C.G. Drews's Reviews > The Unpredictability of Being Human

The Unpredictability of Being Human by Linni Ingemundsen
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really liked it
bookshelves: autism, contemporary, young-adult, read-2018

This was honestly such a sweet book and I felt a lot while reading it. Which is freaking amazing because I have the emotional range of a toaster. It's also a very quiet book, with not a lot of plot, but you just really get to know and love Malin...which I adored. (Despite the fact, I usually wish books had a firmer plot?)

Also Malin is undiagnosed autistic. I've discussed this with my friend who talked to the publicist/editor of the book, so it IS a thing. It's just never never mentioned in the book. I do have issues with that? Not that it's unrealistic, because it's super realistic for girls to go undiagnosed (I was diagnosed till 21) but because I kind of struggle to understand who this book is for: autistic girls won't know to pick it up? I feel a ton of people will read this and go "Why is Malin so immature and clueless?" and roll their eyes. If it's raising awareness for autism, then not telling us that this is autism is just adding to the insurmountable barriers out their for girls on the spectrum to be recognised and understood. Obviously it's a reeeeally personal issue for me, and I LOVED Malin's rep so so much. But "autism" isn't a bad word. Even if they'd just mentioned it at the psychiatrist meeting??? Like please: this gives us good rep, SO TELL PEOPLE THIS IS WHAT AUTISM LOOKS LIKE instead of all the typical stereotypes we see.

TL;DR = Malin is an excellent example of an autistic teen but without naming her autism I feel the book missed a huge potential to raise ASD awareness.


I also just liked how soft it was. The pace is slow, the writing is gentle and very very specific. The characters felt fleshed out in just a few sentences?! I LOVE. There's a lot of twists with family issues and devastating circumstances and I ended up feeling eMOTIONS. All the eMOTE omg.

And Malin was just precious. omg I love her. I related so so hard to her obsession with time and watches. (Literally me. I have never seen this in a book and like kind of teared up and thought: "ME SO MUCH.") Wanting to know the exact time, measuring the time of everything... I just !! MALIN !! She's also factual but emotional. She's not a huge stereotype. She wants friends but is never sure if they're being mean or not. (Those girls are HORRIBLE but aghghg also Malin not knowing if she was being laughed at or with? Breaks my heart how much it happens.) And I loved her relationship with her cousin, Magnus. They were so pure and it was nice that he always looked out for her!!!

Also it's set in Norway! Just sayin', because I hardly read any books set in Norway and I loved this!

ALSO MY HEART HURTS. From that scene in the middle afjdksald.

My only real negatives are: It was super slow? I liked that, but I also like more concrete plot. Aaand the ending felt extremely rushed. Also the tone was very young. I think it was in tune with Malin (it's typical to be emotionally delayed when you're autistic) but I think it didn't really feel contemporary at times??? IDK. By the end I was so engrossed so it didn't matter.

This is a heartfelt book and quiet and sad but hopeful. It has secrets and confusion and anxiety and loneliness. And just the way it captured loneliness??? So accurate. Also eternally pleased to see GOOD REP for autistic girls...just pls pls tell readers what it is so we can get accurate information out there over the stereotypes?!?
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Reading Progress

June 20, 2018 – Started Reading
June 20, 2018 – Shelved
June 21, 2018 – Shelved as: autism
June 21, 2018 – Shelved as: contemporary
June 21, 2018 – Shelved as: young-adult
June 21, 2018 – Finished Reading
June 25, 2018 – Shelved as: read-2018

Comments Showing 1-9 of 9 (9 new)

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message 1: by Alison (new) - added it

Alison Stegert Great review! I found your response to the book and the character Malin so endearing and positive. Yay for books that make people feel validated and seen and okay! It's wonderful that the author has, in your opinion, made a good rep of autistic girls. Let's hope it makes its way to recommended reading lists. And on that note, maybe someone (wink, wink) should start such a list here on Goodreads: Great Books for Autistic Girls, perhaps? Again, great review. Love your work. Keep 'em coming!

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

I have to say, this book doesn't get my vote of confidence for good rep BECAUSE it's never stated. Within 5 minutes, I found twice as many reviews that harshly judge and criticize Malin. We're treated crappy enough as it already is; we really don't need any stupid decisions like "the author never says" adding to it.

C.G. Drews @Alison: I would start a list except I honestly hardly EVER find books with good rep for autistic girls. 😭😭The only other one that really stands out is Queens of Geek for me!

C.G. Drews @Daley: Yeah that frustrates me too because reading other people's reviews it's like "Malin is so immature and stupid"...which is awful.😭And with such an accurate portrayal (I saw myself in her so much!) this would've been the most amazing book to speak out against stereotypes and start a good and valid conversation? But I still liked the book a lot (and that's rare for me to find an ASD book that's actually good!)

message 5: by Rachel 007 (new)

Rachel 007 Oh now I'm excited to read this!!! I hadn't heard of it before but follow your reviews (especially on autism fic; we don't always agree/have opposite views on some books but always enjoy your opinion :) :)), and will have to add it to my tbr. (I'm currently writing a YA about an autistic (diagnosed) girl w/a grand plan of a specific uni after high school & how when you don't get what your plans are, how you have to adapt :))

C.G. Drews @Rachel: I hope you get a chance to read it!

message 7: by Michael (new)

Michael I am the US publisher (we secured the rights last year) and simply fell in love with Malin. I laughed out loud reading this book in public. She is without a social filter that one might expect: without complaint or judgement. She simply is. I loved her honest simplicity. Of course, not everyone will see her that way. C.G.Drews, I love your “my emotional range is that of a toaster” or close to that. You made me laugh the way Malin did.

C.G. Drews Michael wrote: "I am the US publisher (we secured the rights last year) and simply fell in love with Malin. I laughed out loud reading this book in public. She is without a social filter that one might expect: wit..."

I'm so glad it's going to the US, Michael! More readers need to experience this delightful book!

message 9: by Tandie (new) - added it

Tandie I’ve been reading many books with ASD rep in a main character. I was only recently diagnosed last year and find so much to relate to in these characters. I’m a grown woman with 4 school age children! My issues with sensory overload & breaking routine are pretty serious, and I’m shocked that I was diagnosed so late in life. I was always treated for anxiety. I appreciate you sharing your feelings and experiences on this subject.

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