The book deals in a thought-provoking way with many issues of human interaction; readers’ enjoyment will depend on their tolerance for abuse themes and for protagonists driven to terrible behavior without fully understanding how terrible it is.
Tommy Smythe disappears one Friday night, and even after weeks of searching he can’t be found. This is the story of a rural community’s search for Tommy, and the complicated social networks created by wrongdoings and secrets in a small town.
The book ultimately provides a single-faceted understanding of autism and many of the painful interactions with Willem’s teacher and peers would likely hit too close to home for autistic students.
Like in real life, autism spectrum disorder alone is never the whole story, and Baskin does a good job balancing Jason’s autism with his writing life, family, school, and budding friendship. She’s succeeded in creating an authentic autistic character who is anything but stereotypical.
For all that there are moments when Rose’s voice is nuanced and shines, those nuances continuously pushed aside for a far more stereotypical narrative. This is not the story of an autistic character written for an inclusive audience; this is a story about an autistic character written for a neurotypical audience.