C.G. Drews's Reviews > Colin Fischer

Colin Fischer by Ashley Edward Miller
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it was ok
bookshelves: autism, contemporary, read-2015, young-adult

I have mixed feelings about this book because on one hand I think it's a good representation of life with Aspergers...buuuuut...I also felt it had a LOT of disability discrimination (by the "older, wiser" adults) and it was never addressed as wrong. THAT BOTHERED ME QUITE A LOT.

Autism, especially on the high-function "Aspergers" (although Aspergers doesn't technically exist anymore...) is a really complicate disability and often seen as an "invisible" one. And ALL THE TEACHERS ABSOLUTELY REJECTED THIS. From the principal saying she'd give "no special allowances" to the gym teacher ignoring a therapist and parental note to excuse Colin from PE and just saying he had to do it anyway. Agh. Okay so it turned out that Colin enjoyed basketball, but that doesn't mean the teacher was in the right!! I almost felt, at times, the book was saying people with ASD didn't need special help. But I could be misinterpreting. Either way, I was uncomfortable with how that was handled. Adults who pull the "we're older and wiser and automatically know what's best for you" attitude just grr....rub me wrong.

THAT ASIDE! The story was quite interesting! Colin is 14, so I guess it's YA, but it could be MG. The tone is young and it skirts around any massive violent. I mean, the blurb says a "gun goes off" and...that's it. That's exactly what happens. No death. And even during solving the mystery it keeps things pretty clean and veers away from the darkest of dark sides. Very minimal swearing, too. And we won't even talk about the romance because it was wrong on sO ManY leVELS. And it shouldn't even e called "romance"...it was just a hint. Just, nope. totally unrealistic and thrown in randomly.

Sooo...let us speak of Colin Fischer, shall we? Obviously, he is on the autistic spectrum. He writes notes all the time. He basically is narrating/mapping the entire high school with details about what everyone is doing and potentially thinking/feeling. How incredibly tedious and awful. but hey. If it makes him happy. He stims by jumping on a trampoline and occasionally vocal stims by barking. He has a fantastic memory and zero social skills. I did enjoy seeing the world through his eyes! It was logical and intriuging.

...but...apart from Colin as a character, the rest of the book fell flat for me.


+ The fact that Colin's been thrown into highschool with no coping mechanisms. Like at one point the principal says if he's having a tough time he can come for a little "recess" in the office. But when he does, he gets sent back to class because she has no time for his shenanigans. #disabilitydiscrimination
+ All the characters (apart from Colin) felt really flat. All the school kids seemed to fit the stereotypes and do NOTHING more.
+ Colin's family problems were never addressed. his parents are supportive and great and I totally LOVED them, but his little brother frequently calls him a "retard" and appears to hate on him all the time. NOW I GET THIS. Colin gets more attention than the little bro, right?! But I don't understand how the parents can kind of just quietly go "don't call your brother a retard" and let it go. It's really awful.
+ The book frequently bops into omnipresent. I hate that. I JUST DO. I find it jarring.
+ The ending...OMG THE ENDING IS NUTS. They wrap up the mystery about who-fired-the-gun and then -- boom -- we unravel this potential new storyline IN LIKE 3 PARAGRAPHS of a psychopath/sociopath who has a murderous vendetta against them and possibly will murder them in sequel(s). Considering this book was published in 2012 and HAS no sequels...I don't think they're coming. It just threw the entire sensible, relatable book out the window.
+ You have to suspend a LOT of disbelief. Like a lot. Like when they run into the Mexican mafia (? or something ?) it's just a joke. And the police are a joke and...yeah. SUSPEND YOUR DISBELIEF, OKAY??

I'd definitely recommend it if you want to know more about what it's like to have Aspergers. Not if you're looking for a story with a sensible storyline and dynamic characters. Nope.
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Reading Progress

August 17, 2015 – Started Reading
August 17, 2015 – Shelved
August 17, 2015 –
page 100
43.67% "There is lots of disability discrimination in here. -_-"
August 18, 2015 – Shelved as: autism
August 18, 2015 – Shelved as: contemporary
August 18, 2015 – Shelved as: read-2015
August 18, 2015 – Shelved as: young-adult
August 18, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)

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La Coccinelle Sounds dreadful. I really don't like books that make no sense (and a book about a boy with a diagnosed disorder that should qualify him for extra help who doesn't get that help? Nope. Not realistic. It sounds like more of the "just suck it up" attitude that society doesn't need).

message 2: by Melody (new) - added it

Melody Maybe the author was trying to portray how autistic kids are wrongly treated, like it sometimes happens in real life? Or maybe it's just me overthinking again... :p

message 3: by Melody (new) - added it

Melody @Cait aw from your comments that sounds terribly wring. If the author PORTRAYED how it is, then well, okay; but from what you said the "suck it up" attitude was painted nearly positive...then no no no. Not okay :/

message 4: by Melody (new) - added it

Melody Aah, I mean "the 'suck it up' attitude and the story making it sound right are wrong, not "your comments are wrong", sorry if my last comment confused you.

message 5: by Max (new) - added it

Max I agree

message 6: by Devon (new)

Devon Munn To ask what would some books you feel like not only represent Autism well that have a sensible story and dynamics characters that you would highly recommend

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