Jen C (ReadinginWBL)'s Reviews > Saving Max

Saving Max by Antoinette van Heugten
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Apr 27, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011-read-in, 4-star-rating
Read in March, 2011

I stumbled upon this book at the library and was drawn to the cover. I only read the front cover which said “What would you do if your son were accused of murder?’. I thought sounds interesting, so I threw it into my library bag.

I was pleasantly surprised when I started reading and the book was about a child on the autism spectrum. Being a social worker that works with many children with that diagnosis as well as a parent of a child on the spectrum, I am always interested in stories like this and how the syndrome is portrayed to the public.

Overall, I think the diagnostic information was very good. I felt initially the Psychiatrist working with Max jumped to sending him off to Maitland a bit prematurely. I don’t believe that would have been how that would have played out. I could relate to Max’s mother, Danielle and her desire to help her son. But after the murder, I felt some of her reactions were a bit unrealistic. Though I could understand the emotions associated with her reactions, a mother’s love for her child is a force not to be reckoned with. I was disappointed that the author did not develop the character of Max more. I didn’t feel as great as an attachment to him as I would have liked. I did enjoy the lovable private detective with a foul mouth.

Some readers may have some difficulty with the graphic description of the murder scene and other items. I personally am not greatly affected by that. I felt up until the murder took place, the book seemed to be a bit boring. Once the murder finally happened the book picked up and was much better. So the last portion of the book had me very engrossed and the ending was not predictable for me.

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