This is a really unique book, and I loved it! And I'm not just saying that because the author has spinal muscular atrophy. (I think everyone who has read and reviewed this book has thought about that angle.)
I was literally laughing out loud through Laughing at My Nightmare. Shane takes a situation that could knock most people flat on their backs into a cloud of depression and uses humor to confront common misconceptions and difficult situations. Because of his illness, Shane is reliant on others for everything physical- including necessary bodily functions- but he definitely doesn't suffer from any mental (or mood!) deficiencies.
Shane is a typical young adult guy in nearly every way- so be aware that the movie version of this book would probably be rated "R" for frank discussion of bodily functions and sexual activity, and for a mild sprinkling of profanity. Also, Shane is rather blunt in his descriptions of activities with other physically and mentally impaired youth, and he's not always kind in his descriptions. I would recommend this book to mature teens who are able to differentiate between a single disabled person's experience, and the making of generalizations to an entire group of persons.
Not only is Laughing at My Nightmare full of laughs, but it is also full of triumphs. Shane talks openly about his doctors' prognoses for his future, and how he is defiantly remaining very actively involved in life. He is determined to experience everything possible, including road trips and first drinks, even though he has to do a little more planning than your average Joe.
If Shane ever came to my town for a speaking engagement, I'd totally go see him live. This kid has got the perseverance and humor of someone three times his size, and I love it!
*I checked out my copy of Laughing at My Nightmare from my local library.