Although it lacks detail in its portrayal of spina bifida, this is a well-written, cute series featuring a very cool character with the condition.
Jacobus nailed the struggle with addiction, she nailed physical limitations, she nailed alcoholic and disability-related depression, she nailed the chaos of the active alcoholic, and she nailed the hopelessness and despair that can come from all of it.
The Islands at the End of the World excels on many levels—but from a purely disability perspective, it fall short of its mark.
This book moves on the back of plot: a girl who didn’t want to survive in the regular world is one of a few survivors of the zombie apocalypse, trapped with classmates in their school. But the warped perspective that Sloane’s depression gives to her situation is what makes this book special.
Stranger represents a case where verisimilitude—the appearance of plausibility—succeeds where a more realistic representation of disability might have failed.
“I learned absolutely nothing from Rachel’s leukemia,” this book’s protagonist starts off in its in-universe foreword, and I grinned and said, “YES! This is going to be good.”
Although Kurt’s character seems to largely exist to serve the central romance, I was pleasantly surprised by how many pitfalls Perkins avoided in a wonderfully understated manner. Various assumptions and tropes were casually turned over with a single line here or there.
It’s a rare occurrence when an author can update an already published book, and even more rare when that update includes a huge overhaul of the portrayal of an autistic character. Alyssa Hillary takes a look at both the original and updated version in this review.
The Categorical Universe of Candice Phee is a fun, well-written book, if an imperfect autism read.