The Ways Things Look to Me
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The Ways Things Look to Me

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  361 ratings  ·  68 reviews
At 23, Asif is less than he wanted to be. His mother's sudden death forced him back home to look after his youngest sister, Yasmin, and he leads a frustrating life, ruled by her exacting need for routine. Everyone tells Asif that he's a good boy, but he isn't so sure. Lila has escaped from home, abandoning Asif to be the sole carer of their difficult sister. Damaged by a c...more
Kindle Edition, 353 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2009)
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Bel Murphy

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...more
Elaine
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
Heather
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
Anne
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...more
Robin Nicholas
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
Cmorice
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....more
Maria Goodin
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
Carol
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!
Mahak
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.
Suzanne
Why the hell are such juvenile books being passed off as adult fiction? Waste of paper, time and space.
Gail Cohen
Mash up of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night and Bridget Jones' Diary
Joan
Quick read, not perfect but not a bad book.
Diane Safer
May 09, 2011 Diane Safer is currently reading it
Summary:
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...more
Mirjam
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...more
Megan.nelson

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...more
Jane
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
Penny
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 parents...at 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...more
Shelly
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
Leslie
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...more
Penny
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
Baljit
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...more
sisterimapoet
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.

One...more
Sally
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
Virginia Roldan
Great book and makes you think about how you raise your own kids and the attention you provide to each.
Cheery
A story about adult siblings who are orphans. Each set aside the brilliance of living a fulfilling life, but for different reasons: responsibility, pain, et al. Farooki writes how the characters discover joie de vivre in their own way. It is a touching story with good character development and story arch. 'Way things look to me' is not a striking novel, but it is well written, interesting, and an opportunity to understand how some cope with loss and find joy.
Maggie
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...

Crystal
Not a bad book, gave an indepth look on the inner workings of a family that had it's rough times due to things that were out of their control. I personally thought the characters were well developed in the book and were likeable. The end could have been a little more of a surpirse, I found it quite predictable. I personally would have went with a more bittersweet ending. But all in all was a good read!
Rai
This one took a while to get going for me but when it did I was hooked. I wasn't entirely convinced by Yasmin as a character (perhaps it says more about me that I was finding inconsistensies in her supposedly consistent behaviour) but adored Lila, Asif, Henry, Mei Lin and Melody. When at work yesterday, I found myself missing them, which I love in a book.

Would definitely recommend.
Peggy
This was one of those, never heard of it, looks interesting on the "New Fiction" shelf at the library choices. Nonetheless it was an intriguing read, giving me a very different portrait of life in contemporary England. By coincidence this and the book that I read following (Addition) formed a double feature of young people with rather similar obsessive compulsive disorders.
Helen
Really enjoyed this book. Written in present tense, which usually puts me off, but it was such an interesting read with fascinating, quirky characters that I put aside my petty irritation and lost myself in this novel. The characters stayed with me for a long time after I'd finished the novel.

Selected by The Times [UK] as one of the top 50 paperbacks of 2009.
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355875
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
More about Roopa Farooki...
Bitter Sweets Half Life Corner Shop The Flying Man The Good Children

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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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