For fans of Talia Hibbert and Lynn Painter comes a funny and unflinchingly honest story about a teen who must come to terms with her disability and what it means for her identity, her love life, and her future.
Brynn Kwan is desperate for her high school persona to be real. That Brynn is head of the yearbook committee, the favorite for prom queen, and definitely not crumbling from a secret disability that’s rapidly wearing her down. If no one knows the truth about her condition, Brynn doesn’t have to worry about the pitying looks or accusations of being a faker that already destroyed her childhood friendships. She’s even willing to let go of her four-year relationship with her first love, Oliver, rather than reveal that a necessary surgery was the reason she ignored his existence for the entire summer.
But after Brynn tries to break up a fight at a pep rally and winds up barred from all her clubs and senior prom, she has nothing left to prop up her illusion of being just like everyone else. During a week-long suspension from school, she realizes that she doesn’t quite recognize the face in the mirror—and it’s not because of her black eye from the fight. With a healthy sister who simply doesn’t understand and a confused ex-boyfriend who won’t just take a hint and go away like a normal human being, Brynn begins to wonder if it’s possible to reinvent her world by being the person she thought no one wanted: herself.
Bethany Mangle is the author of the Prepped, All the Right Reasons, and Conditions of a Heart. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys spoiling her dogs, playing video games, and spending time with her unbearably nerdy husband. She moves too much to put a location in her bio ever again. Visit her at BethanyMangle.com.
Why We Love It
“Bethany Mangle’s dry humor and unflinching honesty combine to create an unforgettable heroine in Brynn Kwan. I cheered for her highs and wanted to hug her at her lows—and of course, laughed at her corny jokes.”
—Nicole F., Editor, on Conditions of the Heart
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (February 20, 2024)
* "Mangle’s third YA brings in pieces of the author’s own life (hEDS, POTS, ADHD), connects them to COVID-era changes in accessibility, and masterfully sets it all against a backdrop of prep-school suburban New Jersey with an all-too-realistic relationship breakup to sweeten the trauma. This book is highly recommended for its portrayal of invisible disabilities, neurodiversity, and the impact of the purported "end of the pandemic” on disabled populations."
– Booklist, starred review
** "In this emotionally rich story drawn from personal experience, as discussed in an author’s note, Mangle (All the Right Reasons) explores lingering trauma of early pandemic lockdowns and institutionalized privilege alongside myriad intersections of illness and self-image. Brynn is a complex and sympathetic protagonist whose journey of self-discovery proves both frustrating and fulfilling as she comes to terms with her limits and goals."
– Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Poignant and insightful."
"Achingly touching, heartfelt and true, Brynn's story of reinvention and self-discovery resonates on every page. A book to savor and hold dear."
– Kathleen Glasgow, New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces and The Agathas
“This book kept me laughing with its endless wry wit and emotionally captivated with its introspection of society's attitudes toward health and disability, especially in a post COVIDian era when we have seen the accommodations that are possible. I read it in a single day.”
– Xiran Jay Zhao, New York Times bestselling author of Iron Widow
“Conditions of a Heart beats with intense feelings from lost love to the classic struggle of trying to be who you are. Mangle weaves an equally heartbreaking and funny narrative in this poignant story about a disabled girl struggling to find her place in a post-Covid world.”
– Meredith Ireland, Author of The Jasmine Project & Everyone Hates Kelsie Miller
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