The Boy Who Fell to Earth by Kathy Lette
Release Date: March 1st 2012
Publisher: Bantam Press
Source: Borrowed from Jodie
Find it on Goodreads
From Goodreads: "Meet Merlin. He's Lucy's bright, beautiful son -- who just happens to be autistic. Since Merlin's father left them in the lurch shortly after his diagnosis, Lucy has made Merlin the centre of her world. Struggling with the joys and tribulations of raising her eccentrically adorable yet challenging child, (if only Merlin came with operating instructions) Lucy doesn't have room for any other man in her life.
By the time Merlin turns ten, Lucy is seriously worried that the Pope might start ringing her up for tips on celibacy, so resolves to dip a poorly pedicured toe back into the world of dating. Thanks to Merlin's candour and quirkiness, things don't go quite to plan... Then, just when Lucy's resigned to a life of singledom once more, Archie -- the most imperfectly perfect man for her and her son -- lands on her doorstep. But then, so does Merlin's father, begging for forgiveness and a second chance. Does Lucy need a real father for Merlin -- or a real partner for herself?"
Thanks for letting me borrow this one Jodie! You have really opened my eyes to a whole new genre for me!!
I'm really not sure where to start with this review. I guess I will start by saying that I wasn't expecting to love this book as much as I did. I believe I even uttered the words "it is one of my new favourite books" to Jodie. I KNOW. That's big.
The Boy Who Fell to Earth is a wonderful combination of brilliant, witty, heart breaking, quirky, eye opening and funny. I could seriously throw all the adjectives around for this one. Kathy Lette is a genius. Yep. I said it. Genius.
Merlin is one of the most entertaining characters I have ever come across, and I read. A lot. He has Asperger's but this book is written in such a way that you don't feel sorry for him. He is so uniquely and genuinely him that you can't help but love and appreciate everything he says. His mind works so differently to mine that I often found myself thinking "why didn't I ever think about it that way?!" I am desperately wishing I had written down some quotes for you guys! Why didn't I do that?! Ugh how silly of me.
Now this story is more about Lucy, Merlin's mum, I found. It was written from her point of view. Lucy is struggling. She loves Merlin to no end but she doesn't know how to cope sometimes. He gets bullied in school but she can't afford to put him in a special needs school, and she was denied help from the government to do so. Her husband left not long after Merlin's diagnosis and ever since Lucy has been off men. There just isn't room for a man in her life when Merlin needs her so greatly. Only Merlin may not need her as much as she thinks. She coddles him too much, he is bright and smart but lacks in social skills which can often get him into a bit of a mess. I was really impressed with Kathy Lette's writing style. I liked that this was from the mothers point of view. It can't be easy having a kid with Asperger's and she finds herself wondering if she had done something wrong during her pregnancy. Don't get me wrong, Lucy loves Merlin, but it would be difficult to see your child struggle with Asperger's and Lette captures the essence if this greatly.
Things start to get real interesting in The Boy Who Fell to Earth when Archie shows up. Oh Archie, never have I found myself loving such a character. He is Lucy's cousins ex hubby, who is an Aussie (woop woop go us Aussies!) moves in with her because he needs a place to stay. He is a rock star, or well he used to be but he still holds the same beliefs that he did when he was one. He does nothing, I mean nothing around the house. He gives Merlin porn filled magazines among many other things. But he is great with Merlin. His first conversation with him had Lucy cringing to see what Archie's reaction would be but he brushes it off and makes a joke of it. He becomes an (interesting) father figure for Merlin and slowly captures the heart of Lucy. But with her ex husband just on the other side of her front door, she gets thrown around an emotional roller coaster.
A truly moving and quirky story that left me wanting more. This is a very new read for me, I generally try to steer away from adult books that have deep issues, from past experience I get too caught up in the sadness and end up bawling my eyes out. But this was a refreshing take on Asperger's taking a serious topic and giving it humor and love and all the things you could want in a story.
I highly recommend this to anyone and everyone. If this isn't your typical read then I more than highly recommend it to you. It might open some new doors for you like it did for me! If you are a fan of John Green's quirky and beautiful writing, then this might be one that you like. See my review of An Abundance of Katherines by John Green.
Have you read this? What did you think? Do you have any recommendations of books that are similar or have the same feel?