I am torn on how I feel about this book. I really enjoyed the first half of the book – not only because that was the part of the book that contained the murder mystery which the book was marketed to have, but also because it was interesting to learn about autism by reading a book from an autistic 15-yr-old boy’s perspective. I liked reading from Christopher’s pov because it was an unusual and atypical one. He focuses on mathematics and physics (his favorite subjects) and tries to figure out what’s happening in the world based on those concepts. Abstract ideas like love and unscheduled time confuse and frighten him and that made me feel bad for his parents, who could only hold out their hands for him to touch since he wasn’t comfortable with being hugged or kissed. Christopher does have a fondness for animals though (I guess that’s typical of autistic kids? I have no idea. Do they only feel comfortable giving affection to animals instead of humans?). Christopher has a pet rat named Toby and he likes the neighbor dogs, so he is shocked (or as shocked as he can get) to find that the poodle from across the street, Wellington, has been killed. This murder mystery element was fascinating because Christopher tries very hard to be like Sherlock Holmes and it was interesting to see how he reasoned and worked things out to find the killer.
But then about halfway through the book, the killer is abruptly revealed and the focus suddenly turns to everything Christopher is feeling
and how he cannot express those feelings properly. I guess I am a terrible person, but I can’t handle children for more than a day or so before I feel like I am losing my mind and can no longer stand their presence. I can’t even imagine trying to babysit an autistic child that was groaning and freaking out all the time. So I think that, plus the fact that this was such a quick and easy read and I spent so much nonstop time with it, added to my losing patience with Christopher. There was a whole lot of freaking out and groaning and thinking about stabbing people with his Swiss army knife whenever they tried to help him in the second half of the novel and I just couldn’t stand him anymore. That might be what the author was trying to do though, give the reader a glimpse at what it would be like to have an autistic child and show how exhausting and nerve-racking it is. I give props to everyone that takes care of kids with special needs like this and readily admit that I could never do it. I could only handle it for the first half.