Rating: 3.5 Stars
A sweet, feel-good book, but unfortunately, has a few flaws.
Fragile Bones is about Harrison, a fifteen-year-old boy with high-functioning autism and Anna, a high school senior who’s joined the “Best Buddies” program at her school for a helpful addition to her college applications. When these two are paired together, they go through the entirety of the novel getting to know each other and forming an uncommon and sweet friendship.
This is a wonderfully sweet novel, and a pretty light and quick read, so I enjoyed myself reading this book. Harrison was well layered and the chapters in his POV provided us a wonderful look into his view of life. While I don’t know much about autism, Nicholson seems to have done her research and nothing stood out to me as unrealistic.
However, where my main fault with this book is falls with Anna and the writing style of her POV, and I clump these two points together because they go hand-in-hand. Whereas Harrison’s POV was well-written and the choppy writing style enhanced the experience, Anna’s POV fell bitterly short of that mark. The choppy, immature writing this book is written in carries over to Anna’s chapters and instead of enhancing the novel, the effect is that Anna sound very immature and whiny. I found myself disliking her, because though the book tries to portray her as a super-smart girl who’s really nice and helpful, it did not come across that way to me.
The romance, although it felt a bit forced at times, was actually well done. I did like the love interest, Justin, and as there was the risk of the romance dominating the story too much, Nicholson handles this issue well and that was never the case, the romance kept as a nice side plot-line.
One comparison I kept making was with this book and Puddle Jumping, by Amber L. Johnson, which is also about autism and a book that I loved. While I thought that Puddle Jumping was much better written and a better story, Fragile Bones offers valuable perspective into the mind of someone with autism. Both books make me rethink the way I’ve been living my life, and encouraged me to be a better person.
Overall, Fragile Bones was a sweet, quick read that has it’s flaws, but in the end, leaves you with a smile on your face. It’s a nice break from all the sci-fi action and fantasy that is so common the YA these days, I’m glad I received the chance to read this. However, if you really want to read a book about autism, I suggest you read Puddle Jumping, but give this book a try.
An advance copy was provided by the publisher via NetGalley. Thank you!
Review by Aliza London