When I bought this book I was expecting a character based story that depicted the life and eccentricities of a teenage high school boy with Asperger syndrome. That being said I expected a certain degree of character development and some type of difficult interactions and relationships with those around him. To say the least, I was expecting something with which I could vicariously experience what it’s like to deal with the condition.
However, I was highly deceived by this book’s synopsis.
Because it was so much better than what I expected and offered so much more than just a mystery.
This book not only shows and teaches what the Asperger Syndrome is but how smart, functional and misunderstood these people are.
My favorite thing about this novel was Colin. I just couldn’t help felling in love with his character. His idiosyncrasies, his train of thought, his incapability of reading and often misunderstanding facial expressions and human emotions, his way of analyzing every single detail, his script-like way of starting a conversation, the inappropriate things he says without realizing that they are inappropriate and his habit of writing everything down in his red notebook and green pen (my favorite color) for further investigation.
I thought he is one of the most complex and intriguing characters I’ve read about so far.
The family aspect was one of my favorite parts of this book. Colin’s parents were were very supportive and respected Colin’s idiosyncrasies and over all odd behavior even though it was a little conflicting at times. They never underestimated him, but trusted his capabilities for making decisions and acting wisely. They worried for him in a way that made the story feel very real and relatable.
Although, the mystery was very predictable to me. The writing style, the character’s complexity and the relationships made up for it.
That being said, I thought that the writing style was perfect. It uses an easy language to read but very mature at the same time. Therefore, even though this is a young adult novel and I’m an adult, I could highly enjoy this narrative style. It gives the impression that a very smart person is narrating the story without being pretentious or annoying at all.
Unlike other young adult novels, where the authors try to imply that their main character is very smart and it just end up feeling like they are trying way too hard, like for example: John Green and E. Lockhart.
Also, I noticed, loved and enjoyed the amount of research that the authors put into this novel. The introductory page for each chapter and the foot notes at the bottom of the pages explaining concepts or just things Colin had investigated made me feel like Colin was sharing his knowledge with me about the things he’s most passionate about; a common symptom of Asperger Syndrome.
Also, Colin’s personality is not the only one explored in this book. There are also: the jealous brother, the bullies, the sociopath, the fools, the teacher (which was one of my favorite characters and one that surprised me the most) and others that made this book even more complex and more enjoyable for me. The authors took the most overused tropes: the jocks, the popular girls, the nerds and the bullies and wrote them unlike any others I’ve read about before and I FUCKING LOVED THAT.
However, this book ended in an ambiguous way making me feel like sometime in the future there might be a sequel. On the other hand, this book was published in 2012 and there’s still no sequel. A fact that makes me very, very, very sad.
And last but not least, the friendship that ensues throughout the story was so heartwarming, unlikely and awkward that I couldn’t help but give this book a 5/5 stars.
I highly encourage you to pick this book if you like well researched and well executed young adult contemporary stories. Honestly, this is one of the best I’ve ever read.