The first thing about this book that caught my eye was the title. Fragile Bones; something about it just feels really beautiful. What actually made me request this title for review was the synopsis, though. As far as I can remember, I haven’t read a book that highlighted an autistic teenager as one of the main characters, let alone tell the story from his perspective.
Right from the beginning I loved reading Harrison’s words. Clearly the chapters that were all about Harrison were the standout sections. I could tell that the author did a lot of research and spoke to a lot of people who had experience with high-functioning autism. She wrote Harrison’s thought process believably. On occasion I chuckled with affection, but mostly I felt his struggles. Reading him really made me appreciate his family. Their reactions to Harrison, and how they handled and dealt with his meltdowns so compassionately. It wasn’t over the top, it was a realistic compassion. They got frustrated. They got angry. Anyone would, I think. All in all, however, it was very clear how much they loved Harrison. Even his older brother, who I was so afraid would turn out to be a jerk.
The Anna chapters weren’t as wonderful. Anna felt a little bit generic. Reading her sections felt like the author did so much research and put so much effort into Harrison that it left Anna a little 2 dimensional. Anna wants to get into a good college so she is all about filling out her resume. Anna experience brings her enlightenment. Anna has crush on boy with secrets. Anna has best friend who is slightly more shallow. It’s been very done. The one aspect of the Anna chapters that I did enjoy was learning about Justin. I thought Justin could have been a really well done flushed out character. If only he had been the yin to Harrison’s yang. In fact, now that I’m thinking about this, if Fragile Bones had been about Justin and Harrison I may have given it over 4 skulls.
Lastly, I felt like the book ended without an ending. I don’t need all loose ends wrapped in a little bow or anything, but it felt like absolutely nothing was addressed. It just… ended. On a day like any other, bam, the end.
Goodreads says this is going to be a series, so maybe there’ll be more. I hope it’s more about Justin.
Thank you to Clockwise Press and Netgalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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