Where You See Yourself Review

By Claire Forrest

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Print Length: 320

Release Year: 2023

Genre: Young Adult Romance Contemporary

Avg. Goodreads Rating: 4.59

Available on Amazon, B&N

Where You See Yourself combines an unforgettable coming-of-age tale, a swoon-worthy romance, and much-needed disability representation in this story about a girl who’s determined to follow her dreams.

By the time Effie Galanos starts her senior year, it feels like she’s already been thinking about college applications for an eternity—after all, finding a college that will be the perfect fit and be accessible enough for Effie to navigate in her wheelchair presents a ton of considerations that her friends don’t have to worry about.

What Effie hasn’t told anyone is that she already knows exactly what school she has her heart set on: a college in NYC with a major in Mass Media & Society that will set her up perfectly for her dream job in digital media. She’s never been to New York, but paging through the brochure, she can picture the person she’ll be there, far from the Minneapolis neighborhood where she’s lived her entire life. When she finds out that Wilder (her longtime crush) is applying there too, it seems like one more sign from the universe that it’s the right place for her.

But it turns out that the universe is full of surprises. As Effie navigates her way through a year of admissions visits, senior class traditions, internal and external ableism, and a lot of firsts–and lasts–she starts to learn that sometimes growing up means being open to a world of possibilities you never even dreamed of. And maybe being more than just friends with Wilder is one of those dreams… (Goodreads)

Writing★★★★★
Character★★★★★
World Building★★★★
Plot★★★★

In association with HearOurVoices Book Tours.

I was really excited to get the opportunity to read this book. For some context, for most of my high school career, I relied on a cane to get around due to my disability. Learning about a book about a high school student who uses an ambulatory aide was an immediate, “yes, please” from me!

Where You See Yourself is a solid exploration of the struggles of senior year, not only in general but through the lens of an ambulatory aide user, with a healthy sprinkling of adorable high-school romance throughout. The characters are loveable and real and perfectly imperfect. And for a contemporary novel, the world-building is very well done. I felt like I was going along with Effie through all her adventures with Forrest’s clear descriptions. The story was kept simple and worked perfectly for the author’s intentions.  Ultimately, we are left with a well-rounded, insightful, entertaining book.

This book is relatable for everyone, especially those in their last high school years. Regardless of your situation, you could see yourself in Effie or one of her friends. For many, this may be the first time they see themselves represented in media, which is big. And even as an adult reader, you can enjoy the excitement of getting ready to go to college and your first love. I can’t recommend this book any more. It’s simply lovely! And while I don’t entirely see myself reading again and again and again, I am whole-hearted glad I did at least once. 

A special thank you to Claire for writing a book that helped me feel less alone in my high school experience.

Subjective Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Objective Rating

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Final Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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