Robert is a university student with Asperger’s Syndrome who is struggling to understand and navigate the Neuro-Typical world of Christchurch, New Zealand in 2010. His goal for the year is to get a girlfriend, but things don’t always go as planned. Luckily he has his best friend, Chloe, and her cousin Stef to help him.
Stim is told through journal entries, some containing flashbacks to events that happened months before in order to give the reader a greater understanding of the characters and their motivations. What makes this story so incredible is that the author, Kevin Berry, has Asperger’s like the main character and gives Neuro-Typicals a wonderful insight into the mind of an Aspie. All of the characters were incredibly realistic and relateable in different ways. You do not need to have, or know someone who has, Asperger’s Syndrome (or is anywhere on the Autism Spectrum) to find yourself getting caught up in this story.
There were times reading this story when I wasn’t sure how to feel because while Robert’s inability to understand certain situations may cause some seemingly comedic or scary moments to an outsider, Robert, and others with Asperger’s are left confused and my heart felt like breaking. These contradicting emotions also helped to give a sense of how those living with someone who Asperger’s, such as Robert and Chloe’s flatmate Stef must feel, and how frustrating it can sometimes be.
You can read the rest of my review at my blog: http://readerlymusings.com/2013/12/29/book-review-stim-by-kevin-berry/