He Never Liked Cake

This is a story about how to embrace life when it doesn’t work out the way we had it planned, the story of growing up with my father’s traumatic brain injury.

original  He Never Liked Cake  book jacket photo by: Meghan McNeer

original He Never Liked Cake book jacket photo by: Meghan McNeer

On a balmy Tuesday during the summer before ninth grade, a car accident on a rain-slicked highway flipped Janna’s safe and happy world upside down, and her adolescence dissolved into a summer of restraining belts, feeding tubes, therapy schedules, and chicken salad sandwiches from the hospital cafeteria. Since that day, Janna’s life has been a navigation through the inescapable struggles of her father’s brain injury, a study of her mother’s resilience and unconditional love, an a challenge to find her own identity and acceptance as an adult.

Brain injury is insidious. It’s tricky and tiresome. For those asked to love and support a TBI survivor, the struggles are deeply personal and often unresolved, and the victim’s recovery is repeatedly thwarted by insurmountable obstacles, along with the battles fought with insurance companies for proper patient care and effective treatment. Janna Leyde’s coming-of-age memoir encompasses the acute and lasting effects of brain injury on both survivors and their loved ones. He Never Liked Cake is for children who feel the weight of life crashing down, for families who fight for the new normal, for survivors who fail to see how life has changed—and, for everyone, this is a story about how to embrace life when it doesn’t work out the way we had it planned.


You can purchase He Never Liked Cake on Amazon in both print and e-book version. Or you can buy a print copy directly from me (you will get a signed copy if you do!).

Curious about bulk orders, book readings, or public speaking. Send me an email. 

What readers of He Never Liked Cake are saying...

"Leyde captures you in the first pages of He Never Liked Cake. The story is beautifully and honestly written and makes the pain and resulted resilience from a tragic situation relatable to anyone. I found myself in tears... "

"Excellent insight on what families go through when a loved one has a TBI."

"As the daughter of a woman who incurred a traumatic brain injury, and a Ph.D. student in Rehabilitation Counseling Education, this book hit both the pertinent factual information of the disability as well as the heart wrenching position that having it occur within a parent puts children in. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone I know."

"Janna's writing makes it easy to fall right into the narrative, and for anyone who does not live with brain injury, this is an eye opener to the ups and downs of what families go through."

"This memoir is as real as it gets. A masterful narrative, Janna layers a very raw experience with the kind of wit and humor that you would expect from a good friend telling you a story in person. Like pouring the guts of her heart out over a couple bottles of wine. What emerges is a wonderful summer "beach read" with depth. I couldn't put it down long enough before my mind drifted back. I had to finish it cover to cover in a 24 hour timeframe, the type of seduction every writer hopes to achieve."

"This book is so real and so moving. It took me a while to read because it broke my heart in the most beautiful way over and over again. Janna's words, honesty, and ability to include me in her childhood make her book so much more than a book."

Move Feel Think

All traumas are individual. Every yoga practice is personal. This is a guidebook of 20 yoga poses for those who live with brain injury, ptsd, and other forms of trauma.


Undergoing any type of trauma, big or small, weakens the connection between mind and body. Individuals oftentimes experience a sense of displacement, loss of awareness, lack of purpose—along with various other intellectual deficits. Additionally, this is an excellent book for anyone looking to begin a routine yoga practice, which can help strengthen or regain a sense of identity, purpose and awareness, and, perhaps, encourage acceptance. 

Move Feel Think is a novel and unique approach to healing, as it introduces the trifecta of benefits of a yoga practice: the physical benefits (Move), the emotional benefits (Feel), and the cognitive benefits (Think). Accompanying each pose is a breakdown of the physical, emotional, and cognitive benefits—along with tips and suggestions to help deepen anyone’s practice throughout. This guidebook can serve as a long-term complement to any treatment plan or lifestyle and can be practiced as little as or as often as desired.

You can purchase Move Feel Think: Yoga for Brain Injury, PTSD, and Other Forms of Trauma on Amazon in both print and e-book version. Or you can buy a print copy directly from me (you will get a signed copy if you do!).

Curious about bulk orders, book readings, or public speaking. Send me an email. 

What readers of Move Feel Think are saying...

"I've never connected with a book so much in my life. After suffering from 3 concussions almost 5 months ago, I haven't picked up a book. Someone suggested this, and it was SO easy to read. I've shared this book with many friends with PTSD, TBIs, and even general depression/anxiety."

"Move Feel Think takes the big world of yoga and makes it accessible to all. Whether you suffer from a brain injury or other forms of trauma, you are new to the practice, or you want to return to the fundamentals of the postures and yoga philosophy-- this book is for you."

"This book contains a lot of love. Not only is it physically beautiful, it breaks down the philosophy of yoga. I'm not a yoga instructor, but I'm in the fitness industry and this book has helped me to see beyond just a practice and philosophy. To me this book is a teacher of moving through not just a physical, mental, or emotional injury, but the ups and downs we will experience throughout life."

"Super helpful book following a concussion."

"I really like the simple layout and it's the perfect amount of information to encourage you to do yoga without too much information to overload the brain. I'm really glad i found this book and the poses are basic enough for me to start out again as well as would be perfect for someone who is limited in mobility or not very strong.