This book is a gem in disguise. It is a true story by Josh Sundquist with a few names and words and things changed around for the privacy of those involved and for the sake of writing a great piece. (A few spoilers in summary portion this review; read at your own discretion).
This story starts off with Josh wondering why he is still a 25-year-old virgin, and if his lack of a leg has anything to do with it, or if there is something else wrong with him entirely. Josh had a leg amputated early in life due to cancer. In 8th grade he experiences his first rejection from a girl after having gone out for less than 24 hours, and to Josh, you are not actually dating unless you are together for over a day. With his religious family and the neighbor girl being of the same sort, he thought it was a good match, but alas, she never called him back and broke up with him through a friend.
After each girl, Josh forms a hypothesis for why he may have been rejected and finds his answers by reconnecting with the girls later in life. Josh was home-schooled until high school, where he goes out of his way to memorize the face of every person in his class and to say hi to them on the first day, especially one girl in particular. When he finally finds her, she explains that he knows about his “situation,” from her youth leader. Josh tends to hide his amputation with a fake leg because he does not want to be a burden and he does not want to be different and stand out in the eyes of others. When he decides to join the youth party, a pumpkin foot race ends it all.
Josh eventually uses logic and statistical reasoning to justify that “We should hang out sometime,” is the best pick-up line, since it is not a yes or no question and does not give means for a girl to give excuses. When Josh applies this new phrase to another girl during his junior year, it works, and they hang out multiple times. When Josh thinks she could be the one, he does not go in for the kiss…
Josh has a few girls in college, one he likes throughout his college career and one who is…well…a stalker, and not what he wants for a girlfriend. After many attempts, he goes to a party and a girl comes up to him saying he is awesome! Just a random girl!
Anyway there are a lot of girls and he finds out that it was more the fact that he never took the initiative or discussed a relationship when perhaps he should have, and it had nothing to do with his leg!
All in all it was an amazing book. One of the unique qualities about this book is the insertion of graphs and charts to demonstrate his current dilemmas, which gives the book an interesting visual aspect that also adds some political and social humor. From a teacher perspective, it was interesting to see how Josh perceived himself, not wanting to be a burden on or treated differently by his teachers. It was also interesting to see how he felt transitioning from home school to public school, which is something educators may want to be mindful of with their students. I would actually want Josh to confide in me, and any students experiencing, feeling, or going through what he has, but that is just the kind of educator I am!
The question is: should you read it? I would give this book a big, fat YES. The demographic is wide, catering to young adults, new adults, amputees, home schooled people, college age, all kinds, which makes it very appealing and marketable as well!