Book Review Caterpillars Can’t Swim by Liane Shaw

The Details

Publisher: Second Story Press
Published: September 12, 2017
Genres: YA, Contemporary
My Rating: 3 Stars

GoodReads Blurb34949098

Ryan finds his freedom in the water, where he is not bound by gravity and his wheelchair. When he rescues his schoolmate, Jack, from the water, their lives become connected, whether they like it or not. Ryan keeps Jack’s secret about that day in the water, but he knows that Jack needs help. The school is full of rumors about Jack’s sexuality, and he has few friends. Almost against his better judgment, Ryan decides to invite Jack on a trip to Comic-Con he’s planned with his best friend Cody, the captain of the school’s swim team. The three boys make an unlikely combination, but they will each have the chance to show whether they are brave enough to go against the stereotypes the world wants to define them by.

My Review

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book was perfectly fine. It wasn’t exciting or really special, but it was a quick fine read.

Ryan is in a wheelchair, as someone who has not spent an extended period of time a wheelchair, I’m not sure it’s accurate, but it felt authentic to me. I feel like the timeline was a little off. At some points, it feels like the timeline is being sped up; when it would have been better plotwise to just have the story start a month later instead of skipping a bunch of time which makes the story feel choppy at spots.

Honestly, I think that this book is told by the wrong narrator.  I think this would be a much better story if it were told by Jack instead of Ryan. Jack has more going on, and instead of learning about Jack from Jack we learn it all second hand through Ryan. Ryan is a good character, but I don’t feel like this is the story he should be telling. This story feels like Jack’s story, and that it’s held back by it being told from a different perspective.

I did enjoy this book, but it wasn’t something that I would seek out. It’s was perfectly fine, but I was hope for a little bit more out of it.


Until next time Internet,



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