Allison's Book Bag

We Should Hang Out Sometime by Josh Sundquist

Posted on: March 31, 2016

We Should Hang Out Sometime by Josh Sundquist reads like a hilarious teen novel about the confusing world of dating and falling in love. In addition, this over three-hundred page has positive diverse elements. Best of all, We Should Hang Out Sometime is actually a memoir and so the events in it are true, making it a highly sympathetic portrayal of one of life’s most important experiences.

As you might have gathered then, unlike many memoirs I’ve read over the past few years about disabilities, We Should Hang Out Sometime is not about how Joshua Sundquist was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer at age nine and lost his left leg. Or how doctors declared him free of Ewing’s sarcoma in his teens. Or even how Sunquist became a Paralympian. In other words, his disability is not front and center. Rather, the aforementioned dating world is. At the same time, his disability is an integral part of the story, which is how his memoir got recommended to me. Each section of the book is dedicated to a different girl who Sundquist dated and a different time period in his life. Equally part of each dating experience is Sundquist’s disability and how being an amputee impacted his love life.

For example, there’s what happened at a Christian club, when Liza connected with him. The guy in charged had organized a three-legged race. He began the activities by announcing who the first partners in the race would be. One happened to be Sundquist, which left Sunquist with the awkward experience of explaining that he couldn’t participate due to his leg. And after that Sundquist stopped trying to hang out Liza, feeling that it be impossible now for her to have any interest in him.
Multiple sections are like this, showing how Sundquist felt forced to deal with his disability, and so ultimately how he’d lose confidence before he even knew whether or not a girl would date him. Whatever one’s challenges in life, it’s a universal experience that a lack of confidence often sabotages what could otherwise have been a beautiful opportunity. Thus, I continually felt heartache for Sundquist as he struggled to figure out the dating world.

We Should Hang Out Sometime is diverse in a second way too, one which pleasantly surprised me. You see, Sundquist grew up a Christian and those values influenced his dating choices. Oh, and once again, the memoir is not about Sundquist found God, returned to God, or even rejected God. In other words, his religious upcoming is not front and center. Rather, the dating world is, but his faith (and that of his parents) remains a part of the picture too.

As such, Sundquist dated only once before he turned sixteen. And when he did began to date, he stayed somber with his girlfriends. He also limited his physical affection towards them. Granted, because of his extreme awkwardness with dates, Sundquist rarely had the opportunity to do much with a girl beyond holding her hand. Even so, there was the one date with Katie. They talked. And then they started to touch. When he got to the place of holding her breasts, like many guys, he appreciated the opportunity. But he also quickly drew the line at kisses.

Good novels for guys are still comprised of fairly slim pickings. We Should Hang Out Sometime not only integrates a positive portrayal of physical and religious diversity, but is also a compassionate and honest look at the universal experience of finding a significant other. Both males and females should find themselves in these pages and feel comfort in the revelations that Sundquist has about how to have a meaningful relationship.

2 Responses to "We Should Hang Out Sometime by Josh Sundquist"

Sounds like a very heartwarming read. I love a happy ending too.

Have a fabulous day. ☺

Yes, the memoir is a feel-good novel. 😉 Have a great weekend!

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