Monday, October 2, 2017

On the Spectrum by Jennifer Gold

This is a book that I couldn't resist requesting because it covers a topic that is really near and dear to me.

On the Spectrum is the story of Clara and her half-brother Alastair. Clara, the daughter of a famous ballerina mother, tries to 'eat clean' but maybe suffering from orthorexia which is an eating disorder (don't think she was ever formally diagnosed though). After a Twitter incident, she decides to finally accept her dad's offer and go to Paris for the school holidays to escape everything and meet her brother Alastair, who has autism but is high functioning (they keep saying 'on the spectrum' but it's really just high functioning autism).

The entire reason why I requested this book was because of Alastair. My brother has autism and like Alastair, he's considered high functioning. And that gives him a whole other set of problems. For example, my brother finds it very hard to make friends and gets bullied in school. So when I saw Alastair going through the same things (and through the lens of an older sister character no less!) my heart really broke for him. I love this book because it shows how hard kids like my brother and Alastair have it, and if it convinces even one person to be kinder than the world has been made slightly better.

I guess I should also talk about Clara and her relationship with food, but apart from the fact that I could sort of understand what she feels (but have no self control to give up snacks), I don't have much to say. All my feelings for this book were taken up by Alastair and the way that he and Clara were bonding.

Oh yeah and there's a romance in here but I don't have much to say about that either. I didn't particularly need it, but I wasn't annoyed by it and anyway I think we've all established that I read the book for only one reason.

I would highly recommend this book because of Alastair. That kid is adorable and reminds me of my brother and pretty much carried the book for me. Clara's own struggles were pretty well-developed too and I imagine would resonate with a lot of people.

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.


  1. It is always great when we can identify so well with a character or situation in a book. I am glad this one was one of those for you.

    1. Thank you. I really hope this book reaches its audience.


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