My Name is Bryan
Stacy Lynn Carroll
If your friends jumped off a cliff, would you jump too? Bryan chose to dive. Moments later, as he lay on the beach, unable to move his arms or legs, two questions ran through his mind: Would he walk again? And would he ever have kids? Based on the incredible true story of life, love, and never giving up.
MY REVIEW / THOUGHTS:
If you are an emotional reader like I am then grab a box of tissues. I have always said I love it when an author can pull me in and make me feel like I am walking in the story right along with the characters. This one did just that, and so much more.
I don't know how many times I have asked my kids this questions "If your friends jumped off a cliff would you". Never once did I consider "if your friends went cliff jumping would you". I loved cliff jumping when I was younger. Now as an adult / mother, I would never do it. Plus the older I get the wimpier I get...hehe.
Bryan is looking forward to going on a trip with the youth. This will be his last time to go because he is 18 . He sets off on his adventure with his best friends, sister Becky, and much to his chagrin his parents as chaperone's, along with other youth. (youth, a word in my world (LDS world) meaning ages 12-18 groups). They are going on a white water rafting trip.
Bryan's father tell him that there will be some cliffs they will be able to jump off of when they are on the trip. Bryan is so excited and shares the news with this friends. All of the boys are even more excited to go on this trip now.
Two days into their rafting trip they make camp and find the cliffs. Bryan's friends were enjoying themselves before Bryan was able to join. When he arrived he didn't want to "show" every one up, but he decided he must dive. Bryan takes a running jump and does the most beautiful swan dive and enters the water like butter, and his whole life changes.
Bryan realized when he hit the water that something was wrong.. The bottom was coming too fast, and then he hears a pop. He knows, right then that his life will never be the same.
Unable to move Bryan sits in the water holding is breath until someone finally is able to get to him and bring him to the surface. They boys and leaders know right away something is wrong. Bryan's dad knows that Bryan will not survive a trip to the hospital on the rafts so he goes to the nearest ranger station. Leaving Bryan and his mother on the shore to wait for help. 18 hours they waited. I cannot even tell explain how hard it was to read about those 18 hours, yet also so loving to read. A true showing of love and friendship was shown during those long hours.
Bryan, from the moment he was retrieved from the water did not complain even once. He responded when he saw his dad "That was the best swan dive ever". Who says that? He knows he will probably be paralyzed but this kid. This kid..is amazing. He had unwavering faith.
This book brought me to tears so many time. Not only because of the hardships Bryan faced, but because even when facing them, he went forward with perfect faith and determination. I cried at the devotion his family. I cried at his determination. It was such a beautiful story.
Bryan faces a life in a wheel chair but during the healing process finds love. I love stories like this. I could go on and on. I really could. There is so much I want to say, but then I would ruin the book. Maybe not ruin but wouldn't allow you to feel your own "emotions" while reading. Spoilers do that to me.
My heart ached for Bryan. It cried for Bryan. It laughed for Bryan. This man. What can I say. Determined. Charismatic. Optimistic. Kind. Loving. Non judgemental. I think about the things Bryan had to go through and it reminds me of everything I have to be thankful for. I have the use of my arms, and legs. I can do things for myself. I can play with my kids. I can read without help. I can do many things. So could Bryan. He was determined not to let his disability define him.
There are quotes before every chapter that just made my heart happy. I want to share a few:
"Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny." C.S. Lewis
This next one is my favorite quote. It is from one of the sweetest ladies to ever walk the earth (besides my mother;) ).
"The only way to get through this life is to laugh your way through it. You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache." - Marjorie Pay Hinckley _
Bryan was one of the best examples of this. He is such a funny guy. A prankster. Even without the use of his legs...a prankster :).
Okay, I will stop. It was such a beautiful story, of trials, determination, love, hope, and unwavering faith. I was touch so deeply by this book, that even after I was done reading I thought about it all day. Every time a "hard" moment would come to me during the day I thought of this book, and began to cry all over again. I have nothing to complain about. My life is a wonderful life, and this book helped me look at things a little different. A little brighter. A little more appreciative. A little more loved. Seriously. Such a beautiful story.
Source: I was given this book as part of a blog tour in return for an honest review. I was not compensated in anyway for this review. These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.
"I actually love stories like this. Ones that show the power of the human spirit and what love and determination can achieve. I cried multiple times while reading this but they were a happy sort of hopeful tears. If you are looking for something uplifting and motivational read this heart-felt story of love and hope." --Inspired Kathy ;)
"You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll wring your hands in frustration, and you won't be able to put it down to go to sleep as you keep waiting to read about Bryan's happily ever after. This is one of those books that stick with you long after you've finished reading it." --Bookmom
"Each chapter begins with an inspirational quote to lead the reader into the goodness, hardship, unconditional love, and humor that is Bryan's life. The 30 year journey the reader takes runs smoothly page after page. You will cry and you will laugh. You will want to hug Nedra and Bryan when you are finished." --Kriss A.
Follow the Blog Tour hosted by I Am A Reader
October 29th to November 14th
Author Stacy Lynn Carroll
Stacy Lynn Carroll has always loved telling stories. She started out at Utah State University where she pursued a degree in English. Go Aggies! She then finished her BA at the University of Utah (to be closer to her then boyfriend, now hubby) where she got an emphasis in creative writing. After college she worked as an administrative assistant, where she continued to write stories for the amusement of her co-workers. When her first daughter was born, and with the encouragement of a fortune cookie, she quit her job and became a full-time mommy and writer. It seemed like fate when Matt and Stacy married. She was a writer, and her father-in-law had a story that demanded to be written. She and her husband have three children, two Corgis, and a fish named Don.
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