TPC Blog 5

Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens

By: Marieke Nijkamp

Review by: Ivy

“It’d be easy to get lost here, in the spaces where I feel like a ghost. A spirit who couldn’t touch, or be touched. It’d be easy, so easy, to drown. But I keep swimming back towards the shore.”

In Unbroken, thirteen bestselling disabled YA authors come together to tell expertly crafted stories with disabled teens at the forefront. The only things these stories have in common is that the main conflict is not just the character’s disability – it’s a sci-fi catastrophe or a bike race, a religious journey or a fantasy love story.

Unbroken is packed with queer characters, characters of color, poor characters, and fat characters and every character in between. Even the disabilities are diverse, crisscrossing the entire physical and mental disability spectrum. The authors are unfairly talented, and every story is so original and rich I could read novels of each one.

Necessary and fierce and full of something for everyone, Unbroken is essential and enjoyable. If you’re a YA fan, you’ll most likely know an author who contributed, and if not, you’ll be introduced to a slew of talented people. Rating: 5/5

Favorite Quotes:

  • “You’re brave,” Lorna said. “I’m not,” I assured her, trying not to bristle. I hate being called brave. It’s almost as bad as inspiring.”
  • “The word pain does too much work, you know? It’s like sorry, which really shouldn’t have to carry both “I sympathize” and “this is all my fault.”
  • “To find magic in the mending.”
  • “Dad would call it my Sisyphus toll. Push a boulder up a hill, pretending it’s okay, and come nightfall it – and I – come crashing down. But he forgets the view each time I make it to the top.”
  • I type FUCK several times. Then I erase them all. It still feels cathartic to have to have put down a series of unsent, unspoken fucks. Sharp consonants haunt the screen where the fucks used to be.