Review: Mindblind by Jennifer Roy

 

Title: Mindblind

Author: Jennifer Roy

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

ISBN: 978-0761457169

 

May Contain Spoilers

I will admit that when I first looked at this book, I wasn’t exactly drawn to it.  The cover doesn’t do much for me, though I found the premise intriguing.  The protagonist, Nathanial, has Asperger’s Syndrome, and I was very curious to see how author Jennifer Roy portrayed him.  Once I started reading Mindblind, I could not put it down.

Nathanial’s voice is very distinctive.  He is a teen with a lot of challenges to overcome, despite his sky high IQ.  His dad isn’t accepting of him, because he doesn’t believe that Nathanial has a medical condition; he just thinks that his son is being lazy and isn’t pushing himself to be like all of the other kids.  It’s a good thing that his step-mom is more understanding and supportive than his dad! Nathanial’s dad really pushed the wrong buttons for me, and I quickly felt as uncomfortable around him as his son did.

Nathanial’s social skills are clumsy and awkward, true to his Aspie diagnosis.  It is difficult for him to interact with large groups of his peers, and all he wants to do is retreat into a shell when he is confronted with too much noise, light, or people.  Being over stimulated has him struggling to stay in control of himself, and he is much happier working on his mathematical equations or researching problems online.  His mother won’t let him withdraw from other people, though, and she proves again and again during the course of the novel just how much she loves and supports him.  She pushes him to test his boundaries, but also knows when he needs some space.

I loved Nathanial.  He may be a genius to others, but to himself, he doesn’t have much worth.  He wants to make a mark on the world, and he is driven to do so.  The book is relayed through slice of life episodes, each building on the other and giving Nathanial depth.  He may not be “normal” in the traditional sense of the word, but he is strong and he is kind, and he tries so hard to do the right thing, even though most of the time, he doesn’t fully understand why it’s the right thing.

Mindblind by Jennifer Roy is a very satisfying read, with a likable protagonist who will quickly cast a spell over you.  The book is engaging and impossible to put down, and I am so glad that I had the opportunity to read it. 

Grade: A-

Review copy provided by publisher

2 thoughts on “Review: Mindblind by Jennifer Roy

  • September 17, 2010 at 4:36 pm
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    I just spent an afternoon in a professional development workshop on Autism. The things you describe about Nathanial are typical behaviors and this sounds like the author does a great job portray a true to life character. I would also feel as you did about Nathanial’s father. It also reminds me a bit of Marcel in the Real World a terrific book about a boy with Asperger’s. Great review, thanks!

  • September 17, 2010 at 7:25 pm
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    Thanks for the heads up on the other book. I am going to see if the library has it.

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