I guess I just don't Get It.
So many people have recommended this book to me, and I finally got around to reading it, but I was pretty underwhelmed. It's not a bad book. Caitlin is an unusual protagonist, but I had a hard time believing this book.
Caitlin is an eleven-year-old girl with Asperger's. When her older brother is killed in a school shooting, she struggles to understand what is happening in her family and her town.
The author does a great job of showing the world through the eyes of a unique child. I don't know much about Asperger's, but I fully believe that something is different about Caitlin. She is the best part of the book. She's smart, funny, and entertaining. There are some really great lines of dialogue.
There are a few things about Caitlin that I had a hard time believing. She loves to read and can read at an adult reading level, but she doesn't understand figurative language. Doesn't she often encounter figurative language while she's reading? I also had a hard time believing Caitlin's counselor. She didn't seem to know much about how Caitlin sees the world. She uses words and phrases that she should know that Caitlin doesn't understand. Finally, I had a hard time believing Caitlin's transformation at the end. She goes from someone who is incapable of understanding empathy to someone who is very empathetic. This transformation happened too quickly for me. In fact, I thought that the whole "Put yourself in other people's shoes" message was handled in a slightly heavy-handed way. I felt like I was being hit over the head with it.
Like I said, this isn't a bad book. It's a very quick read. YA fiction often lacks diversity, so I really appreciate reading about a character with Asperger's. I think this book would appeal to children who are a little bit different from their peers.