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We Should Hang Out Sometime: Embarassingly, A True Story

Review

We Should Hang Out Sometime: Embarassingly, A True Story

I have come across few memoirs that are as inventive, refreshing and down-to-earth as this one. World-renowned Paralympic ski racer and motivational speaker Josh Sundquist embarks on the boldest experiment that every person has secretly wished they could do. Upon the realization that he has never had a girlfriend by the age of 25, Josh sets out to reconnect with all of the girls he almost dated and asks them the big question, “What went wrong?” And he commits to this format --- each girl’s section is divided up like an actual science experiment, giving the background information, putting forth a hypothesis and finally reaching a conclusion when he reconnects with them later on in life. The end result is a humorous, emotional and uplifting story that will simultaneously make you glad of where your life has lead you and (unavoidably) begin to ponder every romantic interaction you’ve ever had, namely the failed ones, and dwell on how it went down in flames. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I personally think it’s a call to introspection that, by following Josh’s example of persevering hope and contemplation, will end up making you feel good --- I certainly felt that way when I closed this book.

I encourage readers of all ages to pick up this book and spend an afternoon with this inspiring, funny, warm man as he shares the most intimate moments of his life.

He begins with his earliest crush in the eighth grade, and readers follow Josh’s progress through about six other girls until it culminates in the well-timed and satisfying reveal that he has at last found a great girl with which to share a thoughtful and loving relationship. That’s not really a spoiler --- as the book drew to a close, I figured out what the payoff and conclusion was going to be --- but that was okay. I was still just as excited for it because I wanted it to happen for Josh quite badly. Josh’s voice is easy, flowing and relatable, though honestly, relatable isn’t a word that does it enough justice. Though he is an amputee and faces different challenges than others, Josh is an everyday superhero, a guy with a good head on his shoulders taking one day at a time. If you’re a 20-something reader like me, his writing will make you laugh and remind you how you felt and thought exactly like he does. If you’re a younger reader, you will have many “Oh my God, I know exactly what he’s talking about!” moments, enough to make you cheer just as loudly when that final chapter comes.

 

I really think that this is a book that any reader can pick up and enjoy. It is delightful, and because of its deeply personal nature, everyone will have a different experience reading it. My only qualm was that I felt that the final reflective chapter seemed rushed and cut short, and I did not connect to it as much as I had to all of the preceding sections. I was more saddened than critical of this because, as I said, Josh is a great writer who you can hear speaking and feel rising from the pages, so the abrupt ending felt like a bit of an injustice to him.

WE SHOULD HANG OUT SOMETIME is a wonderful read that has no boundaries on its audience. I encourage readers of all ages to pick up this book and spend an afternoon with this inspiring, funny, warm man as he shares the most intimate moments of his life. I’m grateful to Josh for undertaking this because this book links people, showing how much we are alike as we go through this life here on Earth. And his lessons of strength, resilience, humor and growth are good introductions for young readers and reminders for older ones.

Reviewed by Corinne Fox on January 28, 2015

We Should Hang Out Sometime: Embarassingly, A True Story
by Josh Sundquist

  • Publication Date: January 19, 2016
  • Genres: Autobiography, Nonfiction, Young Adult 12+
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 0316251003
  • ISBN-13: 9780316251006