An Authentic Experience: Brilliant Young Adult Novel about Family

This past week, I’ve been catching up on reading. Here’s the book review I promised in my last blogpost. This was a great summer read!

Kelly Wittmann’s Young Adult novel, An Authentic Experience, is about a fifteen-year-old girl, Silver, whose family is in shock when her mom is diagnosed with a brain tumor. Her parents are divorced, and she ends up living with her dad who is not the best at parenting and parties hard. Her parents wanted Silver’s life to be authentic and not peer-obsessed, so they homeschool her. Her grandparents don’t get along with the parents on many levels, especially about the homeschooling. Her best friend is her cousin who is really the only friend Silver has and helps her through the tough times that Silver is experiencing.

This is a brilliantly written novel about how family doesn’t always get along and shows how Silver grows into her authentic self as she comes to terms with her family as well as a traumatic event that she experiences. I would recommend it to everyone who likes Young Adult fiction (YA). Wittmann is a brilliant writer and I hope she writes more YA novels because she understands that not everything is perfect.

You can find out more about the author on her website. An Authentic Experience is available on Amazon.


Marijuana, college, and more

Medical Marijuana

Recently, I have been trying medical marijuana and it has worked better than most medications that I tried. One of the components, CBD, is a pain-killer and has worked on the joint pain in my knees and hips.

Screenshot of Medical Cannabis page of MN Department of Health website


Recently, I toured a local private college and I decided that I am probably not going to pursue a private liberal arts college at this point. Right now, I’m still working on communicating more quickly, which is what I would need to do if taking more college courses. Even taking one class at a time at my community college, takes up most of my time because of how long it takes me to type on my communication device and even on my computer.

The time and energy it takes to do more than that, would mean my life would feel pretty crazy. I want to also do other things, like stay involved in helping get my favorite candidates elected this fall, explore other work opportunities, continue public speaking, blogging, and creative writing.

So, my search is for creative paths besides college, where I can do what I love to do, continue to learn, and make a difference in the world while balancing that with the time and energy it takes just being me.


Justin with I voted sticker on next to Vote Here sign and US Flag

On August 14th, don’t forget to vote in the primaries, if you live in Connecticut, Vermont, Wisconsin or my home state of Minnesota. Early voting in Minnesota is underway if you can’t make it to the polls. If you are voting in MN, you can request your early voting absentee ballot from the MN Secretary of State’s Office website.

I’m going to go vote in person because it’s cool to go to the polls on election days. I’ve loved being more involved in the political process where I can make my voice heard about issues that matter to people with disabilities. So, show up and get involved! Vote! Elect candidates that will support the issues that matter to you. Show up!

Next blog post

A review of the brilliantly written young adult novel, An Authentic Experience, by Kelly Wittmann.

Question for you

I want to ask you something. What do you want to see me write about in future blogposts? Comment or send a message with your ideas.