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Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 02/2022
  • 9780578983738
  • 298 pages
  • $19.95
Ryan Harbuck
Author
When I Grow Up I Want to Be a Chair: A Memoir

Adult; Memoir; (Market)

Her story has (not) defined her. From where she sat, her perspective of the world was both quite ordinary and rivetingly extraordinary—from a paralyzing car accident in her teens to traveling overseas on a journey of self-reflection to becoming a mom. Throughout everything she experienced, she fervently believed in following her given path. She wanted to trust its trajectory. She wanted to be sure. Her story is not about a chair. Her story is about her strengths and how they rose out of her instinctive vulnerabilities. Her story is about her struggles and how they became her victories. Her story is about being willing to hold it all, for herself and the whole of her world. Everyone has a chair. That thing you are bound to or unwillingly defines you. An element that makes you different from the rest. One that you have little choice in the matter. What’s YOUR chair?
Plot/Idea: 9 out of 10
Originality: 9 out of 10
Prose: 9 out of 10
Character/Execution: 8 out of 10
Overall: 8.75 out of 10

Assessment:

Plot/Idea: Harbuck's remarkable life story is told in raw, compelling fashion. When I Grow Up I Want to be a Chair: A Memoir is an honest, emotional, and humorous reflection on how losing the use of her legs changed the author's life. 

Prose: The author discusses some very dark moments in her life, most of which stem from the car accident that left her paralyzed and her boyfriend dead when they were just teenagers, but this darkness is punctuated with hope, acceptance, humor, and a smattering of small miracles that makes it a delight to read. 

Originality: The author tells the story of her life up to adulthood, but the narrative is structured in such a way that the chapters are more like interlocking essays, each related to the others but also interesting on their own. This polished memoir strikes a great balance between jumping around in time, creating some narrative interest and tension, without confusing the reader. 

Character Development/Execution: Overall this is an engaging, emotional read that keeps the reader's attention throughout. Readers also may wish for more discussion of the idea behind the title and how it ties into the text. 

Date Submitted: November 09, 2022

Reviews
Foluso Falaye for Readers’ Favorite

Life took a new turn for Ryan Rae Harbuck when she suffered a car accident that landed her in the hospital, unable to move around like she used to. As she learned to see herself through a new lens, Ryan experienced different challenges, including having to grow up quickly, watching her mother struggle with addiction, loss, heartbreak, and more. At the other end of Ryan's trying moments are exciting, blissful days that involved trips to other countries, discovering the joy of motherhood, getting married, and getting a dream job. In When I Grow Up I Want to Be a Chair, Ryan Rae Harbuck shares a deeply compelling and inspiring story about coming to terms with being a paralytic as a teenager and growing up to become a mother with a plethora of experiences and lessons.

What an artistic, elegant, and profound memoir! Ryan Rae Harbuck is an incredibly talented writer, and I would love to see more of her works. It's the way may of the events in When I Grow Up I Want to Be a Chair are described creatively and profoundly that amazed me and kept me glued for more. An example is the part where the concept of time is described as impossible to hold but "all around you." For a nonlinear narrative, the different parts fit together quite well as it's clear to see the various factors and events that contributed to making the author the strong, wise woman she is today. You should read this treasure of a book if you enjoy true stories that touch the deepest part of your soul and motivate you to keep looking forward to the next day.

News
03/10/2022
9News Colorado & Company: From Athlete to Author

9News Colorado & Company segment--  From Athlete to Author with Ryan Harbuck

09/15/2022
INSIDER: Being paralyzed at 16, I learned early on that there weren't many peopl
  • Ryan Rae Harbuck is a new author, swim coach, speaker, wife, and mom.
  • The following is an excerpt from her book, "When I Grow Up I Want to Be a Chair."
  • In it, Harbuck recounts the last weeks of pregnancy and the doctor that took care of her.
08/10/2222
INSIDER: I've answered why I'm in a wheelchair countless of times. When my 4-yea
  • Ryan Rae Harbuck is a new author, swim coach, speaker, wife, and mom.
  • The following is an excerpt from her book, "When I Grow Up I Want to Be a Chair."
  • In it, Harbuck recounts putting her child to bed and getting a question about her wheelchair.
Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 02/2022
  • 9780578983738
  • 298 pages
  • $19.95

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