What are the component pieces of true love? Jessica Bell is set to learn that when her life crosses the path of young Trick Sullivan. They both discover each other and face the struggles of cerebral palsy, relationship, and a turbulent past in top romance novelist Carol Ann Iaciofano’s book, Stronger With You. The book is another vivid portrait of the life of someone with special needs, coming from the author’s personal experiences. It shows how much these individuals can contribute to society and their families and how much they can love and be loved.
Of course, Jessica suffers from cerebral palsy but leads an everyday life. Around her, a veritable network of support shows her she is not alone. Her parents are very supportive – especially her father, David. He is the one who makes sure to have Trick protecting his girl from the direct, dangerous threats that come from Jeff, Jessica’s ex-boyfriend, who turned out to be a stalker and an abuser. Jessica’s history of abuse and Jeff’s constant threats and attacks break the girl’s emotional support.
That makes her fall victim to terrible panic attacks at the slightest memory or semblance of her abuser. It happens even after he is arrested and cannot physically harm her anymore. Jeff’s depiction as the main villain of the story is incredibly realistic. It shows the reader that people can truly be the most evil monsters of all in real life.
Through the many pages of Stronger With You, Iaciofano demonstrates how the difficulties that life brings about can be easier to handle when surrounded by those who love you. There is no insurmountable obstacle if you are loved and give love. That is the biggest lesson to take from Stronger With You, a novel worth the reader’s time, investment, and attention.
– The Moving Words Review
Official Entry: The Most Moving Book Award, Jan. 2, 2023
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