Sex-Positive Neurodivergent Rom-Com. Straight up: If you don’t like damn near erotica level sex scenes… this book probably isn’t your thing. If you’re one of the “THERE CAN BE NO SEX AND IF THERE MUST BE SEX IT MUST BE STRICTLY BEHIND CLOSED DOORS AND THE MAIN COUPLE CAN BARELY KISS OR HOLD HANDS ON SCREEN” types… yeah, just skip this one. You’re not going to like it, and you one-starring a book over your own hangups does no one any favors.
For the at least 80% of us who *aren’t* like that… this is a fun book. Lizzie, and the author herself, has ADHD. (Serious question – for Autistics we have “Autistic” rather than “has Autism”, and the community tends to prefer the first one. Is there a similar name for people who have ADHD?) And this book shows the struggles that can come from that – but also shows how it can be managed and even worked into a strength, with proper preparation and training. (Which is similar for Autistics as well.) This is also a very neurodiverse-positive tale, showing that not everyone has to be a doctor or lawyer or engineer or anything else to have a fulfilling and meaningful life and be able to support and take care of themselves independently. Indeed, even with Lizzie’s titular “mistake”, there is quite a bit about her life and actions here that are to be readily commended, and it is refreshing to see authors willing to do just this in this era and with these types of characters.
Even though this is listed as “Book 2” (and wasn’t when it was presented to me), there are really only a couple of sentences in the entire 300+ page tale where this is even obviously hinted at inside the tale itself, so it actually works pretty well as a standalone, which is how I read it.
Overall this was truly a fun book with a lot of upside, and it is very much recommended.
This review of Lizzie Blake’s Best Mistake by Mazey Eddings was originally written on September 5, 2022.
Racism And Misandry Deeply Mar Otherwise Interesting Concept. The idea behind this book – that a neurotypical Autism Mom and an #ActuallyAutistic mom of Autistic kids get together and have a constructive discussion – is fascinating because of how rarely Autism Moms in particular are willing to bridge that gap. And to be clear, there is a lot of good information here, and in the notes at the end of each chapter, two books I’ve previously reviewed – Eric Garcia’s We’re Not Broken and Steven Silberman’s Neurotribes – are both recommended. Unfortunately the good information is deeply marred by the authors’ misandry and racism against anything white and/ or male – even while male Autistics! Indeed, in naming all kinds of other autism advocacy organizations, the authors fail to mention one of the biggest and most successful in the US – the Autism Self Advocacy Network. And in marginalizing and delegitimizing both the successes and the struggles of white and/ or male Autistics, the author actively denigrate the admittedly largest section of known or even suspected Autistics. All while claiming to try to “bridge the gap” in speaking about Autism from both Autistic and neurotypical perspectives. Ultimately your own view of this book will come down to how much you agree with the authors’ own blatant bigotries. Though again, there are at least some discussions here genuinely worthy of wading through their mire to see and examine. Indeed, just enough to elevate them to more than the few flakes here or there of my dreaded “gold mine” status – though only just. Two stars deducted for racism and sexism, and the third star is deducted for the lack of intellectual rigor in having a bibliography that even accounting for the recommended resources sections at the end of each chapter still barely accounts for 10% or so of the text (just 4% at the end of the overall narrative where the bibliography is normally found), which is about half to one third of the more standard bibliography of better documented texts in my extensive experience with even months-early advance reader copies. Recommended, if barely.
This review of I Will Die On This Hill by Meghan Ashburn and Jules Edwards was originally written on July 3, 2022.