“Nutjob.” “Robo-tard.” “Weirdo.” All of her life, 17-year-old orphan Alvie Fitz has dealt with name-calling and cruelty.
At this point in time, Alvie, who is autistic, doesn’t care about happiness. All that matters is convincing a judge she’s emotionally, mentally, and financially ready for emancipation; she has her GED and has already been supporting herself for some time. If she can’t, she’ll spend the rest of her life in a group home as a ward of the state. Boundaries and routine make up the foundation of the protective wall Alvie’s been building around herself since her mother died when she was 11, but 19-year-old college student Stanley Finkel shakes that foundation, gently and gradually forcing Alvie out of her comfort zone. Stanley also stands out in a world that doesn’t easily accept people outside the mainstream. He was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, a condition that results in bones that break easily, and uses a cane for support. Stanley doesn’t erase the autism by ignoring it; he accepts it as part of her but doesn’t define her by it. Alvie’s first-person narration presents readers with a fully developed picture of a person with autism; she’s frank, observant, and funny. The book’s title is inspired by a line from Watership Down, a book Alvie turns to time and again because she identifies with the rabbits’ plight to survive. All characters appear to be white.
A gorgeous love story of depth and raw emotion that beautifully dismantles the ugly perceptions of autism. (Fiction. 14-adult)