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“Frankly, I wonder who Frank was, and why he has an adverb all to himself.”

“I personally subscribe to the belief that normal is just a setting on the dryer.”

“Sometimes I think the human heart is just a simple shelf. There is only so much you can pile onto it before something falls off an edge and you are left to pick up the pieces.”

One Million Page Princess

 

I have read a couple Jodi Picoult books over the years. To be honest I don’t know how one person can write so many successful novels so quickly! (Okay okay Stephen King is an obvious exception.) It feels as though every time I walk into a book store (which is actually pretty often) there is a new title front and center with her name on it. This one caught my eye because after reading The Rosie Project earlier this year, I have become slightly fascinated with Asperger’s syndrome. This book combined my interest on this particular topic with my love of mysteries and crime novels, as it is about an 18 year old boy name Jacob Hunt who has Asperger’s, and is on trial for murder. Jacob’s inability to look people in the eye, difficulty reading social cues, and intense  passion for forensic analysis make him look like a very guilty suspect… but does that mean he really committed the crime?

I’m undecided on this book because while I liked certain elements of it, I think on the whole it missed the mark for me. I loved and laughed at Jacob’s witty responses and his habit of responding with famous movie quotes in stressful situations. I liked how well researched this book seemed to be in terms of the qualities that make up “Asperger’s Syndrome”. And I liked playing detective and trying to piece together the mystery. However, I felt the ending was extraordinarily predictable, and I had figured out the mystery about 1/4 of the way through the book. I also didn’t like how Asperger’s was constantly referred to as an “illness”. It’s not a disease, and it doesn’t need a cure. Why must we always force people to conform to the mainstream idea of “normal”? Why can’t we all, as a society, come together and do what we can to learn about other people’s differences, and celebrate them? Instead of labeling them and ostracizing anyone who might be a little bit different than the rest of us, as “weird”. That was definitely something that didn’t sit well with me.

Was this one that I enjoyed reading for the most part? Yes. I found it entertaining and would be excited to get an opportunity to read it at the end of the day. Was it one of the best books I’ve uncovered this year? No. If you have limited time this summer, perhaps pick up another one of my other recommendations instead.

Until next time,

OMPP