Firstly, before I really get into this review, I owe a massive thank you to the lovely, Emily. Not only is she a great person to talk to on Twitter, but she was the one who recommended Otherbound and Corinne Duyvis to me, without her I don’t know whether I would have ever found this book.
Next year, I’m doing my Honours in Literature, and I’ve decided to talk about disability in YA. I’ll talk a little bit more about that in the future, but Emily ahs been sharing her wealth of knowledge on the topic with me. She gave me the highest recommendation for Otherbound—not only does it feature disabled characters, but Corinne herself has autism. Corinne is a co-founder and editor of Disability in Kidlit, but again that’s something I’ll talk about later on.
Let’s actually talk about the book. I didn’t really know too much about this story before I started reading it. I put it on hold at my library almost as soon as Emily recommend it, and then I sort of locked it away until I’d finished the Uni assignments I had to do. I don’t what I’d been expecting, but it was incredibly different from that. I guess I thought it was going to be a run of the mill dystopian, science fiction YA only with the inclusion of disability. It was definitely not that. It was so much more complicated that what I’d been
expecting, but I loved it.
The diversity of the characters definitely made the story for me. This is probably one of the very few books out there where both main characters have some form of disability, which was incredible. More importantly (get this) they didn’t fall in love with each other! Can we talk about how rare that is? The thing I liked the most was the fact that the disability were there, they were real and constant rather than just being something used a plot device, but at the same time Nolan and Amara were characters in their own right—they weren’t just their disabilities. That’s how you write diversely. On top of that, there were also some LGBTQ+ themes throughout. All in all, it was just really great. The only problem I have is that I want more. I could read another two books about this world easily, though I accept that the story is over. I just don’t want to leave Nolan and Amara!
Right now, I’d just like to order every writer a copy of Otherbound to be like ‘THIS. This is how you write disability.’ If anyone else has any recommendations for books with disability (only written well, of course) then please comment them below. If like me you’re always looking for more disability in YA, then you should absolutely go follow Emily and scream at her to give you recommendations. That’s what I’m planning to do for the rest of my days.
Like I mentioned above, I will be talking more about disability in the future. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to talk about in much depth as I would like to due to self-plagiarism rules and all that, but I will still have some things to share with you all.
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