Fifteen-year-old Mary Lou Weber is suffocating in her sister's shadow. Though she struggles to break into the light and claim her own identity—and the attention of the cutest guy in school—something always seems to pull her right back down into the role of Barbara's little sister.
Down the street lives seventeen-year-old Ben Thomas, a lonely introvert who is captive to a sensory condition that makes it nearly impossible for him to stand in sunlight, much less talk to people whom he thinks could never understand his difficulties.
A new year kindles the friendship between a guy who pushes away a world and the girl who’s striving to find her place in it. Can the relationship help Mary and Ben find balance in a world that frequently seems too much to handle?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Once I started this novel, I couldn't put it down. The author does a wonderful job getting inside the mind of a teenage girl and a young boy with Asperger's. This is well done, and I found myself rooting for both characters as their relationship developed. In the beginning she had no idea, as his Asperger is mild, and they become friends. I love how the main character never looks down on him when she finds out the truth, and their relationship continues to build. The chapter endings are perfect, making you want to flip immediately to the next chapter. I love the chapters from his perspective, and how the characters developed. The ending was satisfying, but I rather hoped it would have ended under the cypress tree the main character described such a fondness of, especially after the jerk that went with her to it was unappreciative. I think it would have been great to have the ending there. I either want a sequel from this author, or another novel portraying a character with Asperger or Autism. She does a very great job with the topic, and I'd recommend this book to anybody who loved The Fault in Our Stars, The Notebook, or any other great romance. 5/5 stars.
You might think that this book is different because Ben, one of the main characters, has Asperger's, but that's not really true. Sure, it's great to see a fictional character on the autism spectrum who's not just a token peripheral character thrown in for marketing purposes and whose story is honest, heartfelt and realistically written from Ben's POV, but that's not what stood out the most for me in this book. The other main character, Mary, is one of the most atypical teenage characters I've ever seen in a book, yet I'm sure she's also one that many teen readers will identify with and cheer for as she navigates her way through school life, changing friendships, boyfriends, family relationships, and figuring out who she wants to be as she turns fifteen. And although this is Christian fiction, its message is unobtrusive and non-judgmental as Mary quietly lives her life as a spiritual example to others. Watching Mary and Ben figure out what kind of relationship they have is funny, touching, and one of the sweetest love stories I've ever read.