Re-reading As a More Critical Reader | Disability Diaries

Today, I’m not talking about a specific disability, as I did in my previous two posts. Instead, I am talking about re-reading.

There are quite a few books I’ve read in previous years, that include disability in some form. Whether the main character has a disability, or a side character does, that does not matter. You may also know that I usually rate on enjoyment: how much did I enjoy the book? In the past few months/year though, I’ve tried to become more critical of diversity and representation. So I’ve decided I want to re-read these books, and be more critical of the disability representation in them. Will I still enjoy them? Which problems did I overlook or did I not even realize existed, as an able-bodied reader?

Me Before You: I loved this book when I first read it. But Ely pointed out this is actually a very problematic book in terms of how it deals with disability. So I want to re-read it, and be more critical. I want to realize the problems, and see them.

The Fault in Our Stars: I have a feeling I won’t like this one upon a re-read. But I want to re-read it and really look at how the characters, and the author obviously, deal with cancer and terminal illness.

All the Light We Cannot See: One of the main characters in this book is a girl who is blind. I quite enjoyed this one the first time I read it, but I’m curious to see what a re-read would do.

The Year We Fell Down: I really enjoyed this NA romance about two characters with a disability. The female main character had an accident during a hockey training or match and now needs a weelchair to get around. I think she had a spine injury, but I’ve forgotten the specifics. And I believe the male main character broke his leg? I wonder what I’ll think of this book when I re-read it.

Maybe Someday: the main character, Ridge, is a deaf musician. I read this in 2014, so I think it’s time for a critical re-read.

Cinder & Ella: I only read this a few months ago, I know. And I loved it. So I’m hoping the re-read won’t change my mind?

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids: The main character in this book can’t speak anymore, and she used to be a singer. Now, this is kind of a retelling of the Little Mermaid, but I still want to read it with my eye on her inability to talk.

Half a King: this is a fantasy book about a main character who was born with only one hand, and is therefore considered to only be “half a king” as he can’t pick up a sword and fight.

Lastly, there are some books I read during my childhood by the Belgian author Dirk Bracke. He writes young adult books, and always about tough topics: teenage pregnancy, coming out, sexual abuse, childsoldiers, being a girl in a gang, teenage prostitution, etc. I learned so much from his books growing up, and I want to re-read a few:

Het Uur Nul: this was my first Dirk Bracke -and it literally translates to The Hour Zero. This is about a teenage guy, Ben, who discovers he is HIV+. This book was written in 1996, and I read it absolute YEARS ago (probably more than a decade) so I want to see what I’ll think of it now.

Stille Lippen: which literally translates to Silent Lips. This is about a girl, Elien, who is hard of hearing. She just wants to be a normal teenager and go to clubs and have fun with her friends, without overprotective parents. This is one of the few books by him I can’t actually remember much of, so I desperately want to read it again.

Een Lege Brug: which translates to An Empty Bridge. This is about a teenage guy called Siem, who finds a girl sitting on a bridge, drawing. She’s drawing and counting every line on her piece of paper. She has autism, and it’s about Siem falling in love with her.

So those are some books I want to re-read,and be more critical of this time! Will I still enjoy them? Will I notice some problematic aspects I never realized before? I guess I’ll find out.

Don’t forget to check out all the other posts by the other hosts, Ely @ Tea and Titles, Cee Arr @ Diary of a Reading Addict, Dina @ Dinasoaur, Angel @ Angel Reads, and Lara @ Another Teen Reader.


Re-reading As a More Critical Reader | Disability Diaries

21 thoughts on “Re-reading As a More Critical Reader | Disability Diaries

  1. I love this idea!!! One of the books I have reread so many times is Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone. It’s about a girl who has Purely Obsessional OCD. I also love All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven so much! Both books got a lot of emotion out of me every read through.

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  2. It’s funny because I actually had some issues with Me Before You and the portrayal of the Will wanting to end his life due to his disability, but I still liked the book. Then I read the viewpoint of someone disabled who talked about how truly dangerous the book can be to someone in the throes of depression over their disability, and it really made me think. I had realized that I didn’t agree with some of the points of the book, but I hadn’t been looking at it from the perspective of someone actually suffering from the type of disability that Will has. Of course, not all of these perspectives will be the same, but I could definitely see the point that the person was trying to make about how damaging it could be.

    I loved Maybe Someday, and while I’m certainly not in any way an expert on Deaf culture, I do have some knowledge and I felt like the book did a good job with portraying a Deaf character. A reread with that specifically in mind would be interesting, though.

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  3. I like this idea of rereading books in general. My TBR is scary and I need to be reading more than I already do. But, I would love to hear your thoughts on these books as you read them again. By the way, I once tore apart the Me Before You movie, and then mellowed out. I recognize it is problematic, but I like the movie a lot. So, your reaction may be the same: a mixed bag, not a clear cut dislike or like. Big hugs, bb.


  4. That’s quite a lot of re-reads. I can see why you are embarking on that journey and I hope you’ll still be able to enjoy most of the books you’ve liked before. This is kind of why I avoid re-reads, especially when it comes to my favourites. I simply cannot imagine the disappointment at maybe not liking them anymore, because tastes change or you see the story from an angle you didn’t before. It happens.

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  5. Good luck with your rereads! I’ve only read the first three books, and the only one I’ve read multiple times is All The Light We Cannot See. I used it as an example text for a lecture I gave on nonlinear narrative structure. I have no idea if the representation of blindness is accurate, though.

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  6. I can’t wait to see what you find when you reread them! I’m particularly interested to hear your thoughts on All the Light We Cannot See, since that’s one of my favorites ❤

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  7. ceearrbooknerd says:

    I think re-reading is uber-important! For lots of reasons – you can get different things out of books that way 🙂 I also think it’s important to be critical, even of books you like. Everyone having their eyes open is def. the way forward!

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  8. Cait @ Paper Fury says:

    Oh I love TFIOS! I’ve reread it a few times (even recently) and even though I’m still super fussy with my books I STILL ADORE IT and absolutely think the cancer was handled well. ❤ I'm scared to read Me Before You because the problematic elements I've heard about are kind of terrifying to me. Having a disability does not equal having a life not worth living. But I do want to read it and find out how it talks about that??? So maybe someday if I get brave. 😛 I'd like to re-read The Curious Incident of The Dog In the Nighttime which is about a boy with Autism and was really my first experience reading on that! But now I know a lot more and kind of want to see what my impression would be now. I need more reading time eeeek.

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  9. I really love this idea, Me Before You became a bit of a favourite for me when I read it a couple of years ago. Since then I have heard people talk about the problamatic disability representation within the book, may have to read re-read in the future with a critical eye to see how I feel! 🙂

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