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The Way Things Look to Me

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  534 Ratings  ·  88 Reviews

My name is Yasmin Murphy, and I don't remember very much about the morning that my mother died, which is odd, as normally I remember everything. Everything.

The Murphy family has never tried to be different; they just are. When Yasmin, the youngest sibling, was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, her older siblings learned to adapt to less attention and more responsibility,
ebook, 352 pages
Published April 12th 2011 by St. Martin's Press (first published 2009)
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Jun 10, 2010 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Based on the number of made-for-tv movies and specials on the topic, Americans are in love (or at least in fascination) with all things autistic. There is something engrossing in watching people with autism and trying to figure out how their minds work, because clearly their neurons are producing in ways that a typical person's brain is not. As a special educator, I've had more than my fair share of experience with children with autism. Ranging from non-verbal, stereotypical autism to high-funct ...more
Bel Murphy
Oct 09, 2012 Bel Murphy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Responsibility for the care of Yasmin falls to her older brother when their mother dies suddenly and the impact of having a family member with ASD is deftly explored in this lovely book.

An overarching theme in the novel is one of sacrifice. Asif is forced to abandon his student life in a prestigious University to assume the role of head of the family on his mother's death. This, in turn, leads him to forego a bright future for a monotonous career and the relentless daily grind of maintaining pr
Ruth Booth
The book tells the story of Yasmin (who has Asperger's) and her two older siblings, Asif and Lila. Each chapter depicts the story from the perspective of one of the 3 characters and is set both in the present time and occasionally goes back to give the reader some back story.
Basically the siblings are left with no parents so Asif becomes the carer for Yasmin, and I think the reader is supposed to feel some sympathy towards him. Lila on the other hand takes no responsibility for her sister and i
Apr 14, 2010 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There seems to have been a glut of novels recently that have a main character with Aspergers Syndrome and/or synesthesia, Roopa Farooki's lead character in The Way Things Look To Me is Yasmin, a nineteen year old girl who has AS and sees emotions and sounds as colours, or to use the correct term, is synesthetic.

Although Yasmin is the lead character and the plot of the novel centres around her, she actually does not play a big part in the story. It is the effect of Yasmin's AS and her need for st
Apr 23, 2011 Elaine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Aargh! How did this book end up on my shelf? I don't know but I took it on vacation, and read it one jetlagged sleepless night. To me this is the negative definition of "chick lit", and I say that as someone who loved Judith Krantz, Jilly Cooper, Lace, Bridget Jones, to say nothing of the Brontes and Austen, and many other exemplars of the genre. This books takes a "creative" and "challenging" family premise -- a sibling with Aspergers -- clothes it in bad prose and plot improbabilities, and the ...more
Feb 11, 2010 Baljit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel tells about the relationship between 3 siblings, Yasmin who has Aspenger's Syndrome, Lilla, arty, crazy and non-conformist and Asif, a young bright accountant who's always been the good boy of the family.
It goes thru events, past and present, of the family coping with Yasmin's condition, and how it lead to resentment from her siblings, that they were sidelined by their mum. Their mum sudden death, leaves a vacum in which they struggle to come to terms with each other.
Thru all this, Y
Robin Nicholas
Jan 09, 2012 Robin Nicholas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book started slow for me and really started to pick up steam as it went on. It is about a family of three siblings who have been left behind by their parent's deaths. The youngest sister has Asperger's Syndrome, which has had an impact on the entire family. Written from all of their different points of view, it is an interesting window into that world. The author does an amazing job of describing what it would be to live in the shoes of someone who has Asperger's Syndrome. As I was reading ...more
Jun 25, 2011 Carol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A good book on how Asperger's Syndrome can effect the family of those living with a person with the syndrome. Throw in some wonderful writing, great characters, and you have something that will have brad appeal!
May 09, 2013 Suzanne rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Why the hell are such juvenile books being passed off as adult fiction? Waste of paper, time and space.
May 23, 2013 Mahak rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a bible on how to write a novel with all the cliches possible. Makes Karan Johar's 'My Name is Khan' look like a masterpiece. Strictly avoidable.
Oct 21, 2011 Joan rated it really liked it
Quick read, not perfect but not a bad book.
Gail Cohen
Sep 01, 2011 Gail Cohen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Mash up of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night and Bridget Jones' Diary
I loved it. Even if it's so cliche. I love Asif and Lila and Yasmin and Mei Lin and Henry and their mother. lol
Dec 03, 2011 Mirjam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Genuinely lovely.

Snuck up on me, too. The first chunk wasn't much fun, so little so that I started to have the conversation with myself about having the conversation with myself about letting it go. Totally depressing state of affairs for these afflicted young people bent on blaming their deceased parents for everything ...

I kept reading only because the writing was so lovely, and because of Asif. As pathetic as dude considered himself, he was simultaneously so believably righteous and good that
Maria Goodin
Feb 17, 2014 Maria Goodin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this and will be looking out for more work from this author. It was told from three viewpoints, which kept it interesting and added variation. All three characters were well depicted and believable. I have a special interest in what makes us who we are, but it's rare to come across a book where the characters are not presented as ready-made individuals. This book looks at what made each of them who they are today, going back to their childhoods, and I really enjoyed that asp ...more
Dora Okeyo
Mar 20, 2016 Dora Okeyo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was introduced to Roopa's writing the first time I bought her book, 'Bitter Sweets.' It came as no surprise when I reached out for this book to add to my collection, and like Bitter Sweets this story centers on family.
It's well told from the perspective of three siblings : Asif, the eldest who is an Accountant and the good boy, Kalila or Lila who is second and always changing her look based on who she is dating, and who is ashamed of her Eczema, and finally Yasmin who has autism.
Taking care
This is one amazing book. Farooki is skilled in putting so much emotion and action in just over 300 pages, you will not want to put this novel down. Be it the sibling relationships, which are realistic in their strained love, or be it the wonderfully complex and deep characters that, once again very realistically, have so many internal struggles, or be it the cute romance stories that make the book so hopeful and help forward its message of possibility of change. Mainly, you will love this book ...more
Diane Safer
May 09, 2011 Diane Safer is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Novel told from the perspective of London-born siblings still coping with the death of their unmarried mother after five years. At 23, Asif Murphy has become the reluctant head of the family that includes brooding Lila, a year younger, and 19-year-old Yasmin, whose Asperger's requires Asif to enforce a strict schedule. Asif, however, shares Lila's complicated feelings for this girl who so monopolized their mother's affection and time, resulting in "a childhood of uneven treatment without
Jun 27, 2014 Cmorice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Les choses comme je les vois

Asif, Lila et Yasmine sont frère et s?urs. Lila a fui la maison, contraignant Asif à s?occuper de Yasmine, qui n?a pas idée du ressentiment qu?elle cause. Qui voit la musique en couleurs et se rappelle si bien de tant de choses que parfois sa tête lui fait mal. Qui n?est pas heureuse, et sait qu?elle est spéciale. Un jour, une équipe de télévision vient réaliser un reportage sur le syndrome d?Asperger et la vie de Yasmine. Un roman à trois voix doux-amer et touchant.
Nov 16, 2011 Jane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yasmin Murphy has Asperger's syndrome. Both parents have died and her siblings are to take care of her now. Her older sister who has been angry since Yasmin was diagnosed as a child has been angry and bitter because of the extra attention their mother has given Yasmin. Her older brother, who is the one caring for Yasmin now, is accepting, self-effacing, and lacking in confidence in himself. The book tells the story from all 3 views. Yasmin's parts of the story are intersting because we're gettin ...more
Julie lit pour les autres
Dans un style dépouillé et limpide, Farooki nous offre une fenêtre dans la vie de Asif, Leila et Yasmine. Asif, le grand frère responsable, qui prend le relais de sa mère à sa mort auprès de Yasmine, la plus jeune soeur autiste ; Leila, l'enfant du milieu, déchirée par la rage et la honte, qui agit sur des coups de tête face à son impuissance quant à la condition de sa plus jeunes Yasmine, bien sûr, jeune fille à l'intelligence prodigieuse qui peine à décoder les émotions de son frère ...more
Dec 25, 2011 Megan.nelson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This was one of those pleasant surprises I sometimes find on the New Fiction shelf at the library. It is the story of 3 orphaned London siblings in their late teens to early 20's trying to sort out their lives without their parents help. Asif, the oldest, most responsible sibling has taken on the care of his youngest sister, Yasmin, who is a genius with Asperger's syndrome. The chapters told from her perspective seem to capture the unique thought processes and perceptions of someone with Asperge
Jun 27, 2011 Shelly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm going to ramble a bit. I couldn't decide as I read this book, if I was being easier or harder on the author because of my own life experiences. In my career, I often work with children with Asperger's. Also, I have three children and one has special needs. I found myself not connecting with the portrayal of a person with Asperger's, but I kept reading to give it a chance. I was making excuses for the author because I felt she researched so much, but wasn't able to know really know what this ...more
May 09, 2011 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Asif and Lila react very differently to the burden of caring for their younger sister, Yasmin, who has Asperger's Syndrome, after the death of their mother. Asif has been parenting Yasmin while trying to begin his own life, and Lila has rebelled at such responsibility, dropping in and out of their lives, much as she does with her lovers.

Farooki has created three memorable characters in this moving story of family ties and embarking on a grown-up life. Ostensibly, it is Yasmin, taking her A-level
Jan 16, 2016 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-neurotypical
A very interesting story about three siblings - Asif the very "good" older brother, Lila the rebellious middle sister, and Yasmin the non-nuerotypical youngest sister.

The author jumps from one sibling's experience to another, so you can see the struggles and difficulties each face as they deal with (or live with) the issues of Asperger's. It's interesting that the two older siblings' experiences are in third person, but Yamsin's (the on with Asperger's) is told in first person. It was neat to se
Jan 11, 2011 Penny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Again Farooki cast her spell on me. Her writing is exquisite and moves me. Insightful, clever and meaningful. Here are a couple of my favorite observations from the book:

p.1 "Asif Declan Kalil Murphy has a brooding resentment of his name, and by extension, of his deceased a certain point, he thinks, he really needs to stop blaming his parents. But not just yet. He's still young, he's just twenty-three years old, and he suspects that he has years of grievance left in him."

At one poin
Sep 18, 2011 Penny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
This book gives an insight into the world of siblings that have to cope with someone on the austistic spectum - in this case aspergers. The book starts with all the 'children' over 18 and their parents having each passed away. It focuses in turn on each character - there are 3 an older man who cares for the youngest, who has asperger's, and a middle sister who is angry and doesnt help him. The book is written very gently whilst dealing with some meaty issues. It is an easy book to get into and t ...more
I liked the recurrent image of people on the outside looking in. This reminded me that all families can look equally odd or normal to outsiders.

Interesting to base a novel on the people that surround someone with a condition as much as the person with it. This novel helps to explore how far the ripples of Yasmin's condition spread - and how much might have turned out that way anyway. It didn't feel like a novel about a characters with Aspergers - it just had a character with Aspergers in it.

Dec 05, 2013 Sally rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
rather predictable in a fairy tale sort of way...but I did find the characters likeable and they had some depth to them, especially Lila & oddly I found Yas & her complexities to be superfluous to the story it's odd as she is the main character but in a formula novel I guess it shouldn't be surprising that any character of any gender with any sort of health issue could easily be inserted into this novel with minimal changes required.. however overall for this sort of book I did enjoy it ...more
Jul 31, 2011 Maggie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually learned about Asperberger's syndrome from the author as this is the thread that keeps this family together and also tears them apart. This is a disturbing, interesting, enlightening read about siblings just barely hanging on and surviving. Each one tells their story from their point of view and you really get to know the characters. It's an easy read but certainly not my normal summer fluff...

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Roopa was brought up in London and graduated from New College in Oxford in 1995. She worked in advertising and it 2004 quit to write full time. She now lives in south east London and south west France with her husband and two sons. Bitter Sweets is her first novel and in 2007 it was nominated for the Orange Award for New Writer.

Her second novel, Corner Shop was released in October 2008 and her t
More about Roopa Farooki...

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“So tonight, when I have that dream, the dream where I know I am dreaming, I won't be scared of falling from the open window. Instead, I will go to the window and look out into the strange and unfamiliar world. And I will leap from the window, and I won't just fly. I will soar.” 2 likes
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