Allison M. Boot

Changing the World, One Book at a Time…

A Kirkus Review of Just the Way You Are

by | Mar 9, 2017

A princess’s search for true love sends her on a voyage of self-discovery in Lewis’ debut YA fantasy.

Misty Miles, the 20-year-old princess of Starryton and the beloved daughter of King Reginald and Queen Eliza, worries that her subjects may discover her secret: ever since childhood, she’s been in a wheelchair, due to a disability that has left her unable to walk and makes it difficult to use her hands. Her parents have kept her hidden from public view in the castle, but she yearns to go out and explore her kingdom. She also wants to meet Prince Derrick of the neighboring kingdom of Mooncrest. On the eve of her 21st birthday, she leaves the castle, accompanied by her service dog, Dex, to seek out a troll named Trovella, who grants her the temporary ability to walk and dance. The prince has only has three days to fall in love with her, Dex tells her. Misty and Derrick soon meet and sparks fly, but, despite her happiness, Misty knows that prince will soon learn the truth. Later, with the encouragement of Kara, a young, disabled orphan, Misty gets the opportunity to prove that she has the leadership skills that the kingdom needs. Lewis’ fantasy is an empowering tale of a young woman who discovers her inner strength while also finding unconditional love and support. Misty is an appealing heroine who doesn’t let her disability prevent her from seeing the world or finding love. Lewis, who has a disability herself, poignantly explores her protagonist’s determination to experience life outside the castle walls. She also offers a well-developed portrait of Misty’s day-to-day life, from the companionship of her service dog to the assistance that she needs to perform daily tasks, such as dressing or brushing her teeth. She also surrounds Misty with strong supporting characters: Derrick is a sensitive, compassionate romantic foil, and the character of Kara will raise readers’ awareness of the needs of orphans with disabilities.

A charming fable with an important message for young readers.