This week, as we gear up for Autism Awareness Month in just a few days, we’re looking at a book that does a great job in humanizing and normalizing another neurological divergence. This week, we’re looking at Problem Child by Victoria Helen Stone.
This was a great tale in and of itself – the pacing was solid, the “shocks” were used well, the mystery was compelling, etc etc etc. Seriously, if that is all you care about here, then you’re good at this point. Go buy the book. 🙂
Where the book really shines and elevates itself is in its use of a neurodivergent character as its primary protagonist = and in showing that such a neurodivergence doesn’t mean that the person is “good” or “evil” or “better” or “less”, that they just *are*. Yes, many neurodivergences give abilities beyond the typical, and the one highlighted here – sociopathy – is no different. Ultimately it is up to the neurodivergent individual to assess their own abilities and learn to use them to live their life however they want – which is exactly what our protagonist has done and is doing… and what another character has to learn. Truly a great and yet also frank look at the issues surrounding sociopathy specifically but also neurodivergence in general, this really is a solid book to read in preparation for Autism Awareness Month beginning barely a week after this book releases.
Very much recommended, and I’m very much looking forward to more from this author and this world.
As always, the Goodreads/ Amazon review:
Excellently Atypical. I like finding books that treat neurological divergences as normal and show how those with different neurologies are the same as neurotypicals, and this is one such book. Here, we see a sociopath – that neurology most commonly thought of as “evil” by neurotypicals – using her abilities to further her own career and figure out what has happened to a niece she barely knew she had. Very humanizing, very demystifying, and very, very good. Those that don’t like frankness or “vulgarity”… probably won’t like this tale. But for the rest of us non-prudes, this truly was a great – and fast – read. Very much recommended.