite a few details and I will include the link here and a great extra fact is the author is disabled herself so there is no question as to whether or not she knows what she’s writing about.
Now to my thoughts on this story.
I thought this story was one of the top ones I’ve read this year to be honest. Juniper is a 14 year old girl who had her life planned out. But you know what they say, want to make God laugh. Have a life plan. Her life plan is quickly derailed by a car accident that shatters her spine and puts her in a wheelchair. Due to her previously found superabilities that are now under a Traumatic Block, she is being sent to Effective Academy for people in the same situation as her. Disabled but born with super powers. Each student is assigned a Mentor to have extra sessions with and for someone to help you in any way you need. Juniper is assigned to Ryleigh Ryder a “Certified Cripple” who is ancient and more sarcastic than I am. She has a roommate who can make things invisible but is blind and slowly but surely befriends almost everyone on campus.
Juniper is easily relatable to any reader and the group of characters around her so fun and lovable, even Ryder. Who yes comes off extremely abrasive and brash and kind of a D*ck when you first meet him but as the story progresses he becomes such a lovable character who has some of the best and funniest lines.
The scenery is wonderful, i could really picture Ace City and Effective Academy and I would absolutely love to explore even more of this world if the author ever felt compelled to write more.
I would recommend this to just about anyone, but especially for anyone who has gone through a traumatic experience because I think it would really hit home for them.