My Perfect Imperfections won the Gold Medal from Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards in Inspirational category.
I am beyond humbled for this honorable award. The story is very dear to my heart, as I have many friends with cerebral palsy.
At first, I wasn’t sure if I should write this story since I have a hard time writing about anything that’s “real.” But, once I began my research and interviewed many individuals with cerebral palsy, I knew I had to write it. I was especially moved by a young lady, Charisse Hogan, while I was doing my research. As I watched her on her YouTube videos, I knew she held nothing back. She put her heart and soul out there for the world to see.
So, I created Lily Cooper, the young girl from My Perfect Imperfections. She was not able to walk/talk, and used a power wheelchair and a communication device. Lily was a brilliant girl, but because she was “stuck in her own body,” the society wasn’t very kind to her.
I am especially proud of this story. It’s not just about raising awareness, but I wanted the readers to feel Lily’s pain, sorrow, happiness, and strength. I wanted her to live a fulfilling life as she overcame the obstacles. I wanted it to inspire not only people with cerebral palsy, but the general public. Most of all, I wanted people to fall in love with Lily and Chance.
Because this story is so very important, I am especially excited about this award. Thank you, thank you Readers’ Favorite for this honor.
Enjoy this brief excerpt from My Perfect Imperfections.
My name is Lily Cooper, and I’ve lived with cerebral palsy for eighteen years. It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve learned to make the most out of my life—at least until that dreaded ride home from prom.
Once I’m secured into the van, Layna drives toward our house. Even though it has begun to rain, it doesn’t dampen my mood.
“Well?” she asks. “Wasn’t that fun?”
“Ya,” I answer, nodding my head. I can’t remember the last time I’ve felt this happy.
“Did you see James? He was dancing with that red-headed bimbo all night.”
“Ya,” I respond. I did notice it. I’m pretty sure he was upset that Layna didn’t go to prom with him and was trying to make her jealous. What an idiot!
“I guess it’s good I saw his true colors. I mean, to think I would have wasted my summer on that jerk,” Layna continues.
She’s too good for him. I’m glad she witnessed his immature behavior.
“My summer is busy anyway. I’ll be working and getting ready for college. Who has time for losers?”
Although Layna pretends like she doesn’t care, I know her better. From the way she keeps talking about it and the fact that she’s driving kind of fast around the curves, I can tell that James has upset her. Doesn’t she realize that he has nothing on her?
“I mean, I actually saw him kissing her. He knew I was right there! He totally did that on purpose!” The more Layna continues, the more worked up she’s becoming.
I desperately think of ways to try to distract her. The rain is now coming down hard, and it’s becoming near impossible to see through the windshield. I bite my lip hard to swallow a scream when I feel the tires sliding on the slippery road a few times. Layna is oblivious that she’s driving much too fast in the rain.
The headlights come from nowhere, blinding us. I blink, wondering why they are so bright. Where did they come from?
My heart stops beating. I hold my breath.
Layna slams on the brakes to avoid the collision.
“Hold on, Lily!” She spins the steering wheel and the van swerves out of control. I hear the screeching of the breaks and the deafening sound of the collision.
Everything moves in slow motion. Time stands still as the deathly silence encases me.
I hear nothing. I feel nothing. I simply float.
And then darkness swallows me.
My Perfect Imperfections received three different reviews from three different reviewers. I am pleased to announce that all three reviewers gave it five stars. Here’s what they had to say:
My Perfect Imperfections by Jalpa Williby is an inspirational story that revolves around Lily who is diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Lily needs assistance for even her basic needs like walking, talking and eating. Her physical disability leaves her frustrated, but Lily doesn’t let it deter her from strengthening her mind. Her twin sister Layna is very supportive and includes Lily in all the activities. As the story progresses, readers are given a glimpse into the life of a disabled person. It’s a story of love, strength, determination and, most of all, hope and will strike a chord within the hearts of readers.
The story is heart-rending and the three main characters, Lily, Layna and Chance, leave a lasting impression with their strength, determination and ‘perfect imperfections.’ The story is helpful to all those who have disabilities and also to those who deal with disabled people. Lily’s determination to get rid of the fear of living with a disability is very uplifting and inspirational. The bond between Layna and Lily also forms an important part of the plot. Narrated from Lily’s point of view, the story highlights the basic needs that a disabled person looks for in their life; that of being accepted and loved, and being treated properly like any other normal person. The author’s writing style is fluid, which gives the story a good pace and movement. The story is complicated yet simple, and readers can connect well with Lily, Layna and Chance. The emotions are raw and leave readers feeling compassion, and also gratitude for all that they have.
My Perfect Imperfections is a contemporary fiction novel written by Jalpa Williby. When Lily and Layna were born, the doctors advised their parents that Lily had cerebral palsy. It had happened to many other parents, they said, and Lily and the rest of the family would learn to cope with it. Lily couldn’t move like her twin sister did as they were growing up, and she was unable to even feed herself. The physical therapy that was an essential part of her life was something she actually looked forward to. The therapists treated her like they would any other patient, and they pushed her to her limits. When she was finally able to walk with the aid of a rear-assisted walker, her parents beamed with pride, and Lily herself was incredulous at being able to stand and move without someone else’s assistance. Lily was mainstreamed in school for most of her classes. She had a speech device that allowed her to communicate with others, and one of her arms was strong enough to let her control her wheelchair. That control was so important to Lily — it was independence, the ability to leave a situation unaided. But throughout all the strangeness of growing up with cerebral palsy, Layna was there with her. They were best friends and soulmates in a way that some twins are, even with the disease that made Lily’s life so restricted and different. Layna was there.
Jalpa Williby’s contemporary fiction novel, My Perfect Imperfections, is an inspiring and moving story about a young woman who was born with cerebral palsy. The heroine of this tale does not inspire the reader’s pity or sympathy, but rather their admiration as she goes from accepting her imperfections to training on a professional level to help other disabled persons live full and satisfying lives. While this novel is categorized as an inspirational one, it’s also a coming of age, a romance, and a family saga that feels a lot like a fictionalized memoir as well, and it succeeds in all those genres. I learned a great deal about cerebral palsy and what the life of a person with that condition would be like in My Perfect Imperfections and am so pleased to have read it. Lily’s story is exceptionally well told and very authentic. It’s most highly recommended.
My Perfect Imperfections by Jalpa Williby is the story of Lily Cooper, a woman born with Cerebral Palsy. My Perfect Imperfections starts with Lily telling how she thinks doctors told her parents about her condition and then goes on to Lily telling the rest of her life story. Lily tells you about everything; from her early years, the cruelty of kids in school and the cruelty of adults in college. She tells about her fears but, most importantly, about her triumphs and success at overcoming and dealing with the problems she faces due to Cerebral Palsy and with all the bad that life throws at her. Through it all, Lily shows her strength and tenacity at living her life the way that she wants to live it.
My Perfect Imperfections by Jalpa Williby is an amazing book told in the first person, with clear detail and great imagery that puts you in Lily’s shoes or watching right over her shoulder. My Perfect Imperfections will pull at your heart strings as Lily experiences the ups and downs of life and the ups and downs of her disability. I cried, laughed, smiled, and cried again as I put myself into Lily’s shoes. My Perfect Imperfections was very hard to put down. It was an eye opener as well; it gives a glimpse into what life would be like with a debilitating disease and that you can’t let life pass you by – you have to grab it with both hands and experience the ups and downs that life has to offer.
It has now been awarded the shiny five star seal! Go me!
Here’s the link to the reviews: