Sensing the Rhythm Book Review | BookTube


I haven’t posted in a while because I just haven’t felt like making anything. But I need to get serious and make something. Maybe that will help me get back into making videos regularly.

Hello, I’m Rogan and welcome to another BookTube video. I know I’ve been posting a lot of that lately, but this is one that I promised a while ago. This is specifically a book review of Sensing the Rhythm by Mandy Harvey. Before we continue, I wanted to let you know that I got this book from the publisher for free. They emailed me a while ago and asked if I was interested in getting the book for doing a review. Sure, why would I say no to a free book? So they sent me a free copy. Just so you know.

Image result for sensing the rhythmIf you don’t know who Mandy Harvey is, she is…deaf or hard of hearing, I don’t know how she identifies herself, but she has hearing loss. She was recently on America’s Got Talent, and she made it to the finals. She didn’t win, but she got to the finals so that’s pretty good. She’s a singer, and plays the guitar a little too. The book is basically about her life, her experiences, and some advice about how to approach different things that happen in your life. Overall, I thought it was pretty good. It’s an easy read, I finished it in a couple hours, it’s easy to flip through. I enjoyed reading this book because it was written from the perspective of a person who grew up having hearing and eventually losing it, trying to figure out who she is again, what her identity is, where she fits in now. I never had that, so it was interesting to read about that experience. Another nice thing, each chapter ended with kind of a wrap-up of that chapter, saying what lessons you learn from that chapter and what’s important to keep in mind. That was nice.

Now, I have to say, the book does have a few detractors. I’ll admit, I have watched a couple other review videos, I’ll link them below. First, from Rikki Poynter. I saw her video way before the publishers asked me if I wanted to review this, so I’ve seen that one. The second review that I’ve seen, I watched after I read the book, but before I made this video/post. It was from ASL Stew, Jenna was the one who read it. I have to say, I agree with Jenna. I felt like this book had no identity, it was a little confused about what it was supposed to be – a biography/memoir, “self-help,” or what? It felt very superficial. It could have been expanded and been more in-depth. The book is pretty thin. The text’s not small either, so… It’s a pretty small book and superficial. I felt like it could have been split into two, maybe three books and be more in-depth. But I’d add to Jenna’s review, and say maybe the book feels a little confused because Mandy herself is still figuring out herself? I don’t know, maybe I’m just making things up. I don’t know Mandy personally, I don’t know anything about her other than what’s in the book and that she was on America’s Got Talent. So… Maybe that’s a possibility. She admitted that it took her time to figure out where she fit in the world after losing her hearing so…

A few other things that Jenna mentioned in her review that I agree with. It has a couple of things that Mandy said in the book that’s not quite right. One was that Deaf culture is anti-music. Er, no. Not everyone. I personally don’t really listen to music. I occasionally will—I have Spotify on my phone. I occasionally will plug it into my car and crank up the music while I’m driving for a long time. That’s fine, though other than that, I’m not really into music. BUT just because I’m not into music doesn’t mean other people aren’t. Jenna enjoys music. Rikki enjoys music. At least, when she can hear it. I know a lot of my friends who love music. They’ll constantly talk about it, and I just nod along, and give them a thumbs up. I don’t understand. But the point is, deaf people do enjoy music. In every community, there’s a certain group of people who will seem like they represent the whole community, while they don’t. So, a certain group in the deaf community will be all militant and say, “We’re anti-music! We hate sound!” Hm. No.

Another thing that Jenna mentioned too. It has an inaccurate definition of what big D deaf and small d deaf means. (I made a whole video discussing this.) So overall, yes, it’s a good book. Just a few things that I wish they had verified before publishing because now, that information is out there. You can’t really change that and people reading this will either accept that as right, that’s the truth. Or they’ll say no, this isn’t right, because they know the deaf community. Or maybe some people will go, “That doesn’t seem right,” and do their own research. But honestly, how many people will do that? Not many. So… Just a little disappointed that they didn’t verify their information with some other deaf people or whatever.

And that is my honest review of Sensing the Rhythm by Mandy Harvey. I want to thank the publisher for sending me a free book to read. If you’ve read this book, leave a comment below and let me know what you thought. And if you want to read this, let me know below.

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Published by Rogan Shannon

Hello there! I'm Rogan, a queer deaf guy who has a passion for leadership and advocacy. I create YouTube videos about a lot of different topics - being deaf, queer, reading, language, and whatever else interests me!

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