Book Review

Pushing Through – Book Review

Book Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 / 5 stars)

“Some souls just aren’t meant to be contained.”

Rex Patrick never thought he was destined for greatness. A drug addict and a paraplegic, the chances of him living past the age of thirty weren’t in his favor. But, eventually he finds his way into accepting the 12-step program, finding faith and guidance in not just God, but in cycling as well. He climbs above adversaries and doubts to become not just an Olympian, not just a champion, but also an inspiration.

In this compelling debut novel by Lori Yerxa, we are taken on a journey through Rex’s life. The compelling narrative wraps us in not just his story, but his emotions, his desires, and his unrelenting wish to compete. He does not let his disability define him, and despite all his struggles to compete, he comes to deny his addiction as well.

But while Rex is an inspiration in what he accomplished, from climbing out of homelessness and into the world stage, his story also heeds a warning. It shows the way addiction claws into someone, and no matter how long they are sober, no matter how hard they try, one misstep will send them back into the abyss. Yerxa does an amazing job planting the reader in Rex’s struggles, and through all his missteps and fortunes, there is a message: never give up…and most importantly, keep coming back.

Unfortunately due how and when this book was written, we are left with some holes in Rex’s story. It is impossible to write a biography accurately, even if the person is heavily involved. Yerxa did a fantastic job in telling us Rex’s story though. I don’t think it will be forgotten.

For anyone out there struggling against addiction, self-doubt, or uncertainty, read Rex Patrick’s story. Perhaps you can accomplish something fantastic just the same.

What’s it about?

When Rex’s father gave him a shot of whiskey to numb a toothache, the young boy had no idea the trajectory of his life became even darker. Years later, hopeless and alone, Rex was faced with the choice to continue and die or change and live.

This raw and gritty page-turner follows the life of Paralympic champion Rex Patrick, who endures unthinkable and horrific tragedies. Deep in his addiction, and nowhere to turn, Rex spends his days homeless, hobbling around on crutches, in a park with no trees. One day a police officer pours out Rex’s “wino” wine and he finally hits rock bottom. Hopeless, Rex tries sobriety one more time.

This captivating story takes you on a journey of adventure, courage, and insight into the power of new beliefs, and what happens when you stop listening.


Indie Authors: A Community of Support

As a part of my launch event this past weekend, I interviewed and featured a handful of authors, all of whom represent different factions of the indie author community. One thing is universal among everyone I spoke with: we are a community. It is our job as indie authors to support one and other, because authors are not just authors…they’re readers too.

Indie authors get flack for not publishing traditionally. We all had our reasons though, and very rarely does it come down to our idea was rejected by agents. That’s not the case. We wanted to independently publish for a reason. Whether it was to get the story out there, having control of the process, or something else entirely.

I had the honor to meet a group of wonderful independent authors over the last week. You can meet them all below:

Eme’ Savage

Eme’ is the author of Echoes of the Gidat and Tetarul Parallel. We had a wonderful discussion about her novel and process, as well as self doubt and how that comes into play while writing.

Cody Blake Wilson

Cody is the author of The Awakening, the first in his series. We discussed his first novel as well as LGBTQ+ representation in media.

Rachel Garcia

Rachel is the author of Illthdar: The Guardians of Las, the first book in an anticipated 10 book series! We talked about how she handles her wide array of cast, as well as diversity in writing.

Rachel Shaw

Rachel Shaw is the author of Last Memoria. We spent time discussing her duology, as well as how biology and memory comes into play in her novel. In addition, we also discussed how to produce an audio book.

Lane Northcutt

Lane is the author of the upcoming novel, The Delivery Co. We had a fantastic conversation about his experience as both an actor and writer, as well as his process. Unfortunately, technology got the best of us, crashing post interview and deleting the video.

That being said, you can still read about our discussion HERE.

Lori Yerxa

Lori is the author of the non-fiction book, Pushing Through, which is about Rex Patrick, Paralympic Medalist. We discussed the differences in writing a non-fiction novel, and what she learned about herself along the way.

Sterling Blue

Sterling is the author of This Isn’t the Zombie Apocalypse. We discussed her novel, her creative process, and her current work on a graphic novel.

Kaitlyn Legaspi

Kaitlyn is the author of The Dark Irregular Trilogy. We spent time discuss her trilogy as well as her countless number of projects that she can handle all while in college!

Yet, with all these interviews, I didn’t just stop there. I featured a few other authors throughout my launch.

All of these authors combined gave away 10 books in total, reaching readers whom they might not have due to indie authors supporting one and other. And I am so glad to have spoken with all of them, since each of their stories sound unique and have made it to my “to-read” list.

Speaking with each of these authors has helped me find a new sense of community among indie authors. It’s why I am trying to start up a book club, and will continue to read and review books written by my peers.

So I implore you, please check out all these authors! They’re amazing!

And I will continue featuring and supporting them, and I hope you will as well!

E.S. Barrison