Monday, March 12, 2012

Are You Alone on Purpose? by Nancy Werlin

Alison has always been more mature for her age. That's because her twin brother, Adam, is autistic and Alison has had to watch for signs of his temper tantrums and such.

In eighth grade, Alison got picked on a lot from Harry. He made fun of her for being nerdy (since her father is a math/science genius) and made fun of Adam without blinking - so Alison wasn't a fan of Harry's.

A few weeks before beginning high school, Adam tried diving at camp and ended up breaking his spine, paralyzing himself from the waist down.

When Adam was preparing for his bar mitzvah, Harry and Alison started to talk to one another. Slowly, Harry realized that, even though Alison was a nerd, she was smart and almost a normal girl. Alison slowly started to find out why Harry was so mean all of the time and who he really was as a person.

My Thoughts/Reflections
This was a different book than what I've read before.

First, the characters are younger than what I normal read (ages 14 and 15) so they were thinking more the lines of "being popular and well liked" than "I want a boyfriend/girlfriend".

Second, Adam. I liked Adam. I've never been around an autistic person, so reading about his abilities and habits was very interesting to me.

This is a book about growing up and self-identity. Harry was a bully at the beginning of the novel, but after his accident, he changed as a person. I always like seeing character development happen in a book and I really think Harry and Alison grew more into the adult they will become throughout the events that unfold in the story.

I would definitely recommend this book. It's a stand alone, suited for both guys and girls because the chapters alternate between Harry and Alison's thoughts, and the content in this book might help the reader fully appreciate their life and friends that they have.

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