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Eye Contact

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  3,619 ratings  ·  483 reviews
Adam, a nine-year-old autistic boy, is discovered hiding near to the body of his murdered classmate. Now the police are relying on Adam as the only witness to an appalling crime. But he can't tell the police what he saw—or what he heard. Barely verbal on the best of days, Adam has retreated into a silent world that Cara, his mother, knows only too well.

A young girl has bee
Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Penguin Group (first published 2006)
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Average rating 3.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,619 ratings  ·  483 reviews

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Eye Contact wants to be two books. The better book follows the path of acceptance and eventual, albeit limited, understanding between Adam, a nine-year-old autistic boy, and his mother Cara. The novel starts strongly with these two, especially in illuminating Adam’s thought processes, and in describing the mother’s difficult work of encouraging Adam to develop both within and beyond her expectations. But the half of Eye Contact that wants to be an engaging thriller is the half whose genes domina ...more
Mar 09, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2008
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mariah Roze
This book went in waves of being good and confusing. Also, a little unrealistic at parts.

Throughout the whole book I struggled because the chapters were extremely long and the book is from multiple point of views. That's not a great combination. I had a hard time keeping everyone straight. Eventually, I did learn the characters and they became very captivating.

I am a special education teacher, so this book was fascinating to me. It was written 10 years ago, so it was cool seeing the difference
Eye Contact was a pretty good book but it’s also kind of hard to write a review for. I’m just kind of hesitant to write this because it’s another book I’ve read that deals with a kid having autism and I’m very picky about those kind of books.

Okay so this book is about two kids who go missing in the woods by school. One kid comes back after witnessing their playmates murder. Of course the kid, Adam, is autistic so he’s a silent witness. Which of course leads to his mother Cara helping out with t
Jul 19, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery-suspense
I've waited a while to write my review giving myself a chance to really digest what I thought of this book. I think it's because I wanted to give it a high rating and my initial reaction was not to do so. However, it's been a week and I'm still feeling like it was an "eh" kind of book.

It felt like this book wasn't exactly sure what to be. There's a portion devoted to a family dealing with Autism. There's a portion dealing with broken relationships, and then there is the murder mystery. I think
May 08, 2009 rated it liked it
This book was all over the place. It has potential if it had been more focused. The bits about autism were interesting, there were too many characters so that none could be fully developed. It tried to be murder mystery, informative autistic book, love story, and drama. None of it was pulled off well. It wasn't terrible, but it really wasn't very good. ...more
Mar 18, 2013 rated it did not like it
I have no clue why I wasted my time and finished this book. It was all over the place and I was almost to the point where I don't even think the author knew who the killer was going to be until the last second. The book just did not fit for me. It was like a stew was mixed together and whatever was in the fridge was added to the story. ...more
Elizabeth C
Oct 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing, the very description of a thriller. Little clues were in the entire body of the book, and putting them together on the journey through the book was simultaneously exhilarating and chilling. The characters felt incredibly real and the revelation on the last page was genuinely sweet enough to bring tears to my eyes. I'm so glad I read this. ...more
Aleathia Drehmer
Jul 31, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people with special needs children
Recommended to Aleathia by: just liked the cover
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, favorite
Eye Contact (Paperback)
by Cammie McGovern

What a great story! McGorvern touches our heart, inspires us and entertains us with a great psychological mystery. The author has an excellent insight into the topic and builds up the story cleverly. Cara is Adam's mother, a 9 year old child on the autism spectrum. She is a very good single mother and is devoted to his development and happiness. A tragedy happens in his school. A little girl has been found dead and Adam is the only witness; but his abil
Alana Bullock
May 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!!
this book was on the table at the domicile for $1 for cancer awareness fundraising. it was worth a TON more. it is definitely in my top 10 favorite books. a beautiful, sad, horrifying story of an autistic boy who witnesses the murder of a schoolmate. half of the characters in the story are children/adults with special needs. the story reads from different perspectives and the murderer isnt revealed into far into the book. the story is not so much about the murderer, but about trying to figure ou ...more
Laya Mccoy
Nov 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I totally love this book. It's one of my favorite recent reads. I loved how the author, Cammie McGovern, sort of went deeper into the mind of autistic children. She showed that most of the time, they do know what they see, but they can't find the words to describe it, or they don't know the words to decribe it.
I really liked the relationship between Cara and Adam. You can tell how much she loved her son and how determined she was to making sure that she could teach him, and she was so happy w
Jul 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This was one of the best books I have read this year! I literally could not put it down! Well, really, I put it down twice because, much to my chagrin, I had to go to bed. Aside from that, it never left my hands! The narration of this book is what makes it so interesting; it is told from several different characters’ points of view and they all seem to have something to hide. I found it very interesting to read the narration told from Adam’s P.O.V., as a nine year old autistic child. This story ...more
Jun 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book is amazing! Great insights on every page, but it's a bit difficult to read because it involves IEP's and teacher documentation that I am trying to escape on this, my summer break! The author messed up a bit with introducing too many characters, and if Hedder hadn't made a sticky note cheat sheet in the front cover, I'd be lost. :) ...more
Jeff Fernandes
Sep 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Very intriguing story, however the author's style can be quite exhausting. Very long chapters and a lot of jumping around between characters and thoughts that I found myself having to reread some parts to make sure I was still following along. 3/5 ...more
Annabelle Roan
Mar 26, 2019 rated it liked it
One reviewer put it perfectly when they said that the book comes in waves of being good and being confusing...
None the less I can’t say I didn’t enjoy the story, and I really liked a handful of the characters.
Brandy Franklin
Jun 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned-tbr
3.5 stars
Jul 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes contemporary mysteries
Recommended to Mary by: Paperback Swap
The students of Woodside Elementary School often spend their recesses playing games as children will do. As the innocent youngsters spend their time waging mock battles on the playground, they are blissfully unaware that soon the real world will intrude into their sheltered world and shatter their childhood happiness forever. And the consequences of such a vicious crime will shake this tiny, close knit community to its very core.

During one particular recess, a little girl and boy - two students
Jul 13, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
When I read the back of the book I was really interested. I was still interested when I started it but as I went on it was just getting harder to enjoy. First let me begin by saying I hated that there weren't really any chapters. There are multiple points of view from different characters and at times it was hard to keep track of who was speaking because it wasn't broken up by chapters. There would be one point of view that would go on and then all of a sudden it switches to someone else and it ...more
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
There was a lot going on in this book. It started out promising. I really liked the insight into families with special needs--there is an array of them in this book. But by the end there were just too many characters and twists and turns and it felt sloppy.
Cheewai Lai
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Refreshing backdrop and good twists in plot
Mar 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nishita Sinha
Mar 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was a book I started a while ago but could never remember the name of. From the start, I thought it was an insightful read, but I just didn't see how the title related that much. But after finishing it, I think I understand.

A firsthand witness is defined as someone who was at an event or observed it, and therefore knows exactly what happened. Everyone believes their account for the most part, and they provide the strongest evidence. But in this book, the reader was shown that even if someon
Pages and Papercuts
Apr 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery


One of the best adult books I have read in ages. Touching and suspenseful- I loved everything about it.

Character-wise this book was very strong. All the characters were extremely well developed, and we spent time getting to know every single one of them. I felt a bond between the little boy, and I thought he was so precious. Cara was the perfect protagonist. She was strong and well-intended, yet she’d had a past… something that didn’t
Aug 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
The plot is every mother's, teacher's and community's nightmare. 2 kids disappear off of a school playground and when they are found a little girl is dead and the other is a boy with Autism who has retreated into himself which in turn makes the characters have to look into their pasts and unearth secrets that will change all of there lives. It starts of fairly linear but then it delves into a variety of storylines including a group of middle schoolers in a social skills group for "kids without f ...more
Maria (Ri)
Jun 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
This literary mystery feels like a cross between Jennifer McMahon's _I Promise Not to Tell_ and Mark Haddon's _Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time._ It is a compelling look at autism, both from the child's and the parent's perspective. Adam, a 9 year old austic boy finds himself witness to a murder. While the novel is about the mystery of the murder, it is more about the relationship of Adam and Cara, his mother. The story is told from several people's perspectives. While some ring tru ...more
Apr 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(4.5 stars) I really enjoyed this one. At first I was reminded of Jodi Picoult's House Rules, which like this one, centers around a murder & an autistic child. But I actually found this more compelling. Not only did McGovern do a good job portraying the subject matter of autism & family members & friends living with it, but it also touched on several aspects of children with various special needs, both on & off the spectrum. Additionally, this was a story that kept me guessing up until near the ...more
Tami Urbanek
Jan 27, 2014 rated it did not like it
I went into this thinking I would be VERY intrigued since I am raising and autistic daughter, but this book was a SAD disappointment.. the story line was drug out and WAY too many characters were introduced alone the way that had NOTHING to do with the over all story line.. and the ending..HUGE disappointment! They had you thinking every 5 pages it was someone new..and there was a HUGE chance missed to make the story about the little girl who lost her life..she seemed to be an after thought.. as ...more
Jan 31, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
When a little girl is murdered, the only witness is a nearly non-verbal autistic boy. His mother, and several other characters have to try to find out what happened and why. At times the plot seemed somewhat driven by what I considered to be too many convenient disabilities. However, the best parts of the book belong to a lonely teenage boy, who is aware of the social implications of being part of a "special" group of children, and his own outsider status. He puts himself in the role of detectiv ...more
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Cammie McGovern was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford and received the Nelson Algren Award in short fiction. Her work has been published in Redbook, Seventeen, Glimmer Train, TriQuarterly, and other publications.

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