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320 pages, Hardcover
First published March 28, 2017
“No, thank you,” she says as David catches it neatly in his free hand.
“I insist,” David says, and whips it back at them. It can’t possibly hurt anyone—I mean, it’s a bag of chips-but the gesture is violent, and they both cower away from the Lay’s with little noises of distress. .
David has one of those bland faces that would get him off for murder because not a single eyewitness would be able to describe him. They’d all be saying stuff like, “Oh, you know . . . hair that’s kind of brown . . . not that straight, but not curly either . . . His nose? Just kind of normal, I guess . . . Dark eyes, probably brown . . . Average size . . .” Meanwhile he’d be off killing a bunch more innocents. And they’d come interview everyone at our school, and we’d all be, like, “Yeah, I’m not surprised. Guy was weird.
“Okay,” she says. “Just not bowling. I don’t like bowling.”
“It’s because you’re not very good at it.” Ethan pats her shoulder consolingly. .
Ethan glares at him but opens his mouth, and David shoves the rice in. Ethan chews and swallows. “It still hurts.”
“You shouldn’t have eaten the chili pepper,” Ivy says. “Everyone knows they’re hot.”
“I didn’t mean to!” Ethan roars at her, spraying chewed-up rice across the table. “It got in my mouth on accident!”
“Chilis can be sneaky,” I say.
“Tricky little beasts,” David agrees. “You can’t trust a chili.”
“Bell peppers, though—they’re trustworthy.”
“The really evil ones are those little shishito bastards,” David says. “Some of them are hot, and some aren’t. You can’t tell until you bite into one. How is that fair?”
“It’s not,” I say. “It’s not fair at all.” .
I can’t decide if the world would be a better or worse place if everyone was as honest and literal as these two. Better in some ways, I guess, but maybe a little harsh? .
“Come on,” I say, and shove him toward the exit. “Let’s go. But admit you were wrong about that whole kissing in public thing. It’s not such a crime.”
“It is when I’m not the one kissing you.”
“Were you jealous of James? Even back then?”
“I don’t know,” he says. “Not exactly. And you guys were pretty annoying. I was sincerely disgusted by you”
“But I’ll admit that if I’d been standing where he was standing, I’d probably have had a different view of the whole thing.” .
'Yeah, well, that’s probably true: the class is specifically for kids on the autism spectrum. There’s probably not a lot of conversation for conversation’s sake.'This quote comes from a discussion about Ivy's school, and is both incorrect and offensive. Just because autistics have difficulty with social cues/norms does not mean that they can't have conversations or communicate with other people. Of course, there are autistics that are non verbal or that struggle with conversation - that does not mean that all autistics experience these struggles (if you've met one person with autism, you've met one person with autism), or that autistics can't communicate or maintain friendships, as this book seems to suggest.
“I wish she could stay in high school forever.”There are just so many things wrong with this discussion that I can't even comprehend it. You are aware that autistics can (and most do) live very fulfilled, happy, active lives - stop belittling autistic characters and treating them as if they have no agency.
“Yeah, I know. It’s safe for them there.”
Part of me wants to cheer him on, and the other part wants to say, Whoa there, Dude. Make sure the lady wants it. But I’d be the first to admit that, in this case, it’s a little hard to know what the lady wants.First of all, consent is important and Ivy has not given it. In fact, I don't know how Ivy could be any more clear about what she wants, not only to Ethan, but to Chloe and every other character trying to force her into a relationship with him. Also, why can Ivy only date an autistic lesbian? Autistics are not limited to only dating other autistics.
I can’t stop thinking about how vulnerable Ethan is— how childlike in so many ways. But other people won’t look at him and think that. They’ll see a young man— and an odd one, at that— so no one’s going to go up to him and offer to help, the way they would if a little kid was lost. Anything could happen to him. Anything. The world is such a mean and big and judgmental place. And Ethan, like Ivy, has no guile, no social awareness, no ability to see beyond what people say to what they may be thinking or scheming. Which makes him an easy target. And Ivy too. She’s safe at home right now. But that can’t always be true. There are going to be times when she has to be out on her own. She can’t just hide at home for the rest of her life, because that’s not a life. But being out in the world is dangerous for someone like her, because . . . people.God, this passage fills me with so much rage and hurt that it's not even funny. 'people like her'? 'no guile'? STOP referring to autistics as children, STOP assuming they have no agency and STOP reinforcing harmful and incorrect stereotypes. In fact, the whole issue with Ethan running away was really badly handled - Ivy is not unintelligent, she would realise that Ethan is not okay after he has been missing for 24 hours.
I want to protect Ivy and Ethan, and I also want them to be independent, and right now it feels like those two things can’t coexist, and I feel hopeless'