Saturday, March 15, 2014

Book Review: Stim

Media Type: Ebook
Title: Stim
Author: Kevin Berry
Publisher: Waspie Publishing
Pages: Kindle; 176
Release Date: October 16, 2013
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
Genre: Contemporary Fiction

HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who are looking for an honest glimpse into the inner workings of a person with Asperger's Syndrome.

Add it on: Goodreads / Amazon / BookLikes
Robert is different. He has Asperger's Syndrome. He experiences the world differently to 99% of the population. Follow his entertaining and highly empathetic story as he struggles to realise and accept who he really is, try to understand other people—which he cannot—and find a girlfriend. Especially find a girlfriend—he's decided it's his special project for the year. Accompanied on this transformative journey by his quirky flatmates, Chloe (who also has Asperger's, amongst other things), Stef (who hasn't, but doesn't mind) and their oddly-named kitten, Robert endures a myriad of awkward moments in his quest to meet a nice, normal girl...and not even a major earthquake will stop him.

This absorbing and humorous story is starkly told from Robert's point of view, through the kaleidoscope of autistic experience.

I often like to step out of my comfortable reading zone, and take a chance on something different. When I saw that Stim dealt with Asperger's Syndrome, I was intrigued! I've yet to stumble upon a book that deals with a character who has Asperger's, much less one that's actually written in his voice. I fell for the idea that I'd be getting a glimpse into not only how Robert felt on a day to day basis, but also how he perceived the way the rest of the population behaved as well.

Kudos to Kevin Berry, as this is a very well written book. It's true that there are portions that read a little slowly, but you need to take into account the fact that this is all from Robert's journal. Here is a character who loves economics, and doesn't understand the social cues that mean you're bored of listening to him go on and on. Robert likes order, he likes things to be easy to understand. We as a population? We're pretty much anything but those very things. Reading from his point of view, looking at myself though his eyes, was jarring and yet completely interesting. Who knew we were so complicated?

What I loved more than anything, was that Robert's story also includes Chloe. I was given the opportunity to see the difference between Robert's outlook, who was still struggling to cope, and Chloe's, who was a bit more comfortable in her own skin. While they were both "Aspie's", Chloe's ability to interact with the world around her was more solid. I liked that she was there for Robert. I enjoyed the fact that she kept him grounded, and showed him how to live life. These two were so perfect for one another, it was hard not to root for them to end up together.

I'll admit that this book probably won't be for everyone. Being in Robert's mind isn't always easy. As I mentioned, he does go on in length about certain things. Plus some of the situations he finds himself in border on the kind of awkward that makes you, as a reader, want to look away in embarrassment for him. Still, Stim is nothing but honest and that's what I appreciated about it. I'm glad I stepped out of my comfort zone, and I hope you'll take a chance too.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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