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Caterpillars Can't Swim

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  118 ratings  ·  56 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 12th 2017 by Second Story Press
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3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  118 ratings  ·  56 reviews

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Sara➽ Ink Is My Sword
3 “Jack” Stars

“Fine. I hate that word. One of the most useless words in the dictionary. It’s the typical non-answer to everyone’s favorite non-question, “How are you?” Just a totally empty word that says absolutely nothing.”

Disclaimer: Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I love the cover because it holds a lot of meanings, is simple, and somehow aesthetically pleasing to my eyes.

This review comes from me, a person who can relate deeply with being LGBTQIA, suicide attempt
☆ Todd
Apr 28, 2017 rated it liked it

While I did enjoy "Caterpillars Can't Swim" quite a bit, it's definitely not like the type of YA story that I typically read.

The story is told entirely from the perspective of Ryan, who is tied to his wheelchair, due to cerebral palsy in his legs, below his knees. He's on the swim team and, other than his disability, he's a fairly average teenager.

Next we have Jack, who is bullied because he's gay, small and unassuming. He's deathly afraid to come out to his religious mother, which is one of the
Alissa H.
Apr 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I'd like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a digital ARC of this book! Review is now up on Diva Reads!
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
From the outset, it is clear that this book is going to contain LESSONS for the reader about having TOLERANCE for and not making ASSUMPTIONS about people with a different life experience than their own. I suppose that's part and parcel of the YA genre and maybe having that intent so in your face is part of why I skipped over that genre even when I was a young adult. Then again, maybe it was just boring to be given lessons in things that were already second nature.

Looking at current political le
Oct 30, 2017 rated it liked it
I was attracted to this novel because of its lgbt subject matter as I have come to develope a special place in my heart for the said genre. While it didn’t blow my mind, it was a satisfying read.

This book embodies the innocence of youth, with its uncoloured view of the wider world. That then slowly gets deconstructed as they grow and are exposed to other people and their opinions. Both boys (Ryan and Jack) need to find themselves, make up their own minds while blundering through this thing calle
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
**Thanks to NetGalley for providing a complimentary copy of CATERPILLARS CAN'T SWIM in exchange for my honest review.**


In a wheelchair due to CP, Ryan is the unlikely rescuer when his classmate Jack jumps from a bridge into the river. His best friend Cody, who lacks a filter, doesn't understand the friendship developing between the two, especially with the rumors that Jack is gay. The unlikely trio travel to Comic Con, with Ryan hopeful he can keep his friends from killing each other, f
Brina (Brina and the Books)
3 Stars

Read full review here: Brina and the Books

With Caterpillars Can't Swim, Liane Shaw addresses some very important subject matter and disability is one of those. Due to a medical condition, Ryan is tied to a wheelchair. Although he can't walk, he is still able to compete in swim competitions for his school. Because the novel is told in Ryan's POV, the reader learns a lot about being in a wheelchair in general, being the only person in town with such a disability and how people react to a pe
Ashlee Duan
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! It draws you in from the first chapter with great action and unique, interesting characters. You even fall in love with Cody the jerk! Issues of disability, mental health and sexual orientation in a small town are dealt with in a realistic way without being preachy. The struggles the boys face and the friendship that forms between them is compelling and feels authentic. Highly recommended!
Emily Reagan
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
My ONLY critique is I wish there would have been more to the end after the climax. Other than that, this story was touching, entertaining, and eye opening. I felt a spectrum of emotions for both Jack and Ryan. The two definitely felt like real teenagers, and not an adult author trying to sound like teenagers. They weren't perfect and that made them likable. I'd never read a book with a protagonist that was in a wheelchair. Some of the everyday struggles Ryan had I was completely ignorant to
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
(I received this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.)

Ryan is a star swimmer on the school swim team and gearing up for a trip to Comicon with his best friend Cody. He’s never had a real girlfriend and his little brother’s the typical pest. One day, as he wheels to the river like usual, his life completely changes – he rescues Jack from drowning. Now, he’s the town hero (the boy in the wheelchair saves someone’s life!), but what if Jack didn’t want to b
Sue Holmes
Aug 23, 2017 rated it liked it
*I was voluntarily provided a complimentary review copy by the publisher.

A sweet book with an important message. But it is also pretty one dimensional with the story being driven by the need to teach teens tolerance and not allowing the story to flow naturally.
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A deceptively simple yet ultimately readable novel for young readers with an important message that comes through without being overly preachy in tone.
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-s
I am always here for LGBT characters and this book doesn’t disappoint when it comes to representation, the main character also being wheelchair bound himself too so that’s awesome - I can’t remember a book with a protagonist in a chair and it’s also cool he has a life. People with disabilities I have found tend to be written like they are isolated and though of course in the book he talks about how people judge him, he has friends and is on a swim team etc.

For a book that’s got a very serious s
I was given the opportunity to read an electronic copy of Caterpillars Can't Swim. I was under no obligation to review this book and my opinion is freely given.

Confined to a wheelchair most of the day because of cerebral palsy, which has left him limited use of his lower legs and feet, Ryan Malloy feels free and happy when he is swimming with the high school team. After Ryan saves a fellow student from drowning, he soon realizes that there is more to life than just swimming. As his eyes open up
Dec 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-s, net-galley
*I received this book from NetGalley on return for an honest review*

This was such a touching, honest book about real boys and their real lives. I felt drawn into the story immediately and couldn't put the book down until I knew how it ended. There was so much growth and understanding as well as a dose of reality for what it is like to be in a wheelchair, or gay in an unaccepting place. Throughout the hard and emotional times there was also a lot of laughter and smiles. This was a touching quick
Pratibha (Prats)
Nov 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
This is a very beautifully written story on disability and sexuality. It is less to make others aware and empathetic but more to help a lot of people not be confused and lost. The central characters are realistic and flawed , yet they rise above their designated roles and support each is so good that you do not wish to take a break in the reading session. This makes me love YA so much !
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing

**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

This book is one for anyone he loves to read the topics that a lot of authors skirt around. That's not to say this book is not readable. It's the complete opposite. Caterpillars Can't Swim by Liane Shaw is inspiring and heartbreaking all at the same time.

Caterpillars Can't Swim follows Ryan. he is the small town "disabled" guy in a wheelchair
Nov 16, 2017 rated it liked it
My first NetGalley book! Also, a review: https://recenseernogeenkeer.wordpress...
Sep 16, 2017 rated it liked it
I was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This short YA novel isn't without flaws. But this might even be a benefit, and I did certainly enjoy reading it.

In Caterpillars Can't Swim the reader encounters three main characters as different from each other as possible: Ryan, who is unable to walk but perfectly capable of not only swimming but also everything else; Jack, who is deeply unhappy and struggling with his own identity and fina
Apr 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
5 Stars! This is a book you will not be able to put down!

I decided to read this book because I was browsing Netgalley and the title and cover looked fascinating. I was awarded this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The blurb promised I would find an unlikely friendship between two very different unconventional teen boys and it delivered with a fantastic story and unforgettable characters.

Ryan finds happiness and independence in the water where he is free of his wheelchair and
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Reviewed for Netgalley

Caterpillars Can’t Swim…but they do eventually morph into beautiful butterflies just as the relationship between three high school boys changes from ugly and awkward into something beautiful that breaks down barriers and saves a life in the process.

Wheelchair-bound Ryan becomes a local hero when he pulls an unconscious Jack out of a river and saves his life, but what could have been an ending is only the beginning as Ryan becomes entwined in Jack’s secretive, unhappy life.
Hannah-lynette Hunter
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Ryan is the most level headed and beautiful character I’ve ever had the delight to read. While he has a physical disability that does indeed cause him some frustration, I like that he is able to move past it and, as a character, show us that the chair is part of who he is.
Jack is a little bit of a mystery; owing to it being a first person narrative. At times I wish I could have had a few chapters from his perspective, just because I was itching to hear his voice. However, it’s not long
Dec 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved it.

liane shaw has written an emotionally deep book. I've read many books in my few years but this one is one of those rare ones that are hard to find.

what I liked:
*the plot (it was an easy going book that had a floating on water kind of feel to it I found)
*the characters (Ryan in particular because a. I have a ginger friend who acts svery similar and b. he seemed like a good person)
*I couldn't tell who the main character was! (I really enjoy making my brain work these things out)

what I d
Ah, how I look forward to the times when books like this are commonplace, and neither character must struggle for acceptance in his own way. Until that day, titles like this one are necessary since they remind us that heroism comes in many different forms and for some teens, just making it through the day is hard enough. Sixteen-year-old Ryan spends most of his time in a wheelchair since he has CP. Being on land is hard for him because of his limited mobility. But swimming is something he can do ...more
Jun 28, 2017 rated it liked it
I received an advanced reader's copy of this book through Goodreads first reads program, so I thought I would share my thoughts (which were not required as a condition of receiving the book.) The book starts out with two boys, very different from each other but both with a strong love of the water. Ryan loves the water because he is in a wheelchair and that is the only place where he feels that he fits in. One evening Ryan is sitting in his wheelchair looking at the water when he sees a girl dro ...more
Patricia Tilton
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Liane’ Shaw’s examines the paralyzing impact of bullying on teens in this raw, honest and emotional novel. What stands out for me is the prejudice against two teens — one who has a physical disability and the other teen who is struggling with his sexual identity. This is the first time I’ve seen the differences appear together in a compelling story, especially when the teen who is disabled is the hero.

The main character Ryan, was born with cerebral palsy and has spent his life in a wheelchair. H
Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of this book on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book is told from Ryan's perspective. He is a teenager, who due to cerebral palsy in his legs, has to use a wheel-chair. Living in a small town isn't easy. Even his school had to be changed to be inclusive of him specifically as he is the only wheelchair user in his town. The only time he doesn't really feel all that different is when he is swimming. He actually is on the swim team and really good at
Nov 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
"Caterpillars Can't Swim" is a well intentioned book about some big social acceptance issues facing today's adolescents. It can kind of be described as a mash-up of teenagers facing disabilities, other teens growing up gay and closeted- all within the context of the real prejudices of small town life. From the get-go, it's pretty evident that lessons are going to be properly learned under the guise of fiction. While it is not preachy, the book is very wordy as the narrator Ryan (an appealing 16 ...more
Jennifer Shanahan
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-giveaways
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
To start out, this book is not even remotely a romance novel. It’s a book about life, growing up, friendships, hardships, family, love, and a combination of those.

I do believe I’m the wrong target audience for this book so I didn’t enjoy it as much as I’d hoped. I felt like this book was a YA novel written for young adults instead of being of the YA genre (if that distinction makes sense to you).

That being said, the story being told was a good one, an important one. It’s real, the people are re
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