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Strangers Assume My Girlfriend Is My Nurse

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  1,412 ratings  ·  211 reviews
With his signature acerbic wit and hilarious voice, twenty-something author, blogger, and entrepreneur Shane Burcaw is back with an essay collection about living a full life in a body that many people perceive as a tragedy. From anecdotes about first introductions where people patted him on the head instead of shaking his hand, to stories of passersby mistaking his able-bo ...more
208 pages
Published April 28th 2019 by Roaring Brook Press
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Whitney Atkinson
May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Roaring Book Press for the free review copy!

I enjoyed this book a lot more than Shane's first one! This collection really delves into his experience with SMA and how his perception of himself has shifted from being a burden to being a boyfriend and someone who is loved. Whereas his first book was really self-centered and had the tendency to look down on other people with disabilities in order to exalt his own experience, this one had a lot of great anecdotes that were then connected to
Elizabeth Sagan
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Absolutely lovely!

I discovered Shane and Hannah not long ago when I stumbled upon their Youtube channel (Squirmy and Grubs and if you haven't checked it out oh my God please do) and I fell in love with their spirit. When I heard about SAMGIMN I knew I had to have it (as well as Laughing at My Nightmare, Shane's previous book).

It's a very short read, I finished the whole thing in less than a day. It was funny and inspiring (sorry for using the word "inspiring", I know Shane doesn't quite like it)
Nov 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: misc-non-fiction
Strangers Assume My Girlfriend Is My Nurse by Shane Burcaw is a series of essays detailing his life with Spinal Muscular Atrophy. In this collection he talks of how the general public treat him because of his disability, the amount of daily care he needs, his feelings about his disability along with how he copes, and his Hope's and fears.

This collection is a mix of hilarious, frustrating, anger inducing, sad, and hopeful. The author makes you feel as though your sitting at your favorite coffees
Brilliant, hilarious, and insightful essays on living with a disability. Shane's voice is a riot and made me laugh out loud numerous times. It's so nice to see more YA essay collections, and this one will appeal to so, so many readers. ...more
Sarah K
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A must read for everyone!

I was blown away by the stories Shane tells of what it’s like living with spinal muscular atrophy. And honestly not just what it’s like living with SMA but what it means to truly LIVE.

This book zeroes in on many stigmas people with disabilities deal with and Shane brings such amazing, funny and heartfelt storytelling to these true life stories he shares. From what it’s like eating out, strangers approaching you on the street, difficulties using the bathroom, you’ll lear
Carly Findlay
Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have been following Shane Burcaw on Instagram for a few years and was excited to see he has a new book out – Strangers Assume My Girlfriend is my Nurse. I flew through the book on the plane (excuse the pun!) – it was so easily readable, and relateable. I am loving #OwnVoices Books!

Shane has a blog, he and his fiancé Hannah Aylward have a YouTube channel – Squirmy and Grubs – and their respective Instagram accounts are wonderful. This book is a wonderful extension of Shane’s online presence. St
kayla ♡
Dec 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I absolutely love Shane and Hannah (aka Squirmy and Grubs on YouTube) so I've dying to read this book along with Laughing at My Nightmare. Not only was this book a fast read but it was hilarious and inappropriate which is on par with Shane's dark humor. I highly recommend this book to people who like Squirmy and Grubs or those who want to learn more about SMA. Not only does it take about his experience with it but he also touches on things like everyone can relate to (the awkward teenage years, ...more
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is WOW insightful. I'm glad Shane included some of his own perceptions/misperceptions. I can certainly see where if I were in his situation, I might not be very open minded myself. Best of luck to you and Hannah, Shane! ...more
Shelley Pearson
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, 2019, non-fiction
This was funny and interesting and seemed really honest. I liked the juxtaposition of humor (lots of dick jokes) with really personal, vulnerable writing. I especially liked the points he made about people treating him like he's sad or like his life must be sad, when he didn't think that. This didn't feel like a political book, so I think it's a really accessible introduction to ableism. And the funny stuff makes the deeper stuff kind of sneak in. ...more
Cai Hopkins
Jan 29, 2021 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. I enjoy Shane and Hannah’s YouTube channel- their discussions on ableism, and their emphasis on educating others about interabled relationships. I knew I needed to read this book, and I finished it in 3 days! Shane’s humor in this book (which at times can feel a little forced) had me chuckling throughout. This book is an easy, fun read, while also discussing important messages about disability and the need for love, acceptance, and access.
Jamie Ramsey
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I originally debated between giving this book three or four stars. I thought it was a solid 3.5 and decided to up it to four because there were some really hilarious and eye opening essays. My hesitation came with a few of them reading like they were paid advertisments (the chapter on Alexa in particular...and I say this as an Amazon Books employee who actively sells these devices to disabled individuals and love how accessable they make everyday activities I take for granted) or just a little b ...more
Jun 30, 2019 added it
I am a woman living a wonderful life with muscular dystrophy..

I loved the way Shane differentiates coping with humor and using humor as a wall. I feel the difference when I’m healthy vs. struggling. I also appreciate the way he puts into words the wanting to do all I can while I can as we we live with the constant weakening it’s hard to balance. Lastly, I believe the bedroom is more intimate as it requires more vulnerability and communication and I appreciate how he communicated that as well! Ha
Jamie Olson
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good, just not as good as Shane’s first book.
Gabie (OwlEyesReviews)
4.5/5 stars.

I've really been doing my best to recognize the places in which I have privilege and listen to those who may not have the privileges that I do. I recognized that I really had not read much on people with differing abilities, so I've been looking for stories written by and about people with different abilities than my own. Not because I believe that each person that I read a story about has the responsibility to speak for their whole community, but because I want to hear people's indi
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What this book is about is perception and how that can either help or warp how we view life. In this collection, "Strangers Assume My Girlfriend is My Nurse", Shane Burcaw, with humor and terrific insight, provides a look at ourselves through the lens of his own life to make something both personal and relatable.

In short essays Burcaw talks about his life and dealing with the effects of spinal muscular atrophy and its relation to where perceptions rule. We might be better off if we simply just a
Kaitlyn Curry
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I have read Shane's other two books before (Laughing at my Nightmare and Not so Different) and this one was exactly as amazing. Shane has been an idol to my family ever since my cousin got diagnosed with SMA, which is the same disease Shane has. This book touches on almost all aspects of living with SMA. Shane has gotten told before that God had a plan for him and it would be ok, even though Shane never has thought about his disease as being much of a strain on his life. Shane ...more
A 💋
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I feel like Ive been waiting ages for this book it was well worth it. I absolutely loved it! So much so, I read it in one sitting! I first read something by Shane late last year and automatically loved his story telling because I was able to relate to so many of the stories he told living with his disability, and could relate a great deal relating to my own disability soon after I randomly came across Squirmy and Grubs and have loved following Shane and Hannah's journey ever since! Like his othe ...more
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
In a follow up to his initial memoir, Laught at my Nightmare, Shane Burcaw brings readers up to date with where he is now and how his outlook on life has changed over the years. Living with a degenerative muscular disease brings many struggles, but through a dark, sarcastic humor Shane has learned to love life, love living, and he has truly grown into a successful (and inspirational) not-for-profit organizer.

Through a series of essays, readers experience a glimpse of Shane's struggles, successes
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
I love Shane's sense of humor! This is a quick-paced book filled with anecdotes about his life that are funny, heart-warming, and at times utterly frustrating: if you're able-bodied, you don't know the struggles of flying with a wheelchair, and reading that chapter will (should!) fill you with frustration and indignation on behalf of anyone who does. Shane doesn't sugar-coat things, but he also doesn't focus on the struggles. There's a note of humor and hope in all his stories. And reading the b ...more
Sep 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks-i-own
Being a big fan of Shane and Hannah's youtube channel meant that I didn't have any excuses to not buy this book when it went on sale on Audible. It was everything I thought it would be: fun and eye-opening. Seeing the other side of the mirror is one of my favorite aspect of this book. I utterly respect Shane for being able to share all these little details -good and bad- of his life. He shows how you can enjoyed life at it fullest and being excited for the future despite everything that gets in ...more
Rebecca L.
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019
I eagerly awaited the release of this book and I wasn’t disappointed. Burcaw has a great message and he has greatly matured since his first book was released. I’m rooting for him and Hannah and I’m so glad they are providing a strong voice within the disability community. Shane’s sometimes crude language and coarse sense of humor can even be a positive thing because his writing style may attract reluctant readers. I read this entire book in two days.
I’ve been following Shane on IG when one of his videos popped up on the Popular page. This memoir only reinforces why he has such a following. He’s brutally honest and funny.

Much has been made about his inter-abled relationship - hence the book title. This memoir provides readers with increased insight and empathy without cloying sympathy.
Aug 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love Shane and Hannah from watching their YouTube channel. So naturally a deeper dive into Shane’s perspective was a wonderful journey. Plus, honestly, the swearing was refreshing. Anyway, I think it’s be neat for his next book to be half his stories/voice and half Hannah’s.
Jessica Cruz
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was so funny. I enjoyed everything about it. I read this book in 2 days. I love Shane sense of humor. You learn a bit more about Shane and Hanna.
Cindy  Ng Xin Ting
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this book before Shane's first book. Loved it so much I subscribed to their channel and went on a "Squirmy and Grub" binge watch. Fan of their relationship and candid sharing. ...more
Kait Vanderlaan
Jun 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shane Burcaw, a young adult with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, shares personal stories about living with a disability. Shane infuses humor into his stories and discusses the importance of laughing at situations that don’t go as planned. Each chapter is brief and there isn’t always a flow to the book as a whole, but it’s a quick read. It offers insights, normalization, and education from personal experience on using a wheelchair and SMA. I found it both funny and eye opening.
Forever Young Adult
Graded By: Brian
Cover Story: Covergasm
Drinking Buddy: Hell, yes
Testosterone Level: High
Talky Talk: Talk Dirty to Me
Bonus Factor: Disability
Bromance Status: Bro

Read the full book report here.
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I 💜 Shane and Hannah.
Apr 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Disclaimer: (I received this ARC from Net Galley. My opinions are unbiased and my own)

Fact number one: Shane Burcaw is funny!

I really love that right from the beginning of this book we can get a feel for who he is, realistic and downright relatable. It is one of the things that keeps you reading because he's not pretending to be someone he's not.

Most of the chapters of this book deal with different experiences in his life and how those experiences are colored by SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy). T
Burcaw continues to document his life for readers with delight, humor, and the kind of TMI that endears him to us as readers- even this title is just as humorous as it is hard. Burcaw shows, tells, and everything in between with what it's like to have muscular atrophy and even at times waxes poetic and slightly political in detailing the events of a young girl, younger than Shane was at the time, whose claim to fame was a publicized prom before choosing suicide to end her life from the painful s ...more
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Shane Burcaw grew up in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and recently graduated from Moravian College with an English degree. He is the president of Laughing At My Nightmare, Inc. where he works to teach people that humor and positivity can be used to overcome adversity. He has written a young adult memoir and writes as a freelancer for The Morning Call. He also writes a blog called Laughing At My Nightmar ...more

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