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Publishers WeeklyBorn with a complex of birth defects which led to malformed limbs, no eyes and more than a half-dozen surgeries in his first few years alone, wheelchair-bound University of Louisville student Hughes details a life overcoming enormous obstacles with hard work, devoted parents and a lifelong passion for music (he's even a Marching Cardinal, with the help of his father). Much of Hughes's story is also his dad's, and the straightforward narrative switches off between them, giving some dimension to otherwise flat prose (not necessarily a bad thing, as the remarkable story needs little adornment). Hughes's countless setbacks give stark life to perhaps-familiar lessons on acceptance and perseverance (chapter one: "When Life Gives You Lemons, Accept Them and Be Grateful"), but his spirit and triumphs also lead to lessons in pursuing your passion, giving love freely, and appreciating the people around your. For fans of television's Extreme Makeover Home Edition and the Grand Ole Opry, there's a behind-the-scenes chapter for each. A gentle evangelical streak comes out in occasional references to God, but the book is probably at its most parochial in the chapter, "Be the You Your Mother Would be Proud Of." Hughes's knowing but uplifting tone balances out the tragedies, making this an inspiring addition to the growing self-help-memoir shelf.
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