A YA romance featuring a neuroatypical girl with a tragic history and the chronically ill boy trying to break the vault encasing her heart
Obviously I’m not what most people would describe as happy. But that has nothing to do with anything. Happiness is not a priority. Survival is.
Alvie Fitz doesn’t fit in, and she doesn’t care. She’s spent years swallowing meds and bad advice from doctors and social workers. Adjust, adapt. Pretend to be normal. It sounds so easy.
If she can make it to her eighteenth birthday without any major mishaps, she’ll be legally emancipated. Free. But if she fails, she’ll become a ward of the state and be sent back to the group home.
All she wants is to be left alone to spend time with her friend, Chance, the one-winged hawk at the zoo where she works. She can bide her time with him until her emancipation. Humans are overrated anyway. Then she meets Stanley, a boy who might be even stranger than she is—a boy who walks with a cane, who turns up every day with a new injury, whose body seems as fragile as glass. Without even meaning to, she finds herself getting close to him. But Alvie remembers what happened to the last person she truly cared about.
Her past stalks her with every step, and it has sharp teeth. But if she can find the strength to face the enemy inside her, maybe she’ll have a chance at happiness after all.
Author: A.J. Stieger
Publication Date: February 6th 2018
*I’m a Book Depository Affiliate 🙂
- Unconventional love story.
Ableism, PTSD, Assault, Suicide, Abuse, Homophobia
I read the first four chapters that EpicReads released a while ago and it’s been a while since something has interested me like that in a long time. And I want to thank Edelweiss and HarperTeen for approving me for this one because I am the happiest person right now.
Alvie has only another year until she will legally be free from the foster care system, from being judged and seen as something different. When she meets Stanley, she doesn’t know how to feel; it messing up her routine, but decides to use this to see if she is capable of forming friendships. As Alvie faces the challenges of living alone and faces her past, Stanley is there, causing her to re-evaluate everything she knows about herself and love.
Throughout the story, I found myself feeling anger. Towards the adults who wouldn’t help her as a child. Towards her coworkers who dehumanized her. To everyone who chose not to understand her. Yet throughout it all, Alvie made it through. Blunt, straightforward Alvie. If you couldn’t tell, I love this girl so much. Throughout the story, we see her deal with her past. At times, her Aspergers defined who she believes she is and what she can do and her journey of seeing herself away from her diagnosis and past was truly what made this story amazing.
Stanley also has some issues he needs to deal with; he’s not just a “prop” or a love interest. He’s 3 dimensional, yet he still stay patient with Alvie when she pushes him away. Both are afraid of hurting each other and their relationship, though it started out quite unconventional (lets be honest, their relationship is a bit unconventional), it’s probably one of the most beautiful relationships I have read in the longest time. Because of her Aspergers, Alvie is a very straight forward person, which often ended up with me feeling second hand embarrassment (I could never be as straight forward as her… I actually admire her for it). However, unlike many books where I suffer from this, it never interfered with my enjoyment of the story.
There is some sexual content (masturbation and oral sex) but they are integral to the development of the characters. I know it’s early into 2018, but… this is a definite all time favorite. No second guesses, no hesitation. I was never taken out of the story, I never lost interest and I cried happy tears. This is the second time this has happened. Yes, everyone should read it. Do it. For me 🙂 .