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Mandy Harvey “Sensing the Rhythm” Book Review ⎮ ASL Stew


Hello, I’m Jenna. This is ASL Stew. (hand slap…♪♪♪) Today I am by myself, no Jill. The reason is recently we got a book and they asked us to give an honest review. I thought, sure why not. I love reading! However it’s not really Jill’s thing. But I am definitely a bookworm. So, the book is…. (shows Mandy Harvey’s “Sensing the Rhythm”) So some of you might know who this is, Mandy Harvey. She’s from the show, I believe, America’s Got Talent. Whatever that show is. I’m going to be honest. I do not watch the show. I haven’t followed. The only thing I know is she’s a famous singer, songwriter, musician… whatever she’s labeled. But that’s all I know, that she won the show. Which is awesome! She knows some sign language which is cool. But that’s all I know about her. I don’t watch or follow that show or anything. I don’t know really much more about her than that. So I guess my review is pretty much neutral. It’s purely from what I read and that’s it. I got the book and it’s pretty short. It’s somewhere around 200 pages. So I read it in a couple of hours. Just didn’t take me that long. It’s a pretty short read. It was an easy read. Very easy to go through. So nothing too complicated. One thing that I did really enjoy is I liked reading about her experience of when she went deaf and how that felt for her. She kind of went through a depression and a stage where she didn’t know what to do. It was interesting reading that journey. I liked reading the chapter when she was talking about how she learned to sing new songs if she couldn’t hear anymore. What exactly was that process for her? That I found fascinating. It was really cool just seeing what she did. So I liked that part the most. So those are some of the things that I liked about the book. Now, some of the things I didn’t like… Overall I was a little bit confused on her intention of the book. It was kind of like a biography mixed with a self help/inspiration mixed with a how to. So it was kind of all over the place and I couldn’t really tell what the main purpose was. What was the identity of the book. So that was a little bit confusing to me because there were so many different topics that she touched on. So I guess I felt it was a little bit shallow and it didn’t go too much in depth. I think I would like to see more in depth about the topics. Maybe the first book could be one specific topic and then she could have gone into an different book with more in depth on another topic. Split it into multiple books. Then have a more expanded version of each topic. I think that would be more helpful for me. But again that’s just my opinion. Another thing that I was kind of like… uhhhh is from my understanding, she’s late deaf. I don’t know how she identifies. I don’t know her experience within the Deaf community. I’m not aware of that, which is fine. But one thing, which I don’t know if she didn’t have the right information or the guy… uhhh… Mark Atteberry, the man who helped her, co-wrote the book. He’s a professional writer, so he probably knows all the word choices and what not. Which is fine, but one of them or maybe both of them has some wrong information. For example, they were talking about how Deaf culture is against being involved in music. I was like, no that’s not true. There are a lot of different Deaf musicians like Sean Forbes, umm… Mike from Deafinitely Dope, and there’s many, many more. So Deaf culture and the Deaf community overall, there’s no specific dislike of music. I love music personally! Of course there are going to be individuals who are against music and that’s just like any sort of group or community. There’s going to be people in support or against something. You can’t label an entire community in that sense. So that I felt was a little bit too…. harsh. I don’t want to say harsh, but… I don’t know, I think it was going a little bit too far labeling the entire Deaf community as a whole being against music and being against singing and using your voice. Which is not true. They put that in the book and I felt it was a little bit… it was too… mis-general information. In another part they were describing what is the difference between capital D “Deaf” and lowercase d “deaf”. I felt it was an A or B, is how they put it. I think it said “D”eaf means people who became deaf before age 2 or from birth and they have deaf parents. I was like, no that’s not true. Culturally Deaf with a capital D has nothing to do with when you became deaf. It’s not about that. And less than 10% of deaf people actually have at least one or more deaf parents. Less than 10%. So most people have hearing parents. So it wasn’t… it’s not an A or B, “D”eaf or “d”eaf. There’s a lot of overlap in that. It has a lot to to with your personal experience, your journey into the Deaf community, how immersed you are into Deaf culture, and your sign language, so that. It’s all about an identity. It has nothing to do with when you became deaf, do you have deaf relatives, or anything like that. Some people do, but most don’t. So that kind of misinformation kind of took me aback when they put that in the book. Cause most people who read this book, I’m assuming, know nothing about Deaf culture and the Deaf community, Deaf identity, that sort of thing. So it kind of made me feel a little bit ick about that. It had some wrong information there. There was that and I would say overall I think it’s an OK book. It’s good for people who like to read some sort of inspirational book, like a biography. That type of thing. Again it’s an easy read. If you’re a big fan of her I’m sure you would like this book. Like I said, I’m more neutral. I don’t know much about her. So I thought it was OK. I read it once, but I wouldn’t read it again. Honestly I wouldn’t purchase it. It’s not my thing. It’s just not my preference of book. But like I said, I’m not saying it’s an awful book. It just didn’t match my preference. I believe there was some wrong information in there and like I said, her experience… some of that was cool to read. So I guess it’s kind of a mixed review in my opinion. It’s really gonna depend on the individual. If you like that sort of thing, great. If your a fan of hers, great, go ahead and read it. If you’re not, then I’d say maybe don’t expect too much from it. But… that’s my review. Yeah. So if you like this video, let me know if you want more book reviews, or movie reviews, or whatever! I’m more than willing to do that. Why not? So definitely let me know what sort of reviews you would like me to do. So, if you enjoyed the video, click LIKE and if you haven’t, go ahead and subscribe. Also, we have a few different avenues of support. You can take a look at our Patreon page. See some cool perks we have on there. Also, we have Ko-fi for a one-time any amount donation. We always appreciate any support that you give us. Thank you so much. You’re amazing! Oh, also we have our ASL Stew store for shirts or stickers if you’re interested in purchasing those. Why not! Do it! Alright, hopefully see you in the next video. Bye! ♪♪♪

20 Replies to “Mandy Harvey “Sensing the Rhythm” Book Review ⎮ ASL Stew”

  • Thanks for the review. It would be cool if you could do music reviews on songs, singers, or bands you like. Would be cool to get the Deaf perspective on that.

  • Cool, I really want to read it after you & Rikki have mentioned it. She actually didn't win America's Got Talent though, wish she did.

  • They actually are saying that 95% of deaf have hearing parents. Sounds like most of the info is not correct. Thanks fpr the review I won't read it.

  • You beat me to it! I finished this book like two weeks ago, but keep putting off doing the video so I might have to re-read it before to refresh 😂 but I do agree with what you said in this!

  • Can you do a video about your book recommendations on anything related to deaf (deaf culture, deaf folk tales, etc.)? 🙂

  • Thank you for an honest book review, rather than just saying basic nice things per say. Don't get me wrong, I think Mandy Harvey is so beautiful and talented, and I am so happy she is sharing her story in a book (I do plan on reading it too!) But I really appreciated you pointing out misinformation and explaining it rather than just saying the book was nice and to read it. Thanks again!

  • I find it really pretty disturbing that they gave such inaccurate information about the D/deaf distinction, given that most people reading a book like this probably won’t have much prior knowledge about the topic. I mean, I first started researching deafness and Deaf culture (and began watching channels like yours, Rikki Poynter’s, Rogan Shannon’s, etc.) because I was writing a fanfiction story in which one of the characters was Deaf … so I find it really actually kind of offensive that people professionally publishing a book wouldn’t do as much research as someone writing a fanfiction for heaven’s sake! I mean, if they’d just used Google!

  • I'm guessing that what she said about the Deaf community has to do with her own experience in life as someone who lost her hearing at 18. I'm sure she has been given some negative impressions by people who aren't accepting of her.

  • Do you think you could review Dragon Prince (tv show)? There's a deaf character in it who appears to use ASL and have an interpreter. I've heard a lot of positivity on the representation but it would be cool to see a more thorough review and honestly there were a few little things I felt like were kind of off? but I wasn't sure. (Mainly I felt like there was heavy implication that lipreading was easier than it is, and some other stuff on a minor level.) I've also been wondering about The Quiet Place and The Shape of Water (which don't have deaf characters as far as I'm aware but protagonists seem to be using sign language). I haven't seen the latter two because I am waiting for a day I can emotionally/mentally handle it.

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