Read this one due to it receiving the Printz Honour.
Things I Liked:
- The first-person perspective truly read like someone with Aspergers (well, I don't have Aspergers so I wouldn't actually *know*, but it felt true to life.) Brenna presents Aspergers as a different way of living, not a deficient one and presents the ups and downs that come with it. Taylor still lives a full life, and watching try to achieve independence is not that different from a typical teen's, though it still has its differences.
- Mileage May Vary on this, but I personally enjoyed how introspective the novel was, to a degree. Seeing Taylor write out her thoughts and then analyze them, then later apply them to other situations she faces also felt incredibly true-to-life to. I guess this is just expanding on my first point.
- Taylor and her mother's relationship was very well-drawn. Taylor's frustrations with her mother's hovering and sometimes forceful behaviour are, again, relatable to a lot of teens, Aspergers or not. But even when Taylor claims to hate her mother, the reader knows she's not a BAD person. Both Taylor and her mother are easy to sympathize with because they're just doing the best they can with navigating each other's differing perspectives.
Things I Didn't Like As Much:
- I know I said I liked the introspective nature of the novel, but sadly this also led to it having very little plot. The sequences that dealt with Taylor remembering her childhood were quite good, but then others like the bits with Adelaide felt too short.
- It feels like Brenna is really beating readers over the head with the messages of existentialism, trying to under someone else's perspective and owning one's life. However, this same complaint also just feels like it would fit Taylor's voice (she repeats herself a lot, but it makes sense to her Asperger's), so I'm kind of on the fence about this one.
Overall, it's a decent novel but not one I found myself falling in love with. I would recommend this to readers who enjoyed The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
by Mark Haddon and Marcelo in the Real World
by Francisco X. Stork.