Co-writer Hill draws on her own experience as a teen coping with paraplegia to tell a hopeful story.
“My parents. Getting a divorce. This was the absolute worst thing that could happen to me,” Kara Moore laments as she prepares to sneak out to a party. She’s wrong: Curt, her popular boyfriend, humiliates Kara in front of everyone, and when she flees the party, a drunk driver hits her car, paralyzing her from the waist down. A talented dancer, Kara has to adjust to more than a wheelchair. People’s attitudes have changed, too—including hers. Except for a plucky fellow patient, her friend, Amanda, and her ex-boyfriend, Jack, her peers are distant, and Kara is reeling from being unable to dance. Everyday barriers don’t help; even though Kara’s rehabilitation is glossed over, she makes plain her frustrations with narrow doorways, thick carpets and distant elevators. These details ameliorate occasionally stilted prose. When Jack persuades Kara to run for homecoming queen, the determined “Kara 2.0” starts a chapter of Hill’s own Walk and Roll Foundation and reaps unexpected rewards. The book’s overall optimism is heartening, but the cursory ending disappoints—considering that Kara loved to dance and driving was “[her] Zen,” her discovery of wheelchair dancing and learning to drive with hand controls deserve more attention than a couple of summary paragraphs.
A light, ultimately upbeat look at life after spinal cord injury. (Fiction. 13-18)