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Autism Awareness Month: What to Read

Rain Reign | Ann M. Martin

Rain Reign is about a little girl, Rose, with Asperger’s syndrome. She loves homonyms, which is why her dog is appropriately named Rain, which has two homonyms: Rein and Reign. Her mom is absent and her dad has a temper, so when her only friend, Rain, goes missing, Rose struggles to find a new routine and purpose. For a more complete summary, you can go here.

You may recognize the author’s name from somewhere, that’s because she was the author of the infamous Babysitter’s Club series. Rain Reign is vastly different from Martin’s original work. This novel is meant for children, but it is so deep, complex, and touching in every way. It has been highly talked about and is up for a lot of literature awards. When you have a book like this, it can be very polarizing. Some people will love it and some people will hate it. Personally, I loved every second of it. While, I could see why some parents may not want their young children to read this book (i.e. an angry/potentially abusive father), I am completely against censorship of books (which is a story for another day). 

Asperger’s and Autism seem to be gaining a lot of popularity in literature lately. I think it is because there is such a wide spectrum of behaviors and personalities that are associated with both, and people are yearning to understand them more. I don’t think that any one book can properly depict all people with Asperger’s, but I do think that this book did a phenomenal job of putting the readers into Rose’s head so we could understand her struggles. The voice was believable as a child’s voice, and Rose’s wording and thoughts clearly depicted when she was getting worked up or frustrated. Several times I almost teared up—which is rare for me while reading books. 

Since this book is meant for children, it was a quick read, but it was anything but simple. This would be the perfect book to read with children so you can talk about the events and emotions of the characters. I would recommend this for children second grade or higher, but I think that most adults would get a lot of enjoyment from this as well. If you are interested in buying the book, you can buy it here. After you have read it, leave a comment and let me know what you think! 

5/5 Stars 

The Rosie Project | Graeme Samson

The Rosie Project is about a guy, Don, that decides to create an extensive questionnaire in order to find his perfect wife. Don is no ordinary man. He has every minute of every day planned out and he has only two friends. He is a geneticist and believes that science can help him find his true match. Until he meets Rosie. For a more complete summary, you can go here.

This book was charming and fun! I didn’t want to put it down! I also enjoyed the quirkiness of all of the main characters. A lot of reviewers have compared Don to Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, but I wasn’t picturing that at all while I was reading. However, I can see the comparisons. They are both very intellectually minded and socially inept, have particular routines, and don’t know how to act in a relationship. Rosie is the exact opposite in every way. I also enjoyed her side of the story and seeing her come to terms with some family issues. 

It seems like a lot of books now are highlighting Asperger’s Syndrome. Don is never officially diagnosed with it, but it is definitely hinted at. I think it is great that this is getting more publicity, but at the same time I worry about readers (and writers) starting to stereotype how a person with Asperger’s behaves. 

I only had a few small issues with this book. First of all, Don gets a lot of advice from his friend Gene and Gene’s wife, Claudia. Gene is a serial cheater that is trying to hookup with a woman from every country. I had a problem with how often Don took their advice on relationships, considering how messed up their marriage is. At some point, Don begins to realize that is a problem too, so I felt better after he resolved that. I also hate when (SPOILER ALERT) a relationship is slow to start, then all of a sudden there’s marriage. I just feel like that’s not realistic, and yet a lot of novels make that happen. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It really makes you think about our everyday actions and how we behave in relationships. I recommend this book to men or women that are looking for a humorous love story. If you are interested in buying the book, you can buy it here, and look through the discussion questions here. After you have read it let me know what you think! 


4/5 Stars

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