Where You See Yourself is a heartwarming contemporary story about our dreams. I loved watching Effie bloom in front of us, her friendship dilemmas, and her future morphing before us. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
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…
Where You See Yourself is a story about Effie and her dreams. All the ones she sets her heart on and the ones she never even thought were a possibility. It’s also a story about both the casual and systemic ableism Effie faces. How people don’t think about their comments all the way to infrastructures which are inaccessible. For Effie it’s not only about her college dreams, but all the dreams she’s had throughout high school from crushes to off campus lunches.
Where You See Yourself is about both the importance seeing the representation we need, as well as the importance of being able to see ourselves. All our dreams and our wants. This book swept me away with Effie and her journey. I was along for each swooning moment, the rage against systematic ableism – the ways people can refuse to give even to help others. Of those afraid of a change coming. It’s also a story that affirms the importance of support systems and community.
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What it would be like to be around people who get it. And what I loved the most is that Where You See Yourself is about the dreams we have versus new dreams we can find. Find Where You See Yourself on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon, Bookshop.org, & Blackwells.