Are You Seeing Me by Darren Groth

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This road trip will have earth-shattering consequences . . .

Twins Justine and Perry are about to embark on the road trip of a lifetime in the Pacific Northwest.

It’s been a year since they watched their dad lose his battle with cancer. Now, at only nineteen, Justine is the sole carer for her disabled brother. But with Perry having been accepted into an assisted-living residence, their reliance on each other is set to shift. Before they go their separate ways, they’re seeking to create the perfect memory.

For Perry, the trip is a glorious celebration of his favourite things: mythical sea monsters, Jackie Chan movies and the study of earthquakes.

For Justine, it’s a chance to reconcile the decision to ‘free’ her twin, to see who she is without her boyfriend, Marc – and to offer their mother the chance to atone for past wrongs.

But the instability that has shaped their lives will not subside, and the seismic event that Perry forewarned threatens to reduce their worlds to rubble…


If you guys haven’t seen yet Angel and a bunch of other bloggers have created a new hashtag #DisabilityDiaries2017 this hash tag is being used to talk about disabilities in Young adult books and promote diverse reads. From Mental illness to Autism there will be heaps of posts with reviews, discussions, and recommendations. If you’re looking for new books to read or to contribute please check out the original post Welcome to disability diaries where you can find all the creators, or search up the hashtag on twitter to find new posts. This is my first post for this subject that is so close to my heart and I can’t wait to do some more. Now onto my review:

Are you seeing me is an amazing story of twins, a Brother and Sister on one last adventure together before one moves out of the family home.

Perry and Justine are 18 year old Twins who lost their father and soul carer. Perry and Justine leave Australia to go on a road trip/holiday from Canada to America in search for the Ogopogo which is Perry’s favourite animal/myth. Perry also loves information about Earthquakes and measures the ground with a seismograph for tremors. The Earthquakes and talk of the earth becoming unstable is definitely a perfect example of what autism is like at times.

^Are you seeing me asthetic 

This book is fun, heartfelt, sad, and insightful. If you’re looking for a great road trip, finding yourself, positive sibling relationships, and some great Aussie humor than book this is for you.

The story is told in dual perspective and Justine and Perry’s voices were both fantastically written and completely different. Reading split perspective I usually have a favourite but I loved Perry and Justine’s voices equally.

Perry has what Justine calls a “brain condition” basically every time a rude ass person decided they can stare and act rudely to Perry, Justine describes his Autism in the simplest way to outsiders. Some of the descriptions of people staring and the struggle to eat out are so real feeling and I just loved how Justine sealt with people, yes she can be a little hot headed at times but can’t everyone? Especialy when it comes to people judging your family.

The thing that makes a book diverse and fantastic in my opinion is not only the positive representation but the fact that it’s a good story! I mean I know a lot of people may love to read this because they’re wanting to read more books with main characters that are on the spectrum but you shouldn’t only read it for that, you should read it for the message, for the adventure, for the banter, for the family and sibling relationships, for being a damn good contemporary.

5/5 Stars
I count Are You Seeing Me to be #OwnVoices, no it’s not written directly by someone with Autism but it is written by a father who has a child with ASD. Perry our main character perhaps could have written his own story but there are so many more like my brother that are higher on the spectrum and need advocates like Darren Groth to write these stories for them, to educate others, to be their voice to the world.

My brother has Autism and I just related to Justine on such a huge level, to her anger, to her understanding, to her annoyedness with others, to her love for her brother.

If you’re looking for a book with positive Autism/ Neurodiverse rep  that is so seamless it doesn’t even seem like the main character is anything but an amazing main character I definitely recommend this. Having Autism especially being higher on the spectrum can mean you can’t put your story on paper so I appreciate Darren Groth for writing an amazing story that touched my heart and made me think about my own family.

Have you read this? Is it on your TBR? Any more books that star a main character with Autism feel free to throw those recs my way 

 

 

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13 thoughts on “Are You Seeing Me by Darren Groth

    1. I hope you can pick it up soon Angel 🙂 I think you’ll really enjoy it, even if it wasn’t diverse I would still love it the characters and dialogue is just what i look for in contemporary xD

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  1. I’ve never heard of this book before, but thank you so much for writing about it. I don’t think I’ve read any *good* books that had a character with autism. I’ve read The Curious Incident About The Dog in The Nighttime, but I’ve been told that it isn’t a very good book and misrepresents autism — though I may be wrong?

    I think we definitely do need more disability visibility in YA fiction, so posts like these are amazing. The DisabilityDiaries is an amazing idea, so amazing work to all of you. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t read The Curious Incident… It is the main thing people recommend or have read about that has a mc with Autism so it’s sad there may be misrepresentation 😦
      The Disability Diaries is such an amazing idea and something that I believe should be talked about more, the amount of people I’ve met that don’t understand some disabilities is mind boggling all we need to more voices and the diaries are doing just that 😀

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  2. Thank you so much for sharing this, Casey! First, I hadn’t heard of the #DisabilityDiaries2017, and I’m glad to see this. The Internet at large has been focusing a lot on representation through overt and observable qualities in our Diversity discussions. There is nothing wrong with that– this is critical to discuss! That said, it’s great to see us also looking at the representation we might not be able to see. Autism, depression, bipolar, etc. I’m so glad attention is being brought here.
    Second– I love your review. It’s obvious this book really touched you and you could connect your personal experiences back to the story. It’s brave of you to admit that you have some of the same struggles. But it’s so cool knowing this story holds an accurate representation of your experiences.

    I must read this now. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you like it Jackie! I’m loving all the diversity discussions and how the book community is coming together to learn more because that’s what reading is all about stepping into others shoes and experiences and learning.
      Also it is just so good to see an accurate portrayal that represents myself and my family, I know a lot of people have varying situations but this book was just spot on for me 🙂

      I hope you really enjoy it when you get around to it and that I could put it on your radar.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. You can’t unless you’ve spoken with someone that has experience with the subject, I know I’ve loved plenty of books and then been told later what the problems with them are and opened my eyes to that, it’s all a learning process. To be honest I think if you love a book that turns out to be harmful as long as you learn from it then it’s worth the experiences because next time you’ll be able to pick up on inaccuracies.
          Even being a sister of a brother with Autism I’m sure my experience varies for everyone else’s as we’re all different and effected in different ways 🙂

          Like

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