I love novels that aren't afraid to tackle controversial issues and I love them even more when they succeed. This novel is a balance between complete success and falling short. It needed one more push to either make it a failure or an epic success but it stayed on the line.
It's fast but is's slow and their isn't much in the way of conflict or character development but it held it's own and had it's heart warming moments. The problem I have is that I can't make a concrete assessment of anyone in this novel, except for Max and I think that's due to his schedule and illness. I would have loved to spend more time with him because my favourite parts, is getting to know the insanely intelligent 5 year old with autism.
There wasn't much development in the relationship between Avery and Mason and I assume that is because they already spent their formative years together. However, we weren't there, so I would have liked a little more than walks down memory lane. I wanted to see their relationship start and develop as oppose to the insta-awakening in Mason and the easy acceptance of Avery.
Speaking of Avery, I would give anything for her to cry less. That chick cries a lot and it doesn't take much to jerk her to tears. The Avery at the beginning of this novel was strong, confident and had no problem showing Mason who was in charge while she handled being the mother of a child with autism. In the end, she became a blubbering mess who confused me to no end. I still don't understand her feelings or decisions after that night of unpleasant star gazing.
I wish that we focused more on Max and autism, as I felt like we only scratched the surface by focusing on their need for a routine and Max's talent in science and music. I wanted more interaction with Max because those times were the most memorable and humorous scenes.
For a character, that barely spoke a chapter worth of words, Max took the cake! I understand that it is his autism that makes him react to situations different than others but I loved his intuitive moments and his snarky responses and actions. The kid doesn't care and I love it!
Mason is the prefect man a woman could have and I never once saw him as a womanizing bad boy, even though he has an edge. I loved his honesty and reservations, even his reactions to simple things like a stripper rubbing up on his junk. He's a man after all, so no use lying to ourselves. He remained true to himself and everyone around him. He was the anchor to this story and I love that even though he could have been, he wasn't an angry, washed up musician, sulking and blaming the world for his problems. He didn't have much but what he had he made it work.
For the first time, I couldn't relate to the music in a novel but I think that's more because it was a secondary notion and was only highlighted to give emotions to situations.
There are a few missing elements to this story but I think the overall body of work makes it inconsequential. I was intrigued, interested and if not for my days being crazy, I could see myself reading this book in a day. You don't need to have or know anyone with autism to understand this story, as it touches you on more than one level and though I would have preferred a different ending for Ray, it was a catalyst that gave us a balanced end.
This novel is a delicate balance because while it held steady and keeps you interested, by the end, you realize that it didn't accomplish much as it relates to character development and proper conflict. Still, it was good enough to leave the possibility of me reading another Ginger Scott novel or an update on the Street/Abbott gang.