Tag: Autism

Jan 25

Someone Else’s Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson

Audio Books, Cozy Lady Fiction, Tear Jerkers 12

Happy Monday, Bookworms!

You know what my favorite thing is? No? I don’t really know either, I have so many favorite things. One of the things I do happen to love, though, is when I pick up a book by an author I’ve not read before and upon finishing it want to add said author’s entire back list to my TBR pile. Loving new-to-me authors is a blessing and a curse, the never ending TBR list makes me shake my fist toward the heavens. I took a little road trip to visit some friends and family recently, nothing huge, just a weekend away, but as I was driving solo I simply had to have an audio book to keep me company. I was lucky in that a copy of Someone Else’s Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson was available for immediate download from my local library. Score!

someoneelseslovestoryI’ve actually had a paper copy of Someone Else’s Love Story sitting on my shelf for a while now, but I hadn’t gotten around to it. I have reasons for this. Terrible reasons, but reasons nonetheless. The big one? I do the vast majority of my reading in bed. Like, while my husband snoozes next to me. This means overhead lighting is not an option. Juggling a book light is a pain in the tush, but the light in my Kindle Paperwhite is magical and perfect. Hence, my time reading actual paper books is super limited. Of course, I don’t want to purchase a copy of a book I already own just because I’m lazy and it’s easier for me to read digitally, so it sat and floundered sadly. The cool thing about libraries? They’re free. Heck yes!

I should probably tell you about the book, shouldn’t I? Shandi Pierce is a 21 year old single mother of a precocious 3 year old with a genius level IQ. Her life consists of juggling college, motherhood, and attempting to keep her long divorced parents from all out warfare. As she’s moving from her mother’s house into a condo her father owns (much to her mother’s chagrin) Shandi finds herself in the middle of a gas station holdup. Because she obviously didn’t have enough going on.

It is inside this gas station where her path crosses with geneticist William Ashe, who, in addition to being brilliant, looks fantastic in a pair of jeans. His entire world fell spectacularly to pieces a year previously, and Shandi feels their destinies have collided for a reason. It’s a charming book full of heart, humor, and a cannily crafted plot.

Two things stick out to me about this book. First. William Ashe is on the autism spectrum. This is easily one of the best portrayals I’ve ever read about someone on the spectrum, and it seemed very authentic. I’m no expert on Asperger’s or autism, but my reading experience leads to polarized portrayals; either a quirky, humorous angle or a desperately tragic one. William Ashe had a good dose of both, he was a masterfully drawn character.

The second thing that sticks out to me is a less awesome one. Shandi came to have her son under some pretty upsetting circumstances. I don’t want to hit y’all with spoilers, buuuuuuut I think that Jackson may have done better to take a different angle on Natty’s paternity… I’m all for understanding the shades of gray in a situation, but I wasn’t super keen on how she dealt with it.

Still, that’s not enough to keep me from plowing head first into Joshilyn Jackson’s collected works. You can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be checking those out. In short? Someone Else’s Love Story is definitely worth your time.

Talk to me, Bookworms. Have y’all read this book? Or anything else by Joshilyn Jackson? I want to talk about all the things. In code, probably, because I like to pretend I’m a spy sometimes.

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Apr 08

The Curious Incident of the Suburban Baby Shower

Audio Books, Contemporary Fiction, Family, Mystery, Psychological 28

Hello My Bookworms,

I’ve had a busy weekend! I took a road trip back to my old stomping grounds to help my mom throw a baby shower for my sister. Now, I have a number of honorary nieces and nephews, and I love them all dearly. However, this will be my first go at biological Aunt-hood so it’s a pretty big deal. A couple of cool things happened (in addition to having a little visit with the one and only Quirky Chrissy.)

My Aunt Margie lives in Texas, which is far away from Illinois (I say this because I have no concept of the distance between Sydney and Melbourne, and some of my readers are in Australia. I’m being geographically sensitive.) She couldn’t make it to the shower. However, she mailed a gift, and I KNOW she must have been thinking of me when she picked out this bad boy:

Aunt Margie will be this baby's Great Aunt. She is cool. I am obviously cool. And penguins? The coolest.

Aunt Margie will be this baby’s Great Aunt. She is cool. I am obviously cool. And penguins? The coolest.

That was pretty amazing. A family friend got my future nephew a penguin path toy that blows bubbles, which is fantastic. BUT! Aunt Katie got a bath toy, too! Remember me discussing my punny cousin Adam? Well. Being 13 he was much too cool to come to the baby shower (which I totally gave him crap for, but I’m still really nice and sent him some cake.) HOWEVER, his little sister Dana was in attendance. I have somehow convinced these children that I am cool (please don’t tell them otherwise.) Dana brought me THIS:

I love this kid. Not just because she brings me presents. She's a cool kid. She also has these AMAZING freckles which are beyond adorable.

I love this kid. Not just because she brings me presents. She’s a rocking kid. She also has these AMAZING freckles that are beyond adorable.

I am plum tuckered out. The good news is that I don’t mind road trips- road trips mean audio books! This trip’s selection was The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon. I have been meaning to read this book for years and for whatever reason I hadn’t gotten around to it. I’m a little annoyed with myself that it took so long, because this book was SO GOOD!

Christopher Boone is a 15 year old boy. His exact diagnosis is never given, but it is clear the he has some form of Autism or Asperger’s syndrome. Christopher narrates the story. He explains in very clear language exactly how the world appears to him and why he reacts certain ways to certain situations. Christopher’s story begins one night while he’s taking an evening walk past his neighbor’s house. He discovers the neighbor’s dog, Wellington, has been murdered.

dognighttime

When the neighbor discovers Christopher holding her dog’s body, she calls the police. After a difficult trip to the police station (the police officer couldn’t have known of Christopher’s violent reactions to touches) Christopher begins to fixate on solving the mystery of Wellington’s demise. It’s awfully tough to be a detective when speaking to a stranger terrifies you. When an unexpected touch can leave you on the floor covering your ears and moaning for hours to regain your composure. When seeing four yellow cars in a row can send you into an emotional tailspin.

At first, I was concerned that I was missing something because the audio book kept jumping around with chapters. I was concerned there were full chapters of diagrams or illustrations I was missing… However. Christopher explains a bit later that he’s chosen the chapter numbers because they are prime numbers. In order. He’s very good at “maths” (because British people make “math” plural.) I loved the sensation of being inside Christopher’s brain. The way that nuance and facial expression are foreign to him. Can you imagine how confusing it would be living in a world that just didn’t understand how your brain worked? In some ways I could relate to Christopher’s anxieties. Being in crowded public places can get under my skin, and changes in my environment have been known to rattle me. While my anxieties may be considered on the neurotic side of “normal,” poor Christopher’s reactions are far more intense. I’m going to be SO GOOD and not fill this review with spoilers, but I think you should read it. The audio book version was fantastic, I really dug the accents!

Tell me Bookworms, have any of you read this? What did you think?

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