Anything But Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin

Jason Blake is autistic. He doesn't really express his feelings in the right way. He's supposed to act a certain way so everyone else doesn't look at him weird. He sometimes flaps his arms and when he is really angry starts almost like ripping his hair out. He's working on his temper. He fears disappointing his mother who just wants to find out why he is like he is without really accepting him for who he is. She wants to fix him. But he still loves her like he loves his father who is quiet but deeply cares for him and might understand him more than his mother. Then there is Jeremy who absolutely loves him. Who knows just the right amount of space he needs between them. Who treats him like any other younger brother treats his older brother.

See when someone does touch him or hug him or whatever he feels this weight and he doesn't like it. When he isn't moving he can't concentrate as well. And if he looks at you in the eye it's the same thing. He can write though. He wants to be a writer. He writes short stories on a website called Storyboard and there he meets Rebecca who he calls his girlfriend but then everything goes wrong when he is going to actually meet her. He finds out that maybe Rebecca has a reason not to meet him too. And it's not because of his autism.

This book reminds me so much of another book that  I have to read already called Stuck in Neutral where a boy with I think cerebral palsy? which the author's own son has is telling his point of view. He can't communicate like everyone else and I guess that's why I often get confused with the two. It was really interesting to get into someone who's autistic's head. I don't really know much about autism so it was a new book experience for me. I have heard about the no eye contact thing so it was interesting to know or maybe it's just the author's take on why people who are autistic do that.

If you know me you know what I' going to say about the mother which it sounds very stereotypical the way they talked about her needing him to show affection but I'm sure it could happen. I just wish the author didn't make her so weak or predictable. Anyway she cried a lot and I understand kind of where she is coming from because I am pretty emotional but I really hope I wouldn't act the way she did. I would hope I would be able to accept my son right away but reality can be different so maybe not. So because of that I won't rank on her anymore than this.

His father was cool headed which was great but I also found annoying because that is what would be typical of the guy right? But other than that it was nice to have someone there like him. His brother was a sweet kid and I was worried that like his father said that he will worship him basically as younger brothers do. But I found out happily that that wasn't the case and that he truly understood his brother. I liked Rebecca. I didn't expect what happened at her reveal. But there was a problem with that. There should have been more to the end. It didn't resolve anything on how she felt.

Jason's stories were great. He basically created a character like him. It was a dwarf who could get an operation to become like everyone else-tall. I liked what his kind of friend said:
He says, "But, hey, wouldn't it be weird-if Bennu wakes up from the operation, and he's all tall and stuff, and then he doesn't recognize himself in the mirror?"
Wow right!? Great moment there. There is also that that's troubling me. The friends he should have or at least they should talk about it more... maybe it's not that. I like how Aaron is nice to him but he's not really his friend. He hasn't gotten invited to his birthday since the second grade. That annoyed me. If you're going to be friends with him be friends with but I know it isn't that simple. This was a nice light read that can teach you some things about life and I'd recommend it.


back to top