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When Force Meets Fate: A Mission to Solve an Invisible Illness

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A healthy young man survives a fatal car crash only to be plagued by a mysterious illness that robs him of the ability to walk, talk, and eat solid food. When Force Meets Fate is a captivating, transcendent survival story―one that forces all of us to reckon with our own mortality and the fragility of life. At age twenty-two, Jamison Hill was a fitness instructor who could A healthy young man survives a fatal car crash only to be plagued by a mysterious illness that robs him of the ability to walk, talk, and eat solid food. When Force Meets Fate is a captivating, transcendent survival story―one that forces all of us to reckon with our own mortality and the fragility of life. At age twenty-two, Jamison Hill was a fitness instructor who could lift more than four hundred pounds. Five years later, after surviving a tragic car accident that killed the other driver, a rare disease left Jamison bedridden and too weak to hold a water glass. He spent every day lying motionless in bed, his body paralyzed by pain and fatigue, his mind hijacked by flashes of crunched metal, broken windshields, and exploding gas tanks. After months of not being able to speak or eat, Jamison's health finally improved and he began to tell his story. When Force Meets Fate is an unflinching exploration of the human condition, notably how our strengths and limitations shape our identities, and how unexpected events can inevitably alter our perceptions. It's a story of perseverance―of sheer will and unrelenting fight―but also of overcoming life's toughest challenges through the power of vulnerability, and how freeing it can be to surrender to the unpredictability of circumstances out of our control.


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A healthy young man survives a fatal car crash only to be plagued by a mysterious illness that robs him of the ability to walk, talk, and eat solid food. When Force Meets Fate is a captivating, transcendent survival story―one that forces all of us to reckon with our own mortality and the fragility of life. At age twenty-two, Jamison Hill was a fitness instructor who could A healthy young man survives a fatal car crash only to be plagued by a mysterious illness that robs him of the ability to walk, talk, and eat solid food. When Force Meets Fate is a captivating, transcendent survival story―one that forces all of us to reckon with our own mortality and the fragility of life. At age twenty-two, Jamison Hill was a fitness instructor who could lift more than four hundred pounds. Five years later, after surviving a tragic car accident that killed the other driver, a rare disease left Jamison bedridden and too weak to hold a water glass. He spent every day lying motionless in bed, his body paralyzed by pain and fatigue, his mind hijacked by flashes of crunched metal, broken windshields, and exploding gas tanks. After months of not being able to speak or eat, Jamison's health finally improved and he began to tell his story. When Force Meets Fate is an unflinching exploration of the human condition, notably how our strengths and limitations shape our identities, and how unexpected events can inevitably alter our perceptions. It's a story of perseverance―of sheer will and unrelenting fight―but also of overcoming life's toughest challenges through the power of vulnerability, and how freeing it can be to surrender to the unpredictability of circumstances out of our control.

30 review for When Force Meets Fate: A Mission to Solve an Invisible Illness

  1. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

    I didn’t know what to expect when starting this book, but one thing it did make me do was think. It really made me consider my own life as an able bodied person and how ignorant I really am to the struggles of others and how little I actually know about chronic illness. I’m grateful I had the opportunity to read this; it gave me such an amazing perspective. I know not every person with chronic illness will have the same experiences or feelings and this book is just the tip of a huge iceberg, but I didn’t know what to expect when starting this book, but one thing it did make me do was think. It really made me consider my own life as an able bodied person and how ignorant I really am to the struggles of others and how little I actually know about chronic illness. I’m grateful I had the opportunity to read this; it gave me such an amazing perspective. I know not every person with chronic illness will have the same experiences or feelings and this book is just the tip of a huge iceberg, but it was a good read. I’ve read snippets of discourse online about chronic illness but never something so in depth, raw and personal. It was a very hard book to read, knowing someones thoughts and feelings like that so intimately - especially when the majority of it was a struggle to stay positive - was hard. But it felt so necessary. It’s something that I as a reader of both fiction and non-fiction have never really come across, it’s never talked about and so poorly understood. I think that is what leads to so many misconceptions and ignorance around chronic illness. It was told in an almost diary format, so was easy to follow chronologically. One thing I will say about the writing though is that sometimes there were random scenes that didn’t feel like they added anything to the narrative and the author went on random tangents sometimes. Having said that, it tended to get back on track fairly quickly and these small chapters did break up the hard parts well. Sometimes it felt quite repetitive too, especially in the first half, but the second half was much faster paced and interesting; I flew through it within an hour or so. I just think this book did an amazing job of documenting a real experience with chronic illness and how it can alter every single aspect of your life and those around you. It also detailed experiences with several medical professionals and how some doctors really just don’t want to listen to you so end up giving you several misdiagnoses and the wrong medication, which can set you back on your journey to recovery. Again, a really difficult read but one I’m glad ended up in my hands. The author seems like such a lovely genuine person, whose perseverance is truly astounding. I think this is a piece that will stick with me for a while.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Andd Becker

    Anyone who has a disability knows how difficult it is to perform daily living tasks. And when the condition is a neurological disease known as myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), plus a disease which is diagnosed late in the book, WOW! How does the afflicted young man gather the courage to write this remarkable book? The present tense journal entry style carries the reader along on this journey from bodybuilding and fitness training to debilitation. The author's contempor Anyone who has a disability knows how difficult it is to perform daily living tasks. And when the condition is a neurological disease known as myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), plus a disease which is diagnosed late in the book, WOW! How does the afflicted young man gather the courage to write this remarkable book? The present tense journal entry style carries the reader along on this journey from bodybuilding and fitness training to debilitation. The author's contemporaneous note-taking skill is apparent. The author's brutal honesty keeps the reader engaged. The message is clear: Keep on keeping on. No matter what. I received an advance review copy for free. I am posting this review voluntarily.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Diane Secchiaroli

    A very good memoir about a man who goes from being a 22 year old student and body builder to an invalid over a sort period of time eventually becoming totally bedridden for over two years. Jamison was eventually diagnosed with chronic fatique syndrome with possibly underlying Lyme disease. This chronicles his search for a diagnosis, the doctors he encounters and his relationships. This is a very moving discourse on a little understood disease. I found his problems well written, unflinchingly hon A very good memoir about a man who goes from being a 22 year old student and body builder to an invalid over a sort period of time eventually becoming totally bedridden for over two years. Jamison was eventually diagnosed with chronic fatique syndrome with possibly underlying Lyme disease. This chronicles his search for a diagnosis, the doctors he encounters and his relationships. This is a very moving discourse on a little understood disease. I found his problems well written, unflinchingly honest and understandable.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kira Stoops

    An illuminating look into the harsh and unspeakable realities of the underfunded illness ME/CFS, and the devastating gauntlet that every patient runs: the initial dismissal, the "depression" diagnoses, the slow decline, the systematic adieu to every last joy of your life. And yet. Despite the depressing subject matter, the author displays an astounding resourcefulness that's also emblematic of our patient community: the resilience to still find joy and brightness without false positivity or forc An illuminating look into the harsh and unspeakable realities of the underfunded illness ME/CFS, and the devastating gauntlet that every patient runs: the initial dismissal, the "depression" diagnoses, the slow decline, the systematic adieu to every last joy of your life. And yet. Despite the depressing subject matter, the author displays an astounding resourcefulness that's also emblematic of our patient community: the resilience to still find joy and brightness without false positivity or forced brightsidery. A must-read for anyone with ME/CFS or a similar illness, and for those who care about and for them. Doctors, this means you.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Chandra Claypool (WhereTheReaderGrows)

    Imagine you're a young 22 years old who works out heavily on the daily and has grand plans in the fitness world, just to be thwarted by an almost fatal car accident and then severe pain with absolutely no answers coming for years. This is Jamison's story. What a very powerful and vulnerable memoir. Jamison gives us his story in chronological order so you can really feel how things amped up over time. Trying to hide it from people, how life completely flips upside down unexpectedly, not wanting to Imagine you're a young 22 years old who works out heavily on the daily and has grand plans in the fitness world, just to be thwarted by an almost fatal car accident and then severe pain with absolutely no answers coming for years. This is Jamison's story. What a very powerful and vulnerable memoir. Jamison gives us his story in chronological order so you can really feel how things amped up over time. Trying to hide it from people, how life completely flips upside down unexpectedly, not wanting to rely on people for help and yet absolutely having to do so. Sometimes I wanted to throttle the women in his life (his exes, not his mom or sister), and sometimes I wanted to throttle him! Some parts were hard to read but I appreciate and applaud the author for being so blatantly honest in how he dealt/is dealing with his condition. I was thrilled when there was finally an explanation for it: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) ... why are medical conditions so hard to pronounce?! The fact that he could put together this memoir (thank goodness for cell phones and technology) is amazing in itself. I'm floored at how strong he is. The message here speaks greatly in what a person with a chronic illness endures, how easily things can change in your life, how to persevere, ask for help, find out who your true support system is and to just live. I cannot imagine how difficult this is on a day-to-day basis. And that scene where he takes off his sunglasses to look at his mom - I felt it. Thank you, Jamison, for sharing your story.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sandhya

    I am lost for words after reading this book. I don't know where to begin and I think my words would not do any justice to the depth of this memoir but I will still try to write. This has moved something in me and I believe in every reader who has got the chance of reading this inspiring creation. This inspirational story is of Jamison hill, a bodybuilder who loves everything about exercise and maintaining his physique, about how he fights with his invisible illness which no one seems to believe e I am lost for words after reading this book. I don't know where to begin and I think my words would not do any justice to the depth of this memoir but I will still try to write. This has moved something in me and I believe in every reader who has got the chance of reading this inspiring creation. This inspirational story is of Jamison hill, a bodybuilder who loves everything about exercise and maintaining his physique, about how he fights with his invisible illness which no one seems to believe exists or people dismissing it by saying "This is the result of depression." After a fatal car accident, Jamison Hill's life completely changes. It is a story about finding strength. I have a whole new perspective after reading his story and I am more than just glad that I came across this book. An illness which started from Mononucleosis ended up turning into Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which is also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS). I didn't know anything about this before reading this memoir. Author has also done an amazing job in describing every little detail which should be known about this illness. Through the beginning till the end, I didn't put this book down. It was honestly the best read of 2021 for me.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Luísa (capitulo.seis)

    What a wonderful reading. It was such a pleasure knowing Jamison, his strength and courage to face everything that comes up in his life. This book is a journal of a guy who was fit and personal trainer and saw his life fell into piece when was diagnosed with a chronic disease. I highly recommend this book to everyone. Only a person with a disability knows how fucked up it is to live with it, to survive through it everyday. And this book is a sign that it's possible. There are gonna be hard days, im What a wonderful reading. It was such a pleasure knowing Jamison, his strength and courage to face everything that comes up in his life. This book is a journal of a guy who was fit and personal trainer and saw his life fell into piece when was diagnosed with a chronic disease. I highly recommend this book to everyone. Only a person with a disability knows how fucked up it is to live with it, to survive through it everyday. And this book is a sign that it's possible. There are gonna be hard days, impossible days. But you'll get through it. A book that shows that anything is possible.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Miller

    In his memoir, "When Force Meets Fate," Jamison takes the reader on a harrowing, puzzling, and emotional journey centering around the frightening and mysterious deterioration of his health. His writing is, at times, raw, unflinching, honest, and real. This amazing, compelling story will stay with you long after you read it. In his memoir, "When Force Meets Fate," Jamison takes the reader on a harrowing, puzzling, and emotional journey centering around the frightening and mysterious deterioration of his health. His writing is, at times, raw, unflinching, honest, and real. This amazing, compelling story will stay with you long after you read it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ben Gartner

    This is a brutally unflinching and raw look at what it's like to go from a healthy, independent individual (in Jamison's case we could say uber-healthy fitness trainer) to someone who is so sick they're bedridden and dependent on others for survival. This emotional chronicle of Jamison's years-long fight deserves applause for the fortitude it must have required to get it all down, and especially for the courage to be so honest. Jamison's perseverance is an inspiration. This is a brutally unflinching and raw look at what it's like to go from a healthy, independent individual (in Jamison's case we could say uber-healthy fitness trainer) to someone who is so sick they're bedridden and dependent on others for survival. This emotional chronicle of Jamison's years-long fight deserves applause for the fortitude it must have required to get it all down, and especially for the courage to be so honest. Jamison's perseverance is an inspiration.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Chase Connor

    WHEN FORCE MEETS FATE is an autobiographical story about "invisible illness," specifically, a neurological disease known as myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), which I was fairly unfamiliar with until I read a free ARC provided by the author. What I loved most about this book was that it was raw, honest, and educational. Hill didn't mince words or try to soften the reality of living with an invisible illness. He didn't go out of his way to over-dramatize anything, either. WHEN FORCE MEETS FATE is an autobiographical story about "invisible illness," specifically, a neurological disease known as myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), which I was fairly unfamiliar with until I read a free ARC provided by the author. What I loved most about this book was that it was raw, honest, and educational. Hill didn't mince words or try to soften the reality of living with an invisible illness. He didn't go out of his way to over-dramatize anything, either. Each passage seemed like a confession about his physical feelings and emotions told honestly and plainly. Another thing I loved is that the author did not shy away from showing that he is an imperfect person. He is not looking to be rewarded or applauded as "A Good Person" for coping with his illness. He's simply a human, telling a human story to other humans, and hoping that those who need to hear it will. The point of the story, for me, was that everyone is fighting their own battle--some we often can't even see--and there is a way to do that and still live with hope. This is a story anyone, regardless of how healthy they are, can appreciate.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kay Smillie

    I chose this book from a giveaway of a number of free books. The sub-heading 'A Mission to Solve an Invisible Illness' drew me in, as I also suffer from one. I was stunned on reading to find that the author has the same illness as me, M.E./CFS, which I have had for eighteen years. Having an invisible illness is horrendous enough, but having M.E./CFS is like wearing one of Harry Potter's invisibility cloaks. Not seen, not heard, not believed, "You look fine!". The author is based in the USA and I I chose this book from a giveaway of a number of free books. The sub-heading 'A Mission to Solve an Invisible Illness' drew me in, as I also suffer from one. I was stunned on reading to find that the author has the same illness as me, M.E./CFS, which I have had for eighteen years. Having an invisible illness is horrendous enough, but having M.E./CFS is like wearing one of Harry Potter's invisibility cloaks. Not seen, not heard, not believed, "You look fine!". The author is based in the USA and I am in the UK, but our stories of doctors and hospitals are very alike. I found myself nodding in agreement quite a bit at their utter insensitivity. For example this, when describing an uninterested doctor: "It made me angry how dismissive and apathetic she was about something that has taken over my life. And now she gets to move on and go about her job, dismissing her patients without any consequences." This could describe my experience, too. My uncompassionate doctor, the one who wrote "tiredness" on my sick notes and made me drag myself out of my house to travel to see her on a weekly basis. There are some fantastic descriptions of how unkind and hurtful people can be through their words. They (probably) don't mean it, it's just complete ignorance on their part, like this one: "The other day, Rita came by my place, saw me resting in bed, and asked, "Do you sleep all the time because you're bored?" She might as well have asked Michael J. Fox if his hands tremble because he's scared." Oh, Jamison, you've hit the nail right on the head there. The one thing that is essential that you keep from your life 'before' the illness is a sense of humour, and the author certainly keeps his. He writes with feeling, expressively from the heart and very well, with an honesty that lets his bright personality shine through. A young man who has had to (physically and mentally) feel the grief of the 'death' of his active, healthy life, the loss of his independence and earnings, reliance on the state for benefits, and his (exceptional) mother for physical assistance and nourishment is so demeaning. Having to 'accept' that he is very ill, in constant pain with no energy, totally disabled, and that he will never lead an active life again. I understand fully, but I wonder how healthy people reading this would deal with that, or the fact that you will never get the strength of medicines you need for the pain. Because the doctors say so. Never mind that you are suffering. I admire Jamison for his inner strength, his determination, for writing this book on his phone when he could spend his valuable energy on something else. He is helping everyone with M.E./CFS, to allow those uneducated in our illness in the 'outside' world to be illuminated into our 'dark and silent' one. A home can be a place of safety or a prison (as I'm sure a lot of people during the lockdowns have found out). Thank you for your powerful words. I hope, with all my heart, that science makes enormous steps forward as a result of the similarities with Long COVID, and a cure is found for our illness. I, for one, would put you at the head of the queue to receive it first.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bianca Mayne

    This book was amazing and I could relate to it a lot. This own voices memoir talks about what it is like living with an invisible illness and it’s a beautiful yet heartbreaking read. As someone with an invisible illness this book had me in tears and I hope this book helps raise awareness. The author opens up in an amazing way what it is like to live with an invisible illness, and the struggles and triumphs faced. The writing was beautiful and filled with so much raw emotion. The present tense me This book was amazing and I could relate to it a lot. This own voices memoir talks about what it is like living with an invisible illness and it’s a beautiful yet heartbreaking read. As someone with an invisible illness this book had me in tears and I hope this book helps raise awareness. The author opens up in an amazing way what it is like to live with an invisible illness, and the struggles and triumphs faced. The writing was beautiful and filled with so much raw emotion. The present tense memoir set like a journal entry carries the reader along on his journey from fitness to debilitation. The authors brutal honestly keeps the reader engaged. Despite the sad subject matter, Jamison Hill displays an astounding resourcefulness that also represents the community of those with invisible illnesses. The author makes a very clear message: Keep on keeping on, no matter what.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Angelica King

    There is so much that I loved about this memoir. It’s fast-paced and takes the form of a series of diary entries that are written in the present tense which gives the narrative an almost fictional feel right from page one. The writing is straightforward and concise yet incredibly descriptive which creates a good contrast with the intensity of the subject matter. Hill’s writing made it incredibly easy to storm through this read despite how difficult it was at times to read about the intimate deta There is so much that I loved about this memoir. It’s fast-paced and takes the form of a series of diary entries that are written in the present tense which gives the narrative an almost fictional feel right from page one. The writing is straightforward and concise yet incredibly descriptive which creates a good contrast with the intensity of the subject matter. Hill’s writing made it incredibly easy to storm through this read despite how difficult it was at times to read about the intimate details of another person’s thoughts and feelings, especially when the majority of those feelings relate to an intense struggle to stay positive whilst living with a chronic illness. The raw emotion that fills every page of this memoir makes it impossible to read without feeling deeply all of the moments of misery and despair as well as feeling all of Hill’s personal triumphs. I also found it impossible to read this book without acknowledging my ignorance when it comes to invisible chronic illnesses and the sort of experiences that people have to endure. Hill also does an amazing job of shedding light on the lives of caregivers and all that they do, something else that is so important yet isn’t something that is talked about enough. The only critique of this memoir that I could come up with is that sometimes I found that the way the memoir is written made me forget I was actually reading a factual piece of writing and not a fictional story just because of how detailed and action-packed it is. I don’t actually consider this to be a personal criticism—I actually really enjoyed Hill’s writing style and how much it reminded me of fiction—but it might be something to keep in mind if you’re a big nonfiction lover and have quite different and particular preferences when it comes to choosing your reads. *I received an advance review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

  14. 4 out of 5

    Diya Shah

    This is the first memoir I have read and now it has become my most favorite book of all time. No one knows how it feels like to suffer from chronic illness except the person who suffers from it. It takes up so much part of your life and detaches you from the external world. This book is about Jamison Hill who is a bodybuilder and completing his college.But after some time he gets a chronic illness called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. He remains bedridden for almost 2 years. He couldn't hold a glass o This is the first memoir I have read and now it has become my most favorite book of all time. No one knows how it feels like to suffer from chronic illness except the person who suffers from it. It takes up so much part of your life and detaches you from the external world. This book is about Jamison Hill who is a bodybuilder and completing his college.But after some time he gets a chronic illness called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. He remains bedridden for almost 2 years. He couldn't hold a glass of water as well.  This book takes you to a whole different journey of a person who is suffering to live everyday and fighting an invisible enemy who has taken control over that person's life. People should take chronic illness seriously now and help those who have it.   A super inspiring and worth reading book. 

  15. 5 out of 5

    Danny Carsten

    Incredibly inspiring story, wonderfully written. Could not put it down and when I did I couldn’t wait to get back to it! Highly recommend!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    It took me a while to get through this book and I only completed it because it was an author requested review. It's also taken me a few days to process how I want to say what I want to say. I am not trying to be judgmental here, I just think that this is one story about the medical field that to me seems very one sided and without much hope. While I don't want to judge the author and his experience, there is an obligation to truth and to providing others hope. If this was the first book someone It took me a while to get through this book and I only completed it because it was an author requested review. It's also taken me a few days to process how I want to say what I want to say. I am not trying to be judgmental here, I just think that this is one story about the medical field that to me seems very one sided and without much hope. While I don't want to judge the author and his experience, there is an obligation to truth and to providing others hope. If this was the first book someone being diagnosed with Jamison was, this would be a very triggering hopeless place to begin. I'm not looking to divulge my own medical history but I've been diagnosed with two of the disorders mentioned in this book and one was a long diagnosis with many misdiagnoses along the way. I was not as debilitated as Jamison, but there was a time where I was bedridden and struggled to walk. But my view on why I've been able to recover the way I have is perseverance and attitude. I had hoped towards the end of the story, that would be a message imparted but there was very little of that. I saw some development of his character and attitudes in other areas which I'll mention in a second but not that much understanding and development in regards to his disease and how to survive with disease. There was a lot about just wanting to be cured which is just unfortunately unrealistic with many of the diseases he was dealing with. There were thoughts of suicide and hopelessness, which I completely agree is important to impart. But life is a journey and there may be some rough roads within but the human spirit needs hope and I sincerely hope Jamison has found more than he writes here. I also feel like the author felt that he was entitled to health. To me this read as highly insulting to those born with disabilities. Part of what I struggled with in the beginning was his narcissism and ego related to his body and a focus on sexuality that seemed very one-sided in his relationships. He was worried more about himself and his own feelings than his partners. I felt the same as his disease progressed in the treatment of his parents, friends and caretakers. He had lots of self-less supportive people around him and I struggled with how he treated them. I get that he was trying to offer a patient's perspective but there needs to be honest give and take in any relationship to be truly understood. I do think there was some progression here in the very end, but not enough for me to feel like this book is one I'd endorse. To be fair, the writing was well done and unbelievably thorough. He imparted his feelings so clearly and despite my issues above, I have great empathy for him. I hope that the medical community can find a solution for people living with chronic diseases. Science is imperfect and that is important to remember, no doctor is all knowing they are trained when they hear hoofbeats to think horses and not zebras. I agree that this often goes too far and the patients are not heard. This nearly killed me, that a doctor did not hear me and test me for something that could have killed me quite quickly. But I advocated for myself, I did not give up. That is the message these medical autobiographies need to have. Yes, impart the struggles and the misdiagnosis, doctors need to see that and hear that and learn. But the patient must not be deterred, it's your life no one will advocate for you. No one knows what you're going through but you. We are infinitely lucky to have treatments and cures for some of the horrible, debilitating and life-shortening diseases we do but that comes from people like Jamison speaking up and advocating through the pain. Persevere. There is always hope. The next great treatment or cure may be just around the corner. When you feel hopeless ask for help. Therapy is a useful tool no matter where you are in your medical journey. Thanks to the author for providing me with a copy of the book. All opinions above are my own and not intended to be inflammatory or negate the author's experience but offer another view.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Susan Ballard

    As many of you know, I don’t read a lot of non-fiction. But when Jamison Hill reached out to me and asked if I would read his book, I took a special interest. Hill’s When Force Meets Fate is his journey with a chronic illness that had many doctors chasing the symptoms, with no solutions. Before June of 2009, Jamison was the epitome of health. He was a fitness instructor and trained as a bodybuilder in California. Unfortunately, he was involved in a car accident where a man lost his life. Jamison As many of you know, I don’t read a lot of non-fiction. But when Jamison Hill reached out to me and asked if I would read his book, I took a special interest. Hill’s When Force Meets Fate is his journey with a chronic illness that had many doctors chasing the symptoms, with no solutions. Before June of 2009, Jamison was the epitome of health. He was a fitness instructor and trained as a bodybuilder in California. Unfortunately, he was involved in a car accident where a man lost his life. Jamison appeared to sustain no lasting physical injury, but the psychological trauma was done. A year later Jamison started to feel weak, fatigued, and nauseous. His health spiraled and as he sought medical advice he heard words like ‘your depressed,’ ‘it’s in your head,’ to ‘you have mono.’ As the years passed, he eventually found himself bedridden, barely able to move, and unable to speak. With pure determination and perseverance, Jamison, with the help of those closest to him, continued to search for answers. Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. It was so heartbreaking to watch Jamison’s health deteriorate with no answers. I’ve struggled with chronic pain most of my adult life, NOT to this extreme, but I know what it’s like to go from doctor to doctor and not get answers. I encourage you to pick up When Force Meets Fate. It is a testimony to the human spirit, but it also helps to show that not all illnesses present themselves in the same manner and that you must be and advocate for your own health! Thank you to @notlikethewhiskey for sending me a #gifted copy.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Hayden (bookish.hayden)

    This book is about Jamison Hill, a college student and bodybuilder who survives a deadly car crash, only to suddenly be plagued by a mysterious illness that changes his life completely. Going from being able to lift over 400 pounds, to being bedridden all in the span of five years. It is the story of Jamison's life and how it changed so much, a story of perseverance in times where things seemed bleak. Wow, honestly just wow. I went into this memoir knowing that it would make me feel things, and This book is about Jamison Hill, a college student and bodybuilder who survives a deadly car crash, only to suddenly be plagued by a mysterious illness that changes his life completely. Going from being able to lift over 400 pounds, to being bedridden all in the span of five years. It is the story of Jamison's life and how it changed so much, a story of perseverance in times where things seemed bleak. Wow, honestly just wow. I went into this memoir knowing that it would make me feel things, and boy did it ever. Hill is an absolutely phenomenal writer, and it really shows within this book. As a reader you really go through all of the emotions in this book; I felt love towards his mother, frustration towards the doctors at times, and anger towards the people who tried to diminish Hill's illness. The present tense writing gives this book a diary-like feel and that just worked so well. This book is unflinchingly honest, hard to read at times, yet absolutely worth it. The subject is tough, but Hill's strength and perseverance are incredible. I'm thankful to have read this, and thankful to know Jamison's story, it's one I can safely say I will never forget.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    What an impressive read! Thank you, Jamison Hill for being open to share deeply with your readers. You gave us insight into your life before you became ill, even sharing your self-talk. You offered us your fears, sufferings, embarrassments, and joys. May all that you have written further people’s awareness of ME/CFS. May it spark greater awareness in medical school faculties. I know this book will touch your readers’ hearts. Years ago I briefly knew a woman whose husband had recently been diagnos What an impressive read! Thank you, Jamison Hill for being open to share deeply with your readers. You gave us insight into your life before you became ill, even sharing your self-talk. You offered us your fears, sufferings, embarrassments, and joys. May all that you have written further people’s awareness of ME/CFS. May it spark greater awareness in medical school faculties. I know this book will touch your readers’ hearts. Years ago I briefly knew a woman whose husband had recently been diagnosed with CFS. I knew it was a strain on both of them, but I didn’t know enough to offer any help. I had no idea how seriously ME/CFS can change the lives of those living with it and their loved ones. Even though I wasn’t as caring as I might have been, I am glad I understand more clearly now. Readers, get this book! It is a testimony to the resilience and hope that can come to humans even in the midst of dark times. It is evidence that there are loving families and friends who do give generously and care deeply. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Ma

    I am so glad I read this memoir. Jamison is a fantastic writer and person. Thank you for letting us into a part of your life. The information is so raw and pulls you in and keeps you reading. I could not put it down. You see how much can change over night no matter what you do. He is a true fighter and inspiration to us all. So glad he wrote this and brought to light what not a lot of people can comprehend. It doesn’t matter who you are life can turn in an instant for all of us. It is hard for p I am so glad I read this memoir. Jamison is a fantastic writer and person. Thank you for letting us into a part of your life. The information is so raw and pulls you in and keeps you reading. I could not put it down. You see how much can change over night no matter what you do. He is a true fighter and inspiration to us all. So glad he wrote this and brought to light what not a lot of people can comprehend. It doesn’t matter who you are life can turn in an instant for all of us. It is hard for people to understand unless they are a fighter too or a true supporter. Chronic illnesses hit everyone different, but the struggle is there. Also, you might not look sick, but it doesn’t make it more invalid. I recommend this book to anyone, a sufferer or not. More information and studies need to start so we can understand more and keep learning. As another chronic illness fighter and supporter, I can say chronic illnesses are truly misunderstood and most are not taken seriously by a lot of people, but with more supporters and information hopefully that will change. I felt truly the whole time learning more through this. Jamison, you are truly an inspiration and someone to look up to.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    Special thanks to the author for providing me with an advanced e-copy of his memoir. When Force Meets Fate is an important story about chronic illness and the struggles and sacrifices that come with it, as well as finding the positives in even the most dire of circumstances. I had never heard of ME/CFS before and by reading about Hill’s experiences I have learned a lot. The existence of this memoir is a testament to the author’s strength and perseverance.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lorena

    This is a difficult book for me to rate. Jamison Hill is a skillful writer and storyteller who has written a brutally honest memoir about surviving a traumatic car accident and PTSD, only to develop ME/CFS, a debilitating chronic illness. I have to give kudos to the author for sharing such intimate details of his life so vividly. However, this was a very unpleasant read for me, so I can’t personally rate this higher than 3 stars. If you want to learn what it can be like to live with ME/CFS or any This is a difficult book for me to rate. Jamison Hill is a skillful writer and storyteller who has written a brutally honest memoir about surviving a traumatic car accident and PTSD, only to develop ME/CFS, a debilitating chronic illness. I have to give kudos to the author for sharing such intimate details of his life so vividly. However, this was a very unpleasant read for me, so I can’t personally rate this higher than 3 stars. If you want to learn what it can be like to live with ME/CFS or any other devastating chronic illness, this is a good choice. Just be prepared to read some very disturbing scenes, and know that there isn’t much of a happy ending here. As someone who is also living with PTSD and disabling chronic illnesses, I have been through some similar experiences and I could relate to some of what the author describes. However, I was uncomfortable with both the author’s self-destructive behavior, and his reluctance to be honest with others. It’s so painful to watch him exacerbate his own problems. He does eventually overcome both of those tendencies, but for much of the book, I couldn’t help thinking that this is a guy I would not want to interact with. I was also disturbed by his lack of compassion for a cat in his care. I mostly read for pleasure and as an escape from the difficulties of my own life, so this just didn’t work for me. However, I hope that it helps bring more awareness to ME/CFS. Having a disabling chronic illness can be very isolating, and sometimes it feels like no one else understands what it’s like. If you’re experiencing that, then this book might help. I was provided an unproofed ARC through NetGalley that I volunteered to review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Miller

    An incredible and inspiring story, masterfully written. Hill takes you on a heart-wrenching journey of his battle with a chronic illness that leaves his life in pieces. It is a wonderful tale of triumph and perseverance. Heartbreak and joy with a powerful message on how precious life is. A great memoir. Highly recommend.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    A beautifully written account of a life lived in a way no-one could imagine living. Jamison describes his life so vividly that it is impossible not to feel part of the horror and the triumphs. He is a gifted writer and a warm and engaging person - with an incredible mother.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kris Sparks

    Jamison’s candor and honesty made this book completely captivating and intriguing. I valued his introspection and descriptive language at every turn. He is an inspiration and hero for sharing his story!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Hallbrooks

    Where has compassion gone? Things to know upfront: I read this book via NetGalley and courtesy of InkShares. It will become available to the public on January 26, 2021. There are traumatic events, medical terminology, adult language, as well as some sexually intimate moments. While reading Jamison Hill's autobiography, I felt many different emotions. One particular feeling that I had was compassion for the plight this young man was undergoing. It seems that others that worked in the medical field Where has compassion gone? Things to know upfront: I read this book via NetGalley and courtesy of InkShares. It will become available to the public on January 26, 2021. There are traumatic events, medical terminology, adult language, as well as some sexually intimate moments. While reading Jamison Hill's autobiography, I felt many different emotions. One particular feeling that I had was compassion for the plight this young man was undergoing. It seems that others that worked in the medical field, were less compassionate. Having worked in many hospitals, I know this is not always the case. Then again, for the most part, I worked behind-the-scenes seeing documentation after the fact. Having said that, I don't recall ever seeing any cases similar to Jamison's illness. If I had, I hope the physicians and staff would have had a different viewpoint than some of those mentioned in this book. I'm grateful to InkShares and NetGalley for allowing me to read this book, which I voluntarily read. In the review above, I have expressed my honest thoughts as to how this book made me feel personally.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    This is an absolutely gripping tale, written with masterful authority. Jamison takes us into the memorable details, through sweeping vistas, and most fascinating, into his interior landscape. His medical trauma is truly a heart-breaking experience. What a strong person to share his story. Thank you, Jamison, and sending you wishes for good health.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    An intimate look into life with ME/CFS, and a must read for anyone with a chronic illness. Jamison writes beautifully about his journey through varying degrees of illness, including becoming too sick to walk, speak, or eat solid food. His story is one of heartbreak and loss, but also of overcoming and triumph. A wonderful memoir that will make you reflect on the fragility of life and what’s truly important. *I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

  29. 5 out of 5

    Whitney Blanche

    I took my time with this one because this is a tough read. It isn’t the writing. The writing is fluid and easy to connect with. The medical jargon is laid out so that everyone can understand it. But the subject matter. What Jamison and so many others like him with ME/CFS have gone through is unbelievable to me. But it is all too real. Jamison has broken up each chapter by date so we are brought along on his journey in real time and it is a heartbreaking one. Jamison went from being a body builde I took my time with this one because this is a tough read. It isn’t the writing. The writing is fluid and easy to connect with. The medical jargon is laid out so that everyone can understand it. But the subject matter. What Jamison and so many others like him with ME/CFS have gone through is unbelievable to me. But it is all too real. Jamison has broken up each chapter by date so we are brought along on his journey in real time and it is a heartbreaking one. Jamison went from being a body builder and aspiring fitness trainer to eventually becoming bed ridden, requiring full time care. This is a disease that receives very little research and funding and that many doctors know very little about so finding a treatment and eventual cure is proving to be very difficult. Everything that Jamison and his mother had to go through to get medical professionals to even believe his symptoms was eye opening and very difficult to swallow. His story makes it so important for each of us to remember that we need to advocate for ourselves and for each other. I highly recommend this book. It is heart breaking, eye opening, and just so interesting! Although I had to ingest it slowly I was constantly looking forward to learning more of Jamison’s story and I was rooting for him the whole way through. I’m still rooting for him and everyone that is living with this terrible disease.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Terry Swindell

    This was an amazing book. I vaguely remember hearing about CFS in the past, but I never realized just how debilitating this disease was. The name is misleading as the author states, “It is a horrible name, one that has undoubtedly influenced how the general public sees the severity of the illness. Many people have as much sympathy for someone with a stubbed toe as they do for a person with chronic fatigue syndrome. If I have to be as sick as I am, I at least want people to take my illness seriou This was an amazing book. I vaguely remember hearing about CFS in the past, but I never realized just how debilitating this disease was. The name is misleading as the author states, “It is a horrible name, one that has undoubtedly influenced how the general public sees the severity of the illness. Many people have as much sympathy for someone with a stubbed toe as they do for a person with chronic fatigue syndrome. If I have to be as sick as I am, I at least want people to take my illness seriously. I don’t want a sickness that people think is voluntary, caused by too much work or too little sleep.” CFS is a disabling disease that is not very well understood, and with limited funding for research. The author walks us through the illness from the onset until the present. His courage and tenacity are remarkable. He wrote this book on his cell phone, wearing tanning glasses, because the light from his laptop causes sensory overload. He just doesn’t give up. This book is an education on this misunderstood disease, as well as an example of grace under extreme circumstances . Jamison Hill is a true inspiration. His life is very limited, but he is making the most of it! Thank you to Book Sirens for providing me with an advance review copy for free; I am leaving this review voluntarily.

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