The way this book was so real and raw and beautiful!!
It is exceptional. I am struggling with words for how much it means to me. It’s the kind of book you pick up when you want to see autism truthfully captured on page, the hard parts but also not turning it into a tragedy to be fixed. Erin is ERIN and, as Rudy says, she’s limited edition. She should never want to change that. This is the kind of #ownvoices story I wish more people could read so they’d understand autism.
I’m just tired of hearing all the ways I’m getting stuff wrong. I’m always ‘miscommunicating’ or ‘misunderstanding’ or ‘overreacting’ or ‘underreacting’. Maybe other people should put as much consideration into their communications with me as I do with them. It’s all I freaking think about sometimes. Did I say the wrong thing? Did I misread the situation? Should I have asked that person more about the thing they are upset about, or do they not want to talk? Is sharing my experience of a similar thing helpful or making it all about me? It’s exhausting. I am exhausted.
The way it talked about autism burnout, how we lose sense of self due to masking so hard, how we are trained to cater for the neurotypical world while they don’t cater for us. The longing to belong, but constantly standing on the outside looking in. The moment when Erin describes that watching social situations is like seeing them through a glass wall — like YES.
It’s told in letters, and it’s also a story of dysfunctional families, grief, finishing school, and the future.
It’s very coming-of-age. Erin’s navigating some intense things, but in a roundabout and also suppressed way, so we as the reader don’t know all that’s happening up front. I do love letter formats! I missed that it didn’t have much dialogue (Erin is writing to her older brother, Rudy) but the stream-of-consciousness style was perfect for the story.
It had so many neurodiverse teen feels. Erin is scared and dreading Schoolies (this is such an Aussie thing omg) and figuring out her future. There’s friendships deteriorating and confusing feels about romance. It’s definitely a slice of life sort of story, and I loved that about it. My heart also got solidly hit, and it’s impossible to leave without feeling emotional.
This story is introspective, utterly realistic, and full of heart.
It’s everything I hoped it would be. And now I want a donut and NOT a hug and I love that Erin would understand.
I’ve got rocks in my stomach and I’m only half-tuned in all the time. Things seem to be happening behind a pan of glass, so I can see them but I can’t reach out and touch them.
A funny-serious own-voices story about what happens when you stop trying to be the person other people expect you to be and give yourself a go.
Erin is looking forward to Schoolies, at least she thinks she is. But things are not going to plan. Life is getting messy, and for Erin, who is autistic, that’s a big problem. She’s lost her job at Surf Zone after an incident that clearly was not her fault. Her driving test went badly even though she followed the instructions perfectly. Her boyfriend is not turning out to be the romantic type. And she’s missing her brother, Rudy, who left almost a year ago.
But now that she’s writing letters to him, some things are beginning to make just a tiny bit of sense.