Thursday, March 12, 2015

Review: Count on Me by Melyssa Winchester

Count On Me by Melyssa Winchester
Release Date: April 19, 2014

There are people that tell you high school is the best time of your life. They lied. High school is horrible when you’re like me and you’re autistic. They think that because I don’t talk and I seem to always be lost in my own world, I’m stupid or deaf. Some even think I’m retarded. I’m none of those things and I don’t like that word. Just because I've got these issues, doesn't mean it’s all I am. There’s a lot more to me, but no one really takes the time to get to know it. At least that’s how it was until Kayden.

Kayden Walker is bad news. He spends his time making people that are different, like me, feel even worse about themselves and he does it with a smile. He’s everything I don’t need in my life, yet he’s the one person I can’t seem to live without. Underneath, there’s more to him that he’s afraid to let the rest of the world see. I've seen it and as I’m finding out, we’re not so different after all.

This is one of my favorite books I've read this year so far.  It deals with a very sensitive subject, more than one actually, and the author does a fantastic job handling these issues in this book.

I think most people, myself included, thought that if someone is autistic, they're like Dustin Hoffman's character in Rain Man...where they are basically unable to communicate or behave normally in any way.  Apparently there are degrees to autism.  However, that does not mean that it is easy, if you happen to have autism to a lesser degree.

I felt so badly for Isabelle in this book.  I just wanted to reach through the pages and hug and protect her.  Bullying is horrible for anyone to have to endure, but for kids as school to pick on someone who is autistic...a disease they cannot help having, is just beyond the regular cruelty of bullying.  The things she has to go through in this book just made me ill.  And Kayden was a guy that went along with it for a long time, despite the fact that there are small clues to indicate that he's not really liking it.  But he's bowing to peer pressure too, despite the fact that, at fist, he's actually the leader of this group.  But when his group begins to bully and make fun of Isabelle, somehow, he just can't do what he's always done.

I loved how Kayden grew and changed throughout this story.  It takes some patience and a really caring heart for a young man of his age to attempt to date an autistic girl, and I applauded him for it.

I really don't want to say too much more because I don't want to ruin it for you.  The author did an amazing job with this story.  I was completely and 100% emotionally engaged in this story and with both of these characters.  Loved it.
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